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Busy Bee May 4, 2022 10:57 PM

As for rail service south of Gilroy, in lieu of electrification for the foreseeable future, I can see some slick high efficiency Stadler Flirt or Alsthom Coradia DMU's or even battery tech being a good approach for these destinations.

jmecklenborg May 5, 2022 1:29 PM

^Do you have a link to detailed drawings for Alternative 4?

I checked and currently there are only three inbound and three outbound trains per day from Gilroy. There are two stations in between San Jose and Gilroy. Meanwhile, Gilroy will get a HSR station where I have read roughly 25% of HSR trains will stop.

So Gilroy (and by extension, Monterrey County) will get midday/weekend service into San Francisco that it doesn't have currently via HSR. It makes me wonder how much Caltrain service will actually operate on this section...I'm sure that rush hour trains will be necessary because there won't be reliable excess seating capacity on the HSR trains, but it's unclear if there will be a need for any Caltrain service outside of rush hour.

ardecila May 5, 2022 2:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9616779)
The UP territory south of Tamien will have a dedicated non-electrified track for UP freight with two Caltrain/HSR tracks fully electrified to Gilroy. It's an okay compromise, it isn't perfect but it will satisfy the notoriously bellyaching UPRR and facilitate the complete retirement of all Caltrain diesel ops...no ridiculous swapping locomotives business for the final mileage into Gilroy. Welcome to the 21st century.

There is also a greenfield diversion around Morgan Hill, no? The new tracks will jog over to the 101 and then back. I think this is intended so that HSR can pass slower Caltrain.

Assuming the combined Caltrain/HSR maintains a lot of schedule discipline, that opens up other possibilites for Salinas and Santa Cruz. They could run it with a timed transfer at Gilroy, for example. if I'm sure everyone will want a one-seat ride, but if the transfer allows you to get on an HSR train and go warp speed I'm sure people would take that deal.

jmecklenborg May 5, 2022 4:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9617356)
I'm sure everyone will want a one-seat ride, but if the transfer allows you to get on an HSR train and go warp speed I'm sure people would take that deal.

The HSR trains are going to operate at 110mph max between Gilroy and San Francisco. I'd like to see a projected timetable...if the trains average 80mph with the mandatory stops at San Jose and SFO then the total transit time will be exactly one hour.

Busy Bee May 5, 2022 6:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9617356)
There is also a greenfield diversion around Morgan Hill, no? The new tracks will jog over to the 101 and then back. I think this is intended so that HSR can pass slower Caltrain.

The Morgan Hill bypass featured in Alt 1-3 was not included in Alt 4. Alt 4 will have 110mph HSR trains running through downtown Morgan Hill. Morgan Hill officials while preferring the diversion route, has been pushing for numerous grade separations as part of the compromise route through downtown. As of yet the authority has not agreed to that but if I was a betting man by the time construction nears they will have come to an agreement to eliminate some if not all of the rail-auto interaction points through this section, likely with shared funding. Just a hunch. As a matter of fact I think this tactic CHSRA is taking on the blended peninsula is designed to get the locals to front the grade sep money BEFORE operations begin as it's obvious no one wants numerous grade sep construction slow zones for several years right after South Bay HSR operations begin.

Busy Bee May 6, 2022 1:37 PM

More fail cheerleading from Vartabedian: https://calmatters.org/politics/2022...rail-standoff/

jmecklenborg May 6, 2022 1:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9618445)
More fail cheerleading from Vartabedian: https://calmatters.org/politics/2022...rail-standoff/

“There is visually nothing happening in the Central Valley,” said Jeff Denham, the former chairman of the House rail subcommittee, a Republican almond farmer who voted for the project when he was in the Legislature but later became a strident critic. “Equipment has been moved out.”
The thing is, you could drive this guy's supporters to the construction sites but they still would believe him. That's how psychology works.

Busy Bee May 6, 2022 1:52 PM

Yeah, in an era where shock has been nearly destroyed, reading that quote is truly shocking. Its the opposite of reality.

ardecila May 6, 2022 3:38 PM

I mean, it's true in a sense. There are various completed structures where work has ceased, because all the concrete is poured and they haven't authorized the laying of track/signals/electrical systems yet. Looking at some of those flyovers on YouTube, seeing the completed structures just standing alone in a farm field is very weird/disconcerting.

There's also no firm plan from CHSRA on how they're gonna use the first segment, right? Is it just gonna be a new route for the San Joaquins?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9617701)
The Morgan Hill bypass featured in Alt 1-3 was not included in Alt 4. Alt 4 will have 110mph HSR trains running through downtown Morgan Hill. Morgan Hill officials while preferring the diversion route, has been pushing for numerous grade separations as part of the compromise route through downtown. As of yet the authority has not agreed to that but if I was a betting man by the time construction nears they will have come to an agreement to eliminate some if not all of the rail-auto interaction points through this section, likely with shared funding. Just a hunch. As a matter of fact I think this tactic CHSRA is taking on the blended peninsula is designed to get the locals to front the grade sep money BEFORE operations begin as it's obvious no one wants numerous grade sep construction slow zones for several years right after South Bay HSR operations begin.

And Alt 4 is the preferred alt? OpenRailwayMap still shows the Morgan Hill bypass, but that could be out of date.

Busy Bee May 6, 2022 4:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9618541)
And Alt 4 is the preferred alt? OpenRailwayMap still shows the Morgan Hill bypass, but that could be out of date.

As of right now the Preferred Alternative (Alt 4) abandons the 101 bypass concept, instead opting to keep HSR on the existing UP/Caltrain corridor through Morgan Hill. But honestly who knows, there may be an 11th hour change closer to construction that revives the highway bypass alignment, but as of right now this is what locals and CHSRA seems to be signing off on.

homebucket May 13, 2022 8:52 PM

Some recent shots from KQED.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...2cdce248_c.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...1444f44c_c.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...98d8c59d_c.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...a6653f6d_c.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...142018db_c.jpg

TWAK May 13, 2022 8:56 PM

^Remember when they said it wouldn't get started or be built? It is.

homebucket May 13, 2022 9:08 PM

^ Yup.

Quote:

Is California high-speed rail happening? Yes. But there has been so much misleading negation of the value of the project, in the media and elsewhere, that unless you live in the Central Valley you might not even realize it is the biggest ongoing construction project in the state, perhaps the nation.

...

Also, Jon Switalski just hosted California High-Speed Rail Authority (CAHSRA) executive director Brian Kelly on the Rebuild SoCal Zone podcast. They talk about where the project is right now and how it got to this stage. For reference, that’s 119 miles under construction in the Central Valley, and environmental clearance completed on about 300 miles of the total 400-plus miles, with more segments slated to clear this summer and in the next few years.

Of course funding is a large part of the discussion, as it should be for any project of this magnitude. Estimates of the project’s cost have doubled from the first estimate of $45 billion – made before any design or environmental or right of way work had been done, around the time voters approved a $9 billion bond to get the project started.

“Given the costs, we have to do it in pieces,” says Kelly. “This is how you have to do big projects.” The total cost estimate is not out of line with other high-speed rail projects being built around the world, he added, saying that England is building a system that will cost about $110 billion.

Kelly also points out that building an equal amount of travel capacity via freeway and airport expansions would cost twice as much – and bring none of the clean energy or environmental benefits associated with a high-speed, electrified train.

“It’s a bargain in contrast,” he says.

Plans are to finish the first segment from Merced to Bakersfield by 2030. That first operating segment would serve several large cities, and provide connections to other cities on both ends. Meanwhile, the other segments are getting environmental clearance, to be followed by design, community outreach, and construction.
https://cal.streetsblog.org/2022/05/...gh-speed-rail/

Busy Bee May 13, 2022 9:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TWAK (Post 9624679)
^Remember when they said it wouldn't get started or be built?

The opposition is pathological. They'll be saying that a month before opening. They will be really worn out by then from the constant pushing of the goal post.

TWAK May 13, 2022 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9624718)
The opposition is pathological. They'll be saying that a month before opening. They will be really worn out by then from the constant pushing of the goal post.

"It won't be passed"
"It won't get started"
"It won't be finished"

jmecklenborg May 16, 2022 5:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TWAK (Post 9624748)
"It won't be passed"
"It won't get started"
"It won't be finished"

Unfortunately, traditional and professional media like the LA Times has harassed the project for the past 15 years. More recently, Elon Musk, more so than any other individual, has distracted the public from something that is actually under construction toward vaporware of his own making.

This past weekend I flew to Miami for the first time in 20 years. Jesus Christ that airport is appalling. Tons of people, terrible signage, etc.

It looks like LAX is generally following Miami's expansion with an automated train to a remote rental car facility, plus a link to rail transit (Crenshaw line) similar to the new link to Miami's Metrorail. Nice assets to have, but the point of this tangent is to say the experience of using those airports is hellish. Many people prefer flying into Ft. Lauderdale instead of Miami - in LA many people prefer using Burbank, Ontario, etc., instead of LAX.

HSR is going to have much, much better station situations at its termini than even those region's secondary airports. Even at full build-out, LA Union Station is never going to be the center of mayhem that LAX is. Same for the San Jose and San Francisco HSR stations as opposed to the Bay's airports.

jmecklenborg May 17, 2022 5:12 PM

^Also, with stocks down 10-20% so far this year, capital gains tax receipts will be much lower in 2023. That means we're probably at the end of the hilariously gigantic California budget surpluses.

Suddenly, we'll be told that we're right back in a budget crisis and there is no money for CAHSR, right after there was somehow no money for CAHSR during back-to-back-to-back years of $20 billion surpluses.

plutonicpanda May 19, 2022 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9624718)
The opposition is pathological. They'll be saying that a month before opening. They will be really worn out by then from the constant pushing of the goal post.

Right because anyone who disagrees with you is either gas lighting, delusional, out of touch, pathological, etc. I could say the same thing for those who opposed the 710 tunnel. Just because it's being built a) doesn't mean it should and b) doesn't mean it will be built. But you'll have at least another decade of free cheerleading.

I will say, at this point I support finishing it. I am not happy about the proposed at grade crossings near San Francisco. I wish they could find a way to speed this up. The state is nearing 100 billion dollar surplus for the second year in a row. Why the hell can they not just fund this damned thing and finish it already? Oh because this state that you're defending and claiming knows so much about what they're doing building this thing is proposed two $400 checks to every registered car owner. Imagine if they spent that money on this project instead? Imagine if they spend that money on widening freeways and relieving traffic for those gas consumers? Spare me the typical induced demand trope you can't even provide a number for.

This project is a joke and those behind are jokesters but after having got this far and given it also upgrades roads and freight rail lines as well the state should do everything in its power to get the entire thing built by 2028u. It's perfectly possible. Look at how much China built their HSR system in the amount of time this one small line has been proposed for.

MAC123 May 19, 2022 11:10 PM

Your argument boils down to "No u".

Pedestrian May 21, 2022 2:25 AM

Sign the petition to get CA HSR in next year's budget for a significant chunk of money: https://hsrail.salsalabs.org/cahsr-a...get/index.html

And read more about it: https://hsrail.org/blog/time-beast-m...3-ae421e0f7c9c

jmecklenborg May 21, 2022 3:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 9630525)
Sign the petition to get CA HSR in next year's budget for a significant chunk of money: https://hsrail.salsalabs.org/cahsr-a...get/index.html

And read more about it: https://hsrail.org/blog/time-beast-m...3-ae421e0f7c9c

Meanwhile, in one last hurrah before capital gains taxes plummet, California is now claiming a $98 billion surplus:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/gavin-n...=hp_opin_pos_1

"California’s highly progressive tax system—in 2019 the top 0.5% of taxpayers paid 40% of state income tax—creates a revenue roller-coaster. Capital gains are now a larger share of personal income-tax revenue than at any point since 1999—before the bursting dot-com bubble triggered a multiyear budget crisis."

Also:

The biggest budget winner as usual is the teachers unions. Public schools will get $128 billion, a 25% increase over pre-pandemic levels, though student enrollment has shrunk by 270,000. School shutdowns and California’s woke curriculum have spurred many parents to seek alternatives.

Mr. Newsom also wants to give $400 to every registered vehicle owner, including those with electric cars. He wants to mitigate the political damage to Democrats from California’s high gas prices, which are $1.50 a gallon more than the national average. The causes are high taxes and environmental regulation. Yet Democrats don’t want to ease those because higher gas prices encourage people to buy electric cars. Better to send everyone checks.

Busy Bee May 21, 2022 4:07 PM

WSJ makes me seethe. Every word drips with inflammatory contempt.

jmecklenborg May 23, 2022 2:17 PM

^Yes, they can be counted upon to go overboard.

However, they are correct in citing a central problem with high capital gains rates - the taxing strategy invites a wild fluctuation between feast and famine.

That said, from what I have read, California has been pretty responsible with the recent surpluses, including a prudent shoring up of the state's reserves and public pension.

It also ought to be stated that a big reason why the California state pension - and indeed all public pensions nationwide - have struggled over the past 10+ years is because they are almost always required to invest heavily in bonds (stocks are usually limited to dividend-paying blue chips, so no speculative tech). The low interest rate environment has meant that the bond side of these portfolios have wildly underperformed. Interestingly, nearly all of the capital gains the state has collected over the past few years have been from tech and other speculative stock sales, meaning the pension bail-out has been funded in large part by the stock gains the pension fund itself is not allowed to invest in.

It's also absolutely ridiculous that Newsom is pushing for gasoline allowances. Not sure it's legal but I think there's a much greater argument for gas cards in the rural counties than in LA County and other areas of the state where public transportation exists.

We're seeing that gasoline costs need to go much higher ($10/gal?) before people choose to leave the car at home and take the bus or train.

202_Cyclist May 26, 2022 11:51 AM

But high-speed rail isn't getting built and there is no funding....!!!!

California High-Speed Rail Authority pursues first major award of new federal infrastructure funds

By David Lester
RT&S
May 25, 2022

"The California High-Speed Rail Authority has submitted two applications totaling nearly $1.3 billion in federal grant funding for the nation’s first high-speed rail project.

The applications are the first major push for a continued federal partnership under the newly enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden in November, 2021.

“With the state’s continued commitment and the Biden Administration’s leadership and support, we are confident we will deliver a project the country will be proud of,” said Governor Newsom in his support letter for the grants. “California is the home of innovation, and we are committed to advancing this very innovative project to improve our economy, advance clean mobility and expand economic opportunity for all.”

"The Authority’s two applications include funding for:

*Constructing the second track for the initial operating segment between Merced and Bakersfield, beginning with the two tracks on the first 119 miles currently being built in the Central Valley.
*Advancing design work for the extensions to Merced and Bakersfield.
*Station development in Fresno and Kings/Tulare.
*Purchasing six fully electric train sets capable of speeds in excess of 200 mph.
*Advancing the next phase of design for two segments into the Bay Area (Merced to San Jose and San Jose to San Francisco) and into Southern California (Bakersfield to Palmdale and Burbank to Los Angeles)."

https://www.rtands.com/passenger/hig...ructure-funds/

jmecklenborg May 26, 2022 2:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 9634100)
two applications totaling nearly $1.3 billion in federal grant funding


Unfortunately, there is no telling how much inflation will occur in the years between the submission of this application and the signing of contracts. These grants ought to be at least in part pegged to inflation so that what is budgeted for in 2022 can actually be built with the awards.

curt-pdx Jun 1, 2022 1:43 AM

a refreshing counterpoint:

Video Link

jmecklenborg Jun 1, 2022 2:41 PM

^Also, one of the big problems with the I-5 route is that people driving from Bakersfield, Fresno, etc., who got in their car with every intention of taking the train to SF or LA might change their minds en route and just...keep driving to SF or LA.

If you've ever been an Uber Driver (I have), you know how flaky people are. They change their plans...all of the time.

I think someone who misses a train in downtown Bakersfield or downtown Fresno is a lot more likely to wait 45 minutes for the next off-peak train than someone who just drove to an I-5 station and missed their train. They think...well in 45 minutes I could be 45 minutes toward wherever I'm going.

mrnyc Jun 1, 2022 3:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9638368)
^Also, one of the big problems with the I-5 route is that people driving from Bakersfield, Fresno, etc., who got in their car with every intention of taking the train to SF or LA might have changed their minds en route and just...kept driving to SF or LA.

If you've ever been an Uber Driver (I have), you know how flaky people are. They change their plans...all of the time.

I think someone who misses a train in Bakersfield or Fresno is a lot more likely to wait 45 minutes for the next off-peak train than someone who just drove to an I-5 station and missed their train. They think...well in 45 minutes I could be 45 minutes toward wherever I'm going.

... and have their car when they get there. and too often its super easy to drive on a 'free' freeway and then cheap or free to park right in front of places where they want to go. ugh. :shrug:

Busy Bee Jun 1, 2022 5:33 PM

The I-5 idea is a perfect example of something that makes sense until you think about it.

MAC123 Jun 1, 2022 5:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by curt-pdx (Post 9638087)
a refreshing counterpoint:

Ugh man I dislike this guy. Though this particular point can be found agreeable.

Pedestrian Jun 1, 2022 6:57 PM

Quote:

Litigation looms over California high-speed rail, development access in Millbrae

An ongoing dispute involving a proposed 488-unit apartment project in Millbrae and the state’s high-speed rail plans took a turn last week, with the Millbrae City Council initiating proceedings to acquire a portion of land that could move the housing forward but throw a wrench in the bullet train plans.

The California high-speed rail project, envisioned as a 200-plus mph train linking San Francisco to Los Angeles, has been in the works for decades, and a stop is proposed in Millbrae to join with the city’s existing station that serves both BART and Caltrain riders.

But Millbrae officials, pointing to myriad disruptions the train could cause locally, plus other uses for the prime downtown real estate, have requested the tracks and station be built underground.

And in recent years, the sticking point has been the apartments, which would be included in a sweeping project with two 10-story and a nine-story building that would also include nearly 300,000 square feet of office space. The city approved the project in 2018, but it has not been constructed in part because the city has been unable to acquire land from Caltrain on which to build a road planned to serve the development.

“We need those 488 housing units to go forward,’’ Mayor Anne Oliva said. “That’s the crux of this whole deal.”

The City Council this week approved a resolution of necessity, the first step in eminent domain court proceedings, which could allow the city to acquire the thin strip of land in question.

The resolution states the housing development is a “more necessary public use,” than the bullet train, something the city may need to prove to take control of the parcel. It also questions if the train will ever come to fruition given a lack of funding for the Bay Area stretch.


“It’s going to be many, many decades before high-speed rail comes this way,” City Manager Tom Williams said, who pointed to the housing emergency declared by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The city’s plan is to reroute an existing portion of California Drive closer to the Caltrain tracks and extend the street further north before turning it to El Camino Real to create a four-way intersection connecting to Victoria Avenue. The city already acquired multiple other parcels needed for the task that were previously owned by BART. The Caltrain-owned parcel spans roughly three blocks, though, only a half a block section is needed for the road.

The high-speed rail project intends to use the parcel for tracks, a platform and a pole to support electric infrastructure, said Gale Conor, an attorney for Caltrain, who added the use was “clearly not compatible with a city street.”

The high-speed rail project was approved by voters in 2008 with a proposition that detailed the route and stops and at the time it was proposed the stretch through Millbrae would be built underground. But with cost estimates blowing past the original $40 billion estimate, the tracks are now planned to run above ground next to the existing Caltrain line where they can share electrification infrastructure.

Steve Silva, an attorney representing the California High-Speed Rail Authority, the governing body overseeing the bullet train project, pushed back on the city’s framing that completion was an uncertainty.

“High-speed rail isn’t a speculative use in the future, it is happening now,” he said. “Unfortunately, this particular road acquisition imperils the authority’s use of this property” . . . .
https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/...8ae377810.html

edale Jun 1, 2022 8:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9638368)
^Also, one of the big problems with the I-5 route is that people driving from Bakersfield, Fresno, etc., who got in their car with every intention of taking the train to SF or LA might have changed their minds en route and just...kept driving to SF or LA.

If you've ever been an Uber Driver (I have), you know how flaky people are. They change their plans...all of the time.

I think someone who misses a train in Bakersfield or Fresno is a lot more likely to wait 45 minutes for the next off-peak train than someone who just drove to an I-5 station and missed their train. They think...well in 45 minutes I could be 45 minutes toward wherever I'm going.

Hm, maybe a small number of people would do this. But Bakersfield and Fresno aren't going to be the primary users of this system. So you're talking about a small percentage of a small percentage of the total projected users. Is that worth the increased mileage between LA and SF, and inflated construction timeline and budget of the whole project? I don't think so. But we don't need to relitigate this...

Busy Bee Jun 1, 2022 9:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edale (Post 9638860)
But we don't need to relitigate this...

You're right, we don't, because the central valley route that was chosen will win out every time. It's not just about speed or construction costs. No nation would build a racetrack between two major cities bypassing millions of inland population who's struggling economies are desperately needing to be stitched together and connected to the coast unless they where already served by a high speed rail system, or at least efficient and useful higher speed rail. The I-5 route would have helped achieve a technical performance objective and ignored virtually all other variables and benefits.

MAC123 Jun 13, 2022 9:40 PM

https://hsr.ca.gov/2022/06/10/califo...san-francisco/

California High-Speed Rail Releases Final Environmental Studies to Finalize Project Alignment into San Francisco

https://youtu.be/Tt_WBGupfaA

San Jose to Merced Overview

Busy Bee Jun 13, 2022 9:55 PM

I'm tempted to say only in California do we have to design a custom and likely more expensive OCS just to save a few birds.

homebucket Jun 13, 2022 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MAC123 (Post 9648740)
https://hsr.ca.gov/2022/06/10/califo...san-francisco/

California High-Speed Rail Releases Final Environmental Studies to Finalize Project Alignment into San Francisco

https://youtu.be/Tt_WBGupfaA

San Jose to Merced Overview

Great overview video.

MAC123 Jun 13, 2022 10:35 PM

Hopefully those tracks CHSR will run on in the Bay Area will eventually be grade separated. Wasn't Caltrsin planning something like that.

electricron Jun 16, 2022 4:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MAC123 (Post 9648797)
Hopefully those tracks CHSR will run on in the Bay Area will eventually be grade separated. Wasn't Caltrsin planning something like that.

Train speeds on that section of track determines when the FRA requires grade separation at street or highway intersections or crossings. Trains can go 110 mph using signalized grade crossings. CHSR trains on Caltrain owned tracks will not be going faster than 110 mph.
Grade separation crossings can be very expensive in urban areas with tight clearances. CHSR should only pay for stuff needed to run HSR trains, not subsidizing local communities vehicles get across the tracks.

Yes, who pays for separated grade crossings usually falls upon taxpayers eventually. But it does matter which budget the public funds comes from.

MAC123 Jun 16, 2022 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9651247)
Train speeds on that section of track determines when the FRA requires grade separation at street or highway intersections or crossings. Trains can go 110 mph using signalized grade crossings. CHSR trains on Caltrain owned tracks will not be going faster than 110 mph.
Grade separation crossings can be very expensive in urban areas with tight clearances. CHSR should only pay for stuff needed to run HSR trains, not subsidizing local communities vehicles get across the tracks.

Yes, who pays for separated grade crossings usually falls upon taxpayers eventually. But it does matter which budget the public funds comes from.


I don't really care who pays for them (I assume that eventually Caltrain will grade seperate them on its own) they just need to be seperated.

jmecklenborg Jun 16, 2022 1:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MAC123 (Post 9648797)
Hopefully those tracks CHSR will run on in the Bay Area will eventually be grade separated. Wasn't Caltrain planning something like that.

The dilemma was that if CAHSR built its own tracks entirely independent of Caltrain (alternately side-by-side where space allowed or on an elevated viaduct where the corridor narrows) that Caltrain would never find the money to electrify or grade separate its own tracks.

What is being built compromises CAHSR a bit but significantly boosts the service provided by Caltrain. It will also force the hand of localities to capitulate to the costs needed to build grade separations and those projects will grade separate both services, not just HSR.

ardecila Jun 16, 2022 2:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9651247)
Train speeds on that section of track determines when the FRA requires grade separation at street or highway intersections or crossings. Trains can go 110 mph using signalized grade crossings. CHSR trains on Caltrain owned tracks will not be going faster than 110 mph.
Grade separation crossings can be very expensive in urban areas with tight clearances. CHSR should only pay for stuff needed to run HSR trains, not subsidizing local communities vehicles get across the tracks.

Yes, who pays for separated grade crossings usually falls upon taxpayers eventually. But it does matter which budget the public funds comes from.

In theory, the law allows grade crossings up to 125mph, but in practice FRA has not permitted this type of operation. The law requires "advanced crossing protection systems" for 125mph but doesn't specify what those might be. It is not simply a matter of doing four-quadrant gates, which are required for 110mph. Maybe something like this crossing in Uzbekistan, with military-style popup barriers and K-rail to prevent drive-arounds.

If FRA does eventually allow 125mph grade crossings, it will likely be in rural areas at low-traffic crossings, not a continuous 60-mile stretch of congested suburbia like the SF Peninsula.

202_Cyclist Jun 16, 2022 2:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9651493)
In theory, the law allows grade crossings up to 125mph, but in practice FRA has not permitted this type of operation. The law requires "advanced crossing protection systems" for 125mph but doesn't specify what those might be. It is not simply a matter of doing four-quadrant gates, which are required for 110mph. Maybe something like this crossing in Uzbekistan, with military-style popup barriers and K-rail to prevent drive-arounds.

If FRA does eventually allow 125mph grade crossings, it will likely be in rural areas at low-traffic crossings, not a continuous 60-mile stretch of congested suburbia like the SF Peninsula.

It is pretty embarrassing that Uz-beki-beki-beki-stan has high-speed rail but the United States doesn't.

jmecklenborg Jun 16, 2022 3:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9651493)
If FRA does eventually allow 125mph grade crossings, it will likely be in rural areas at low-traffic crossings, not a continuous 60-mile stretch of congested suburbia like the SF Peninsula.

What is the stopping distance for a commuter/HSR intercity passenger train at those speeds, assuming level and dry track?

I watched a really interesting video awhile back that described how the capacity of an HSR system is determined by the steepest downhill slope on the line. Obviously, a train's stopping distance increases when traveling downhill, but it increases dramatically when the tracks are wet.

This means huge money must be spent reducing grades in order to maintain a high enough capacity to justify a line's construction.


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