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dl3000 Jan 29, 2013 6:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere (Post 5990274)
just the Vermont portion. though they seemed to insinuate that they will be doing a continuing series on it, so hopefully they feature the true 100mph trains like chicago - St. Louis.

plus they must realize that $10 billion isn't going to get you anywhere with HSR. HSR is insanely expensive.

It's not like freeways and airports are any cheaper...

phoenixboi08 Jan 29, 2013 12:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dl3000 (Post 5991631)
It's not like freeways and airports are any cheaper...

I think the better argument is that it's not completely paid for with "tax" money either. Gasoline/oil is heavily subsidized here...

If we're going to invest in something, it may as well be something we'll get a return on. You don't get returns on road (unless you expect people to put up with tolls).

Busy Bee Feb 6, 2013 6:25 PM

Caltrain seeks new deal with high-speed rail

February 06, 2013, 05:00 AM

By Bill Silverfarb | The Daily Journal



Caltrain and the California High-Speed Rail Authority are crafting a new relationship that embraces the “blended system” on the Peninsula and the two parties are currently looking to scrap two old agreements for a new one.

The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board will hear an informational report Thursday that gives a glimpse into a new memorandum of understanding that is expected to be approved next month.

The current MOU, adopted in 2004, and a 2009 agreement the two parties operate under envision a four-track, grade-separated system often called the “full build-out” that would have caused excessive property takings on the Peninsula as an aerial viaduct was proposed to be constructed.

The new MOU will focus solely on the “blended system” idea first put forward by Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, and former Palo Alto state Sen. Joe Simitian almost two years ago.

Although the blended system is expected to have minimal impacts on the Peninsula, about nine miles of passing tracks will have to be constructed somewhere along the corridor between San Francisco and San Jose to allow high-speed trains to pass Caltrain trains. The corridor is expected to be electrified by 2019 but high-speed trains will not access the tracks for many more years after that.

Rest of Story

202_Cyclist Mar 4, 2013 4:29 PM

New Calif. rail plan to make major improvements in Valley Amtrak
 
New Calif. rail plan to make major improvements in Valley Amtrak

By Tim Sheehan
Fresno Bee
Mar. 03, 2013

http://media.fresnobee.com/smedia/20...YrlUa.St.8.gif
Image Courtesy of the Fresno Bee.

“While many are chattering about high-speed rail these days, state transportation leaders are quietly planning to drop more than $15 billion into California's existing Amtrak train service -- including a big chunk here in the Valley.

Improvements for Amtrak's San Joaquin line are forecast in a draft of a new statewide rail plan that the California Department of Transportation is circulating for public comment through March 11.

The plan offers a vision of how California's system of freight and passenger trains will look in 2020. In addition to high-speed rail -- construction is planned to start this summer in Fresno -- there are improvements to tracks, stations and other features of Amtrak routes and commuter train lines in the Sacramento/Stockton area, the San Francisco Peninsula and Southern California.”

http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/03/03/...ake-major.html

202_Cyclist Mar 8, 2013 8:51 PM

Diridon Rail Station plans to transform downtown San Jose into 'Times Square...'
 
Diridon Rail Station plans to transform downtown San Jose into 'Times Square of Silicon Valley.'

By Aaron Kinney
03/06/2013
San Jose Mercury

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/liv...idon~1_300.JPG
The Diridon train station, at left, flanked by what the new high speed rail station might look like. (Image courtesy of the San Jose Mercury)

"REDWOOD CITY -- The city of San Jose shared its latest vision Wednesday for expanding Diridon Station and transforming the surrounding downtown area into the "Times Square of Silicon Valley."

The ambitious plan calls for a central entertainment district, possibly including a new major league baseball stadium for the Oakland A's, in the midst of new residential and office development.

The Diridon Station Area Plan would add nearly 5 million square feet of office space, 420,000 square feet of retail, roughly 2,600 residential units and 900 hotel rooms to a 240-acre area that includes HP Pavilion. Most of the office space would be situated to the north in an "innovation district" that city officials hope will

Senior planner Michael Brilliot laid out the city's plan for the California High-Speed Rail Authority board of directors at its monthly meeting. Brilliot's presentation highlighted an otherwise anticlimactic session at the San Mateo County seat in Redwood City, where the high-speed rail board had expected to formally approve a key memorandum of understanding with Caltrain. But the matter was postponed when the short-handed board hit an unexpected roadblock and could not produce five "yes" votes..."

202_Cyclist Mar 29, 2013 3:13 PM

U.S. Government Accountability Office report
 
The Government Accountibility Office (GAO) published a report today suggesting the the California high speed rail passenger and revenue forecasts are reasonable.

Project Estimates Could Be Improved to Better Inform Future DecisionsGAO-13-304, Mar 28, 2013

"The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) met some, but not all of the best practices in GAO's Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide (Cost Guide) for producing cost estimates that are accurate, comprehensive, well documented, and credible. By not following all best practices, there is increased risk of such things as cost overruns, missed deadlines, and unmet performance targets. The Authority substantially met the criteria for the accurate characteristic by, for example, the cost estimate's reflecting the current scope of the project. However, the Authority partially met the criteria for the other three characteristics since the operating costs were not sufficiently detailed (comprehensive), the development of some cost elements were not sufficiently explained (well documented), and because no systematic assessment of risk was performed (credible). The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued limited guidance for preparing cost estimates, and this guidance did not reflect best practices in the Cost Guide. The Authority plans to improve its cost estimates.

GAO found the Authority's ridership and revenue forecasts to be reasonable; however, additional updates are necessary to refine the ridership and revenue model for the 2014 business plan. GAO also found the travel-demand-modeling process used to generate these forecasts followed generally accepted travel- demand-modeling practices. For example, the Authority revised several assumptions, such as gasoline price forecasts, to reflect changes in current and anticipated future conditions. However, additional updates, such as the development of a new travel survey, will be necessary to further refine these forecasts and improve the model's utility to make future decisions. External peer review groups have also recommended additional updates.

The project's funding, which relies on both public and private sources, faces uncertainty, especially in a tight federal and state budget environment. Obtaining $38.7 billion in federal funding over the construction period is one of the biggest challenges to completing this project. In the latter stages, the Authority will also rely on $13.1 billion in private-sector financing, but will require more reliable operating cost estimates and revenue forecasts to determine whether, or the extent to which, the system will be profitable. The Authority's plan recognizes the uncertainty of the current funding environment and is building the project in phases. The Authority has also identified an alternative funding source. However, that funding source is also uncertain.

The Authority did a comprehensive job in identifying the potential economic impacts of the high-speed rail project. This includes identification of user impacts, such as effects on travel time reliability, and non-user impacts, such as effects on highway congestion. However, the nature of specific economic impacts will depend on a number of factors, including future project decisions. GAO also found limitations in the Authority's benefit-cost analysis of the project that could limit its usefulness to decision makers. Finally, GAO found that construction of the high-speed rail project will not eliminate the need for additional improvements to meet future statewide-travel demand, but current statewide- transportation assessments and planning have given little consideration to this issue."

Here is a link to the report: http://gao.gov/assets/660/653401.pdf

The LA Times also has an article about the report.

U.S. report backs bullet train revenue forecasts
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,3625147.story

Ragnar Mar 29, 2013 4:30 PM

High-speed rail's strongest backers now express reservations

The California bullet-train project has collided with farmers, political conservatives and wealthy suburbanites who would like to see the $68-billion system killed. Now it is facing tough criticism from an unlikely quarter: within the ranks of high-speed rail's true believers.

Some longtime backers of the project are objecting to political compromises that they say undermine legal safeguards for the massive investment, notably a design that would move passengers between urban destinations faster than air travel, as well as requirements intended to prevent a half-built system.

Among those raising objections is a Bay Area high-speed rail trailblazer who for decades played a pivotal role in building public and political support for the system. Quentin Kopp chaired the state Senate transportation committee for years and co-wrote legislation that launched the bullet-train project. He later served as board chairman of the state agency overseeing construction of the system.

But in a recent legal declaration, filed in a civil suit seeking to halt the project, Kopp, a retired judge, said the project as now planned violates the law underpinning $9.95 billion in state financing approved by voters in 2008. The declaration puts Kopp in the improbable position of supporting a suit by key rail antagonists: officials in Kings County and two farmers supported by powerful agriculture interests.

"They have just mangled this project," Kopp said. "They distorted it. We don't get a high-speed rail system. It is the great train robbery."

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,6470905.story

Rail>Auto Mar 29, 2013 4:45 PM

Will Amtrak still operate in California after this system is built?

202_Cyclist Mar 29, 2013 5:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rail>Auto (Post 6071468)
Will Amtrak still operate in California after this system is built?

Yes, Amtrak service will still continue in California.

New Calif. rail plan to make major improvements in Valley Amtrak

By Tim Sheehan
Fresno Bee
Sunday, Mar. 03, 2013

"While many are chattering about high-speed rail these days, state transportation leaders are quietly planning to drop more than $15 billion into California's existing Amtrak train service -- including a big chunk here in the Valley.

Improvements for Amtrak's San Joaquin line are forecast in a draft of a new statewide rail plan that the California Department of Transportation is circulating for public comment through March 11.

The plan offers a vision of how California's system of freight and passenger trains will look in 2020. In addition to high-speed rail -- construction is planned to start this summer in Fresno -- there are improvements to tracks, stations and other features of Amtrak routes and commuter train lines in the Sacramento/Stockton area, the San Francisco Peninsula and Southern California..."

http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/03/03/...ake-major.html

202_Cyclist Apr 12, 2013 4:00 PM

Brown wants China aboard California's high-speed rail project
 
Brown wants China aboard California's high-speed rail project
His trade mission is intersecting with one of the most controversial issues of his governorship: the state's $68-billion bullet train. He'd love China to pump some money into the troubled project.

By Anthony York
Los Angeles Times
April 11, 2013

"SHANGHAI — Gov. Jerry Brown's trade mission to China this week is intersecting with one of the most controversial issues of his governorship: California's $68-billion bullet train.

The governor has staked part of his legacy on the rail network, a centerpiece of his vision for California. He is hoping that China, which is enjoying an economic boom and spent $77.6 billion on overseas investments last year, according to official figures, will pump some of its cash into the troubled project.

Brown's top economic advisor and rail commission appointee, Mike Rossi, met in Beijing with Chinese investors eager for an update on its progress. And China's vice minister of commerce told a hotel ballroom packed with California government and business officials that his country wanted to explore "the possibility of investment in the high-speed rail project in California..."

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,1126817.story

dl3000 Apr 13, 2013 7:41 PM

Bad timing since it sounds like HSR is pretty unpopular in China these days what with the corruption and shoddy construction.

Busy Bee Apr 14, 2013 2:21 AM

The corruption and construction quality issues are a major issue and there is concern about access due to ticket costs, but that hardly makes their transformational hsr system "unpopular" w/ the Chinese public.

ardecila Apr 14, 2013 5:25 AM

America is pretty much the only country where a significant number of people think rail is obsolete.

In pretty much every other developed country, the question is not "should we invest in our rail system?" but instead "how much can we afford to invest in our rail system?"

As I've pointed out elsewhere, the ye olde Amtrak station phenomenon doesn't help this perception... much as Americans desire traditional architecture for their homes and town centers, they also expect modern, efficient systems of transportation to have modern design. American airports are pretty uniformly modern, because air travel is viewed as a quintessentially modern thing. I'm glad, too... our airports are world-class.

easy as pie Apr 14, 2013 6:51 AM

^ i'll vote for you

blackcat23 Apr 14, 2013 4:58 PM

http://www.cahsrblog.com/2013/04/chs...alley-section/

CHSRA Selects Tutor Perini-Zachry-Parsons Bid for Central Valley Section

by Robert Cruickshank

Quote:

Yesterday the California High Speed Rail Authority announced it had selected the bid from Tutor Perini-Zachry-Parsons for the Central Valley section of the construction project. Their bid was the lowest of the five, coming in at $985 million. It also received the lowest technical ranking.

The initial estimate from the Authority for the project cost was $1.2 billion to $1.8 billion. Three of the five bids did indeed fall into that range. A $985 million bid would be a big savings – assuming the cost estimate wasn’t low-balled in order to win the bid with the intent to make it up on the back end with change orders and cost overruns.

For some background on the bid groups, see this CAHSR blog post from last year. As to the bids themselves, based on the “Apparent Best Value Ranking” document, here’s how they stacked up:

Tutor Perini-Zachry-Parsons

Price: $985 million
Price score (70 points possible): 70
Technical score (30 points possible): 20.55
Total score (100 points possible): 90.55

Dragados-Samsung-Pulice

Price: $1.085 billion
Price score: 63.55
Technical score: 26.13
Total score: 89.68

California Backbone Builders (Ferrovial and Acciona)

Price: $1.365 billion
Price score: 50.49
Technical score: 27.71
Total score: 78.20

California High Speed Rail Partners (Fluor, Skanska, PCL)

Price: $1.263 billion
Price score: 54.59
Technical score: 27.71
Total score: 78.20

California High Speed Rail Ventures (Kiewit, Granite, Comsa)

Price: $1.537 billion
Price score: 44.87
Technical score: 21.41
Total score: 66.27
Perhaps their model places too much weight on the cost? $985 million is quite a bit under the anticipated budget, which makes you wonder if they'll try to make up some of the difference with cost overruns. They also selected the bid with the lowest technical score.

The second lowest bid was an extra $100 million, but seems like a much better value given the significantly higher technical score.

Then again, I'm just a layman observer. Perhaps the technical score isn't that important for this leg of the project?

ardecila Apr 15, 2013 2:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blackcat23 (Post 6090832)
The second lowest bid was an extra $100 million, but seems like a much better value given the significantly higher technical score.

Then again, I'm just a layman observer. Perhaps the technical score isn't that important for this leg of the project?

Companies having foreign experience with HSR are preferable, but the Central Valley segment is entirely over flat land and is not materially different from a highway project, other than the tighter curve restrictions (vertical/horizontal).

This contract is only for earthwork - grading, basically, including any berms or retaining walls, bridges, and viaducts. So, like a really narrow highway project. Track, signals, communications, electrification - not included.

Busy Bee Apr 15, 2013 2:31 PM

Yeah, i d wouldn't get too worried about the qualifications of this bid. Like said above, this contract has little to do with the expertise needed to actually make a hsr train go. If CHSRA can save 2/3 billion here, i cheer that.

202_Cyclist Jun 28, 2013 3:18 PM

Rep. Valadao erects another hurdle to high-speed rail
 
Next time Republican$ blather on and on and on about 'job-killing red tape,' feel free to ignore them. Similarly, when you here the GO(B)P go on and on and on about the environmental reviews for the Keystone Pipeline, similarly ignore them.


Rep. Valadao erects another hurdle to high-speed rail

Sacramento Bee
6/27/2013

http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalert...peed-rail.html

Alon Jun 28, 2013 10:06 PM

I just saw this now, a few months too late, but:

Quote:

Originally Posted by blackcat23 (Post 6090832)
Perhaps their model places too much weight on the cost? $985 million is quite a bit under the anticipated budget, which makes you wonder if they'll try to make up some of the difference with cost overruns. They also selected the bid with the lowest technical score.

The second lowest bid was an extra $100 million, but seems like a much better value given the significantly higher technical score.

Then again, I'm just a layman observer. Perhaps the technical score isn't that important for this leg of the project?

The bids were weighted 70% on cost and 30% on technical score.

For comparison, Madrid Metro's contracts are 50% technical score, 30% cost, and 20% construction time.

ardecila Jun 29, 2013 1:54 AM

As I mentioned, grading and earthwork for an HSR line across the Central Valley is not anywhere near the complexity level of an urban tunneling project.

dimondpark Aug 17, 2013 2:18 AM

stay classy cahsra

Quote:


Judge: California High-Speed Rail Authority violates initiative

By Juliet Williams

Associated Press

POSTED: 08/16/2013 05:07:14 PM PDT
UPDATED: 08/16/2013 06:38:44 PM PDT

SACRAMENTO -- A Sacramento County
judge ruled Friday that the agency
overseeing the California bullet train
failed to comply with the financial and
environmental requirements voters were
promised when they approved initial
funding for the project five years ago.

But rail officials said the project will
proceed as planned with a
groundbreaking this summer after
Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny said
the Legislature was within its authority
last year to approve the first $8 billion
phase of the project anyway.

Kenny said the rail authority "abused its
discretion by approving a funding plan
that did not comply with the
requirements of the law." After another
round of court briefs, the judge will hold
another hearing to determine whether to
penalize the California High-Speed Rail
Authority...

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-...tes-initiative


blackcat23 Oct 20, 2013 7:23 PM

http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...s-construction

High-speed rail construction begins in California with an uncertain future

Quote:

Trucks loaded with tomatoes, milk and almonds clog the two main highways that bisect California's farm heartland, carrying goods to millions along the Pacific coast and beyond. This dusty stretch of land is the starting point for one of the nation's most expensive public infrastructure projects: a $68bn high-speed rail system that would span the state, linking America's salad bowl to more jobs, opportunity and buyers.

Five years ago, California voters overwhelmingly approved a bullet train for the nation's most populous state. It would be America's first high-speed rail system, sold to the public as a way to improve access to well-paying jobs, cut pollution from smog-filled roadways, reduce time sitting in traffic, and provide an alternative to high fuel prices.

Now, engineering work has finally begun on the first 30-mile segment of track in Fresno, a city of 500,000 people with soaring unemployment and a withering downtown. Rail is meant to help this place, with construction jobs and improved access to opportunities once the job is complete. But the region that could benefit most from the project is also where opposition has grown most fierce.

StethJeff Oct 20, 2013 7:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blackcat23 (Post 6309420)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...s-construction

High-speed rail construction begins in California with an uncertain future

This sucks. Shortly after we voted for this, the news has been downhill. Cost increases, construction delays, track/speed compromises, and ultimately public opinion. I think most of us knew that this clusterfuck would happen and it likely would never get built but it still sucks to see that this'll probably go nowhere.

If it ever does somehow get built, it won't be in my lifetime, it'll be old technology by the time it's completed, and will have costed 3x what it ought to.

jg6544 Oct 20, 2013 8:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StethJeff (Post 6309462)
This sucks. Shortly after we voted for this, the news has been downhill. Cost increases, construction delays, track/speed compromises, and ultimately public opinion. I think most of us knew that this clusterfuck would happen and it likely would never get built but it still sucks to see that this'll probably go nowhere.

If it ever does somehow get built, it won't be in my lifetime, it'll be old technology by the time it's completed, and will have costed 3x what it ought to.

Sad, but true, I'm afraid.

Eightball Oct 20, 2013 10:05 PM

Huh? It will be built (already $15 billion plus allocated for it) and it will be a smashing success. It will touch metro areas of approximately 30 million - no concerns about ridership. Stop with the negativity!

M II A II R II K Oct 20, 2013 10:29 PM

Local opposition rises against Calif. high-speed rail as engineering begins in Central Valley

http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...2c7_story.html

Quote:

.....

Now, engineering work has finally begun on the first 30-mile (48-kilometer) segment of track here in Fresno, a city of a half-million people with soaring unemployment and a withering downtown core littered with abandoned factories and shuttered stores.

Rail is meant to help Fresno, with construction jobs now and improved access to economic opportunity once the project is finished. But the region that could benefit most from the project is also where opposition to it has grown most fierce.

“I just wish it would go away, this high-speed rail. I just wish it would go away,” says Gary Lanfranco, whose restaurant in downtown Fresno is slated to be demolished to make way for rerouted traffic.

Such sentiments can be heard throughout the Central Valley, where roads are dotted with signs such as: “HERE COMES HIGH SPEED RAIL There goes the farm.” Growers complain of misplaced priorities, and residents wonder if their tax money is being squandered.

.....



http://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/ima...JPEG-0e6cd.jpg

northbay Oct 20, 2013 11:41 PM

We're talking heavy red areas. They're against ANY change unless its lessening taxes.

Even if the project was "perfect", they'd be against it.

StethJeff Oct 21, 2013 1:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eightball (Post 6309557)
Huh? It will be built (already $15 billion plus allocated for it) and it will be a smashing success. It will touch metro areas of approximately 30 million - no concerns about ridership. Stop with the negativity!

I'm not confident that this will be the case :(

If the state's finances continue to blow, if the fed doesn't fully sign-on because of their own finances, if public approval dips into the 30s, if it turns out the cost estimates were way too low, if new technology emerges - I dunno, it just seems like any number of highly probable negative variables can derail (pun intended) this project. Even as a CA and CA bullet train superfan, it's hard to be confident about this.

ardecila Oct 21, 2013 2:03 AM

I don't understand the concerns over new technology. 220mph steel-on-steel HSR is a huge improvement for California over the status quo. Prop 1A requires a travel time of 2h40 LA-SF, which will be revolutionary in the context of California. Direct downtown-to-downtown service will stimulate true urban development and encourage businesses to relocate to urban centers.

It doesn't matter that Japan may roll out a maglev before that, or Elon Musk may roll out a hyperloop. 220mph rail is tried-and-tested technology, which means it's very low-risk if engineers don't get in their own way. It may even be possible to increase speeds in a few decades to 250mph, which is probably close to the limit of energy efficiency for steel-on-steel rail.

The cost overruns suck, but again, this is entirely California's own fault. The project has been set up as a colossal jobs program (and a handout to connected engineering firms/contractors) so the greater the cost, the better. There have been many stupid decisions... the biggest ones are in routing, where HSR will intentionally divert over the Tehachapis to serve Palmdale instead of taking a shorter Grapevine route paralleling I-5. Further north, planners chose to cross the Diablo Range at Pacheco Pass instead of Altamont, which means every train will stop at San Jose but massively increases costs. I'm glad CHSRA finally decided to go with a blended system on the Peninsula, but they're doing it all wrong by designing a weird and insanely expensive signaling system from scratch, instead of using off-the-shelf European systems.

fflint Oct 21, 2013 4:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6309727)
There have been many stupid decisions... the biggest ones are in routing, where HSR will intentionally divert over the Tehachapis to serve Palmdale instead of taking a shorter Grapevine route paralleling I-5.

The 5 runs up the Grapevine's 8% grade between the San Joaquin Valley and Tejon Pass. Engineers have always concluded that is too steep a grade for trains, so existing freight and passenger tracks were laid through the Tehachapi Pass to the east. That's CAHSR's planned route, and it will add 25 miles to the trip.

Quote:

Further north, planners chose to cross the Diablo Range at Pacheco Pass instead of Altamont, which means every train will stop at San Jose but massively increases costs.
I preferred the Altamont alignment for speed, but San Jose is not an unreasonable stop given Silicon Valley's economy and the fact its downtown Diridon Station is a major regional rail hub. It's served by VTA light rail and the ACE, Caltrain, and Capitol Corridor commuter rail lines. It is also planned to have BART service.

Quote:

I'm glad CHSRA finally decided to go with a blended system on the Peninsula, but they're doing it all wrong by designing a weird and insanely expensive signaling system from scratch, instead of using off-the-shelf European systems.
How far into the design are they? Dumb decision.

ltsmotorsport Oct 21, 2013 5:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fflint (Post 6309877)
The 5 runs up the Grapevine's 8% grade between the San Joaquin Valley and Tejon Pass. Engineers have always concluded that is too steep a grade for trains, so existing freight and passenger tracks were laid through the Tehachapi Pass to the east. That's CAHSR's planned route, and it will add 25 miles to the trip.

From the CAHSR Rail Blog: http://www.cahsrblog.com/2013/06/the-truth-about-tejon/

Some very good and well researched points in the embedded document about why Tejon Pass should be reconsidered, including the grade/terrain issues.

fflint Oct 21, 2013 5:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ltsmotorsport (Post 6309920)
From the CAHSR Rail Blog: http://www.cahsrblog.com/2013/06/the-truth-about-tejon/

Some very good and well researched points in the embedded document about why Tejon Pass should be reconsidered, including the grade/terrain issues.

One of the guys who writes that blog is a former forumer!

Anyway, don't get me wrong--I would prefer a Tejon Pass alignment for speed, just as I would prefer an Altamont alignment up here for speed.

ardecila Oct 21, 2013 8:24 AM

Planners avoided the Grapevine because all feasible alignments require taking (undeveloped) property from the well-connected developers of Tejon Ranch. All ~25 million annual riders will face the consequences in time lost.

I agree that San Jose should be linked into the system somehow, and maybe Palmdale too. I just think it would work better as a (non-high-speed) spur at lower cost. After Caltrain is upgraded, trips from Redwood City to San Jose will be quick, and you can time transfers so HSR passengers hop from one train to the other. Certain trips could even run directly to SJ instead of SF.

ltsmotorsport Oct 21, 2013 6:15 PM

The link I posted above references concerns about the Tejon Ranch property. There would have to be some serious negotiating to avoid any legal backlash.

Fflint, I figured that was your stance, but just thought I'd point out that the grade issue really isn't one. ;)

Leo the Dog Oct 22, 2013 5:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StethJeff (Post 6309462)
This sucks. Shortly after we voted for this, the news has been downhill. Cost increases, construction delays, track/speed compromises, and ultimately public opinion. I think most of us knew that this clusterfuck would happen and it likely would never get built but it still sucks to see that this'll probably go nowhere.

If it ever does somehow get built, it won't be in my lifetime, it'll be old technology by the time it's completed, and will have costed 3x what it ought to.

I agree with you. San Diego will never see HSR built here. I can think of so many better urban rail projects to be built in LA, SF and SD with $68 Billion (and going up!).

It's going to be on the slower side for HSR.

Eightball Oct 22, 2013 6:52 PM

^^I disagree with your negativity on the SD extension. Once the SF-LA initial segment is completed both SD (and Sacramento) are low-hanging fruit. Both have substantial populations that currently have substantial train ridership and frequencies, and the distances to both are not far.

Leo the Dog Oct 24, 2013 4:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eightball (Post 6311837)
^^I disagree with your negativity on the SD extension. Once the SF-LA initial segment is completed both SD (and Sacramento) are low-hanging fruit. Both have substantial populations that currently have substantial train ridership and frequencies, and the distances to both are not far.

Disagree. HSR from SD to LA has it going through riverside. The current surfliner is a direct connect and is sufficient. HSR will only shave off about 30 mins but cost tens of billions. The track mileage is 167 miles. Besides, once you get to either LA or SD, you'll have no where to go unless a comprehensive local rail system is built. That's where I'd focus $68 billion towards.

SD has many needs for local dollars to focus on local projects: the roads are crumbling, the schools are underfunded, etc. I just don't see San Diegans supporting a train to LA via Riverside in a future election here as we all know $68B will evaporate long before it reaches SD.

Eightball Oct 24, 2013 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leo the Dog (Post 6313763)
Disagree. HSR from SD to LA has it going through riverside. The current surfliner is a direct connect and is sufficient. HSR will only shave off about 30 mins but cost tens of billions. The track mileage is 167 miles. Besides, once you get to either LA or SD, you'll have no where to go unless a comprehensive local rail system is built. That's where I'd focus $68 billion towards.

I don't necessarily agree with your first sentence, but fair point. Second sentence - 167 miles won't cost tens of billions.

The rest is completely off, though. LA has almost 400k daily rail ridership at the present (and millions of bus ridership) and SD has 89k daily rail ridership. LA has the biggest rail expansion in the country going on right now and SD has active expansion happening at the present. And, of course, having HSR will provide a further impetus for more local public transit. Hardly "no where to go" as you wrote.

Finally, the billions given by the fed so far CANNOT be used for local transit, nor can any of the money approved by voters for HSR.

202_Cyclist Oct 25, 2013 4:40 PM

Union Station master plan
 
The CA High Speed Rail blog has a post about the LA Union Station master plan. While NIMBYs continue to fight this important infrastructure investment and while the Ayn Rand Republicans continue to try BS defund this, there is either construction or serious planning underway for three of the future high speed rail stations now.

http://www.cahsrblog.com/2013/10/uni...ted-bus-plaza/

202_Cyclist Nov 22, 2013 7:25 PM

Two busy Amtrak train lines set ridership records in California
 
Two busy Amtrak train lines set ridership records in California

By Dan Weikel
November 21, 2013
LA Times

"Amtrak-California set ridership records last year on two of its busiest long distance lines in the state — the Pacific Surfliner along the coast and the San Joaquin through the Central Valley.

Rail officials announced Thursday that the two lines, which are funded by Caltrans, carried almost 3.93 million passengers for the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2013. That represents an increase of more than 110,000 riders from the year before.

"In California, a rail renaissance is underway," Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said. "Train travel is increasingly seen as a smart option..."

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/l...#ixzz2lOO8RKjd

Eightball Nov 23, 2013 8:51 PM

Those ridership gains just bolster the arguments about how remarkably successful CAHSR will be.

Swede Nov 24, 2013 8:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 6349548)
Two busy Amtrak train lines set ridership records in California
By Dan Weikel
November 21, 2013
LA Times
"Rail officials announced Thursday that the two lines, which are funded by Caltrans, carried almost 3.93 million passengers for the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2013. That represents an increase of more than 110,000 riders from the year before."
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/l...#ixzz2lOO8RKjd

Unless my math is off, that's an increase of about 3%. Not bad! :)


Quote:

Originally Posted by Eightball (Post 6350643)
Those ridership gains just bolster the arguments about how remarkably successful CAHSR will be.

Yeah, and makes the case stronger for the need for the increase in capacity CAHSR will bring.

Leo the Dog Nov 25, 2013 11:19 PM

Judge stops bullet train in its tracks
 
Quote:

Judge stops bullet train in its tracks
By Juliet Williams, Associated Press 2:09 P.M.NOV. 25, 2013


A Sacramento judge on Monday tore up California's funding plans for its bullet train project in separate orders that could force the state to spend months or years redrawing its plans for the $68 billion rail line.

Judge Michael Kenny rejected a request from the California High-Speed Rail Authority to sell $8 billion of the $10 billion in bonds approved by voters in 2008, saying there was no evidence it was "necessary and desirable" to start selling the bonds when a committee of state officials met last March.

He said the committee was supposed to act as "the ultimate 'keeper of the checkbook'" for taxpayers, but instead relied on a request from the high-speed rail authority to start selling bonds as sufficient evidence to proceed.

In a separate lawsuit, Kenny ordered the rail authority to redo its $68 billion funding plan before continuing construction, a process that could take months or years. He had previously ruled that the authority abused its discretion by approving a funding plan that did not comply with the requirements of the law. The judge said the state failed to identify "sources of funds that were more than merely theoretically possible."

Proposition 1A, which voters approved in 2008, required the rail authority to specify the source of the funding for the first operable segment of the high-speed rail line — a 300 mile stretch — and have all the necessary environmental clearances in place. Kenny had said the agency did not comply with either mandate in approving the start of construction from Madera to Fresno, about 30 miles.

"The court said, look, you've only got 28 miles with completed environmental clearances. I order that you have to have 300 miles of environmental clearances," said Michael Brady, an attorney for Central Valley residents who had sued to halt the project. "It's taken them 5 years to do 28 miles, so how long will it take them to do 300 miles?"

Still, Kenny stopped short of blocking the project altogether, and rail authority officials characterized Monday's rulings as a setback rather than a fatal blow.

"Like all transformative projects, we understand that there will be many challenges that will be addressed as we go forward in building the nation's first high-speed rail system," authority board Chairman Dan Richard said in a written statement....
Source: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/...t-train-bonds/

phoenixboi08 Nov 26, 2013 1:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leo the Dog (Post 6352840)

So, essentially, they have to reconfigure their financing to account for all of the funds for the entire 300+mi rather than the initial segment, since Proposition 1A specifically mandates the full system?

I'm having trouble understanding what the actual ruling is here. That is to say, he didn't rule on whether the project would be cancelled or not, but upon whether the budget abided by what voters had voted for in 2008?


Quote:

Originally Posted by High-speed rail funding takes a big hit from Sacramento judge
Source: The Fresno Bee

Kenny's rulings, however, do not bar the state from selling the bonds. Nor did he order the rail authority to rescind its approval of contracts for work on the first 29-mile construction stretch from northeast Madera to the south edge of Fresno or block the state from spending federal stimulus or transportation money on the project.

What I gather from these two rulings are that 1) they can't currently use the bonds appropriated for the project under Prop 1A and 2) before they are able to, they'll first need to "certify completion of all of the environmental clearances needed for its 'initial operating segment'". Though, the caveat here is that... "the judge did not invalidate the bonds, he did not invalidate any of the contracts, and he refused to approve a restraining order against the project" (Rod Diridon Sr.).

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/11/25/...#storylink=cpy

By all effects, I'm still struggling to see how this ruling itself does anything to "cancel" the project. Really, what the implication is is that they won't be able to make use of the Federal funds as it requires matching funds from the State, which the authority can't access at the moment under the current ruling.

This will be interesting to watch going forward.

202_Cyclist Dec 9, 2013 9:43 PM

State seeks to condemn first Fresno sites for high speed rail project
 
State seeks to condemn first Fresno sites for high speed rail project

Fresno Bee
Dec. 8, 2013
By Tim Sheehan

http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/12/08/...sites-for.html

Cirrus Dec 10, 2013 1:39 AM

Recent posts discussing the merits of this project were moved to the appropriate thread.

twoNeurons Dec 21, 2013 9:50 AM

A few videos from the Japan California HSR Consortium:

Video Link


Maintenance of E6 at Akita:

Video Link


Boarding at Morioka, in-train amenities, and in-cab footage:

Video Link
[/QUOTE]

Busy Bee Dec 21, 2013 2:56 PM

IF that girl was ugly I'd be thinking this group has no credibility at all.

202_Cyclist Jan 10, 2014 4:56 PM

Gov. Brown wants to tap cap-and-trade funds for bullet train
 
Gov. Brown wants to tap cap-and-trade funds for bullet train

By Ralph Vartabedian and Chris Megerian
January 7, 2014, 10:06 p.m.
LA Times

"Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to provide urgently needed new funding for California's bullet train project from corporate fees on greenhouse gases melds two of his political passions: building the nation's first, truly high-speed rail system and putting the state at the forefront of the battle against global warming.

The bullet train system suffered a series of legal blows last year that blocked $9 billion in state funding, sending Brown and his allies on a search for a new source of funds. This week, Brown plans to announce a new strategy to keep the project moving: dipping into hundreds of millions of dollars in fees collected from businesses whose carbon dioxide emissions exceed state limits.

But he may be trading one set of legal and political problems for another.."

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-b...#axzz2q10E71J4

202_Cyclist Jan 28, 2014 4:20 PM

Amtrak, California authority issue combined RFP for high-speed trains
 
Amtrak, California authority issue combined RFP for high-speed trains

Progressive Railroading
Jan. 27, 2014

"Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) have issued a request for proposals to build high-speed trainsets for use on the Northeast Corridor and California's new high-speed rail system, officials from both organizations announced on Friday.

Amtrak is seeking up to 28 high-speed trainsets, each with 400 to 450 seats, which can meet or exceed current Acela Express trip-times on the existing Northeast Corridor (NEC) infrastructure between Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston. The authority is seeking an initial order of 15 trainsets with a minimum of 450 seats that can meet its planned trip-time requirements for high-speed service from the San Francisco area to Los Angeles, Amtrak and CHSRA officials said in a press release.

"Combing orders between Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority will generate economies of scale and make it more attractive for high-speed rail manufacturers to build factories here and in the USA, bringing new high-quality jobs and creating ripple effects throughout our domestic supply chain," Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo said in a prepared statement..."

http://www.progressiverailroading.co...-trains--39223


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