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Car(e)-Free LA Jun 6, 2018 10:02 PM

Villaraigosa lost so we're all screwed with HSR.

jmecklenborg Jun 6, 2018 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SoCalKid (Post 8211014)
Interesting, so if this is correct, the capacity will be roughly double what's been discussed the past few pages?

Yes. The max capacity of the system is gigantic. 252 scheduled trains per day. So single-length trains would mean a daily system capacity of a little over 100,000 passengers. Doubling the train lengths obviously doubles the maximum capacity. Type whatever average ticket price you think the thing is going to have into a calculator and you'll see quite quickly that annual revenue will be in the billions.

The other really interesting point is that NoCal trains will sleep overnight in Gilroy. There will be 4 revenue service trains between 6am and 7am that will serve Gilroy, San Jose, SFO, and SF Transbay. So it absolutely will be possible to commute between Gilroy and downtown SF using HSR instead of Caltrains (although the fare will likely be higher). Caltrains is planning limited stop service after electrification and its trains will operate at the same speed as HSR but there will be at minimum 5-6 stops versus just 2.

A mirror operation will occur in Palmdale. So SoCal's trains will be stored overnight in Palmdale and shoot into LA and Anneheim starting at 6am with only one stop at Burbank Airport. So here we will really see commuting into DT LA enabled by HSR since there will be no competing service on the same track ala Caltrains.

The thing I'm worried about with this system is that it's going to be so big-time with the daily schedule so jam-packed that a slight disruption will cause a wave that the schedule can't recover from.

With time they'll be able to anticipate which trains should be double-length. The published schedule was very complicated so I couldn't figure it out but I would assume that if they send a double-length train out for the day it will be slotted for the bigger runs. What you don't want is a 1/4-full double-length train because the wear on the vehicles and the track is significant.

My guess is that zero double-length trains will run between SF and Sacramento and between LA and Sacramento.

SoCalKid Jun 7, 2018 12:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8212389)
Yes. The max capacity of the system is gigantic. 252 scheduled trains per day. So single-length trains would mean a daily system capacity of a little over 100,000 passengers. Doubling the train lengths obviously doubles the maximum capacity. Type whatever average ticket price you think the thing is going to have into a calculator and you'll see quite quickly that annual revenue will be in the billions.

The other really interesting point is that NoCal trains will sleep overnight in Gilroy. There will be 4 revenue service trains between 6am and 7am that will serve Gilroy, San Jose, SFO, and SF Transbay. So it absolutely will be possible to commute between Gilroy and downtown SF using HSR instead of Caltrains (although the fare will likely be higher). Caltrains is planning limited stop service after electrification and its trains will operate at the same speed as HSR but there will be at minimum 5-6 stops versus just 2.

A mirror operation will occur in Palmdale. So SoCal's trains will be stored overnight in Palmdale and shoot into LA and Anneheim starting at 6am with only one stop at Burbank Airport. So here we will really see commuting into DT LA enabled by HSR since there will be no competing service on the same track ala Caltrains.

The thing I'm worried about with this system is that it's going to be so big-time with the daily schedule so jam-packed that a slight disruption will cause a wave that the schedule can't recover from.

With time they'll be able to anticipate which trains should be double-length. The published schedule was very complicated so I couldn't figure it out but I would assume that if they send a double-length train out for the day it will be slotted for the bigger runs. What you don't want is a 1/4-full double-length train because the wear on the vehicles and the track is significant.

My guess is that zero double-length trains will run between SF and Sacramento and between LA and Sacramento.

Great to hear, thanks for the breakdown!!

On another note, the same articles that stated that the platform lengths would be shortened also stated that the operating speeds would be dropped to 200mph. The 2018 business plan contradicts both of those points. These articles were from 2016, so my guess is that these decisions were reversed in the 2018 business plan versus the 2016 one.

SoCalKid Jun 7, 2018 12:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Car(e)-Free LA (Post 8212271)
Villaraigosa lost so we're all screwed with HSR.

I'd argue the takeaway from last night's election was the exact opposite. The big threat to HSR was Prop 70, which would have effectively allowed Republicans to cut off HSR from cap and trade funding in 2024. Since that was voted down, HSR is all but guaranteed cap and trade funding until 2030. Now, the Democratic state house, senate, AND the governor would have to actively vote to redirect funding in order to stop revenue from going to HSR. 25% of cap and trade funds go directly to HSR outside of the appropriations process without the need for any votes. That's a massive win.

northbay Jun 7, 2018 2:54 AM

The CAHSR Blog (http://www.cahsrblog.com) has a good analysis of the election results and the impact on California high-speed rail.

Busy Bee Jun 7, 2018 3:50 AM

Holy shit! CAHSRBlog is back! I had no idea!

jmecklenborg Jun 7, 2018 5:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SoCalKid (Post 8212494)
Great to hear, thanks for the breakdown!!

On another note, the same articles that stated that the platform lengths would be shortened also stated that the operating speeds would be dropped to 200mph. The 2018 business plan contradicts both of those points. These articles were from 2016, so my guess is that these decisions were reversed in the 2018 business plan versus the 2016 one.

Yeah I think we read the same stuff.

The other interesting feature of the timetable is that the express travel time between SF and LA and SJ and LA will be equal. I don't know of politicians got involved but basically the situation is that there will be no true express for the LA-bound trains that originate in San Jose. They will stop 2-3 times in the central valley and that will add enough time to where those two travel times will be virtually equal.

But since all trains will stop in San Jose, the express trains between SF and LA will have a significantly faster SJ-LA run.

Also, 30+ years from now, a second HSR mainline paralleling I-5 would be 30~ miles shorter but inevitably involve San Jose as a hub once again. San Jose's position can only get stronger as HSR grows, and SF real estate interests can't be liking that.

wiseguy205 Jul 21, 2018 12:28 AM

July Aerials
 
There's a pretty solid construction update on their Flickr page. 28 aerial photos of most of the Package 1 construction.

July Aerials on Flickr

BrownTown Jul 22, 2018 2:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wiseguy205 (Post 8257288)
There's a pretty solid construction update on their Flickr page. 28 aerial photos of most of the Package 1 construction.

July Aerials on Flickr

The way this is being build is just so backwards. Normally you start on the most difficult sections first since they will take longer to build, but CAHSR is building the simplest sections first which means much longer delays getting the whole system up and running.

Busy Bee Jul 22, 2018 2:44 PM

Do you have an allergic inability to say anything positive about this project? Also, you are completely wrong regarding the construction strategy. When political consensus is weak and funds limited, it absolutely makes the most sense to make real progress on the easiest and most obtainable segments, and for the CHSR right now, that means in the flat Central Valley. Starting out building ten mile long tunnels that most would never see would be strategically incompetent. People start to say wow when the skyscraper reaches twenty floors not when the caissons are being drilled in the basement, if you will. The sight of highly visible and tangible progress will propel further public and political support in a way that hidden work under a mountain will not.

Barbarossa Jul 22, 2018 3:10 PM

It would have been better to focus on inner city mass transit like subways, commuter rail, and light rail instead of an intercity train. I don't think high speed rail is going to do much to densify the inner cities. Most congestion in the cities are due to commuters and people who live in the city, not travellers from out of town.

Busy Bee Jul 22, 2018 3:21 PM

The mitigating goal of HSR in California is not to "densify" inner cities or alleviate intra-city congestion, it is to provide fast intercity travel that will alleviate highway and airport expansion requirements and create economic stimulation through sustainable connectivity to California's population centers and to bring us into the goddamn 21st CENTURY!

northbay Jul 22, 2018 4:53 PM

Seriously! Third world countries have HSR now!

Here locally, there were many naysayers with the SMART train. We built it, it’s a success, and now all the naysayers have completely disappeared! (And now we are expanding it!)

mousquet Jul 22, 2018 5:01 PM

I went to CA. I traveled all the Californian coast from SF to LA. Some of their highways are super wide. Especially when you drive by LA. The widest I've seen in my life. I even forget the number of lanes...

It clearly doesn't work as a standalone solution. You still get stuck in traffic over there, no matter how huge their highways are.

Over here, we've been advertising competition between any transit means. Cars, buses, trams, trains, planes...
We've been leaving ideology behind and just would pick the most efficient. I think that will work for us all.

I think what BrownTown has basically complaining about is the cost of the workforce in the US.
Well, I wish the French workers had the same purchasing power as the American ones. Our unions here have done a poor job in defending workers' interests.
They've been too busy at politics and ideology, serving their so-called leftist ideals and forgetting about purchasing power on the ground.
That's silly, ineffective. Now many workers are pissed and vote for the retarded far right in this country.

It seems to me we could find some very great system by mixing some Fr and US principles.
More competition, and higher purchasing power.

phoenixboi08 Aug 27, 2018 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8258225)
The way this is being build is just so backwards. Normally you start on the most difficult sections first since they will take longer to build, but CAHSR is building the simplest sections first which means much longer delays getting the whole system up and running.

Look, here's the thing: They have to build operable segments. The IOS is the minimum-operating segment (that is, the thing which on it's own gives them the most runway to work with for beginning passenger services).

There are myriad interim solutions to complement IOS services (ie. Bakersfield-Madera using the San Joaquin at the N and S ends of the system to reach Stockton/Oakland and LA, for one example).

There is a State Rail plan in process, as well as significant improvements to the major regional railways (ie. Caltrain, Metrolink) that again allow some piggybacking.

Essentially, the Authority has enough cash on hand to build the IOS and to -- potentially, although most indications are that they should be able to -- get to San Jose.

In the meantime, they can actually begin generating revenue (and profit) and tapping into that to access financing to continue construction and expansion.

This is virtually the method by which all of these types of networks are rolled out -- whether by private financing or public funding.

Somehow, when All Aboard does it, it's some miraculous thing. When CAHSRA does it, it's foolish :whistle:

Sun Belt Aug 27, 2018 1:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mousquet (Post 8258323)
I went to CA. I traveled all the Californian coast from SF to LA. Some of their highways are super wide. Especially when you drive by LA. The widest I've seen in my life. I even forget the number of lanes...

It clearly doesn't work as a standalone solution. You still get stuck in traffic over there, no matter how huge their highways are.

It sounds like you were on the 405. L.A. is actually underserved by freeways and ranks below many of it's peers in freeway lanes per capita. Much of the mid-century freeway plan was never completed. L.A. traffic and congestion is awful because the extensive rail system that once existed was scrapped and was to be replaced by a huge freeway network [see map below], which was never finished, scaled back and entire freeways eliminated. Double whammy.

The 5 freeway just south of downtown is only 3 lanes in each direction, that it until a massive project finished up. It is a huge bottleneck and soon that'll finally be upgraded to today's standards. The cost to build a freeway in L.A. increased 6 times from 1960 to 1980.

http://www.trbimg.com/img-54504196/t...y-freeways/720
L.A. Times graphic

BrownTown Aug 27, 2018 4:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 (Post 8294933)
In the meantime, they can actually begin generating revenue (and profit) and tapping into that to access financing to continue construction and expansion.

This is virtually the method by which all of these types of networks are rolled out -- whether by private financing or public funding.

Somehow, when All Aboard does it, it's some miraculous thing. When CAHSRA does it, it's foolish :whistle:

1. It won't generate profit because it won't go anywhere so there will be no demand for it.

2. Even if it did generate a profit that meager earnings would take decades or more to raise enough money to even think about building the most expensive parts of the system.

3. No, other countries don't ave 50+ year plans for building a single rail line; they just build it. If CAHSR were in China it would have been operating end to end for years at this point.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sun Belt (Post 8295026)
It sounds like you were on the 405. L.A. is actually underserved by freeways and ranks below many of it's peers in freeway lanes per capita. Much of the mid-century freeway plan was never completed. L.A. traffic and congestion is awful because the extensive rail system that once existed was scrapped and was to be replaced by a huge freeway network [see map below], which was never finished, scaled back and entire freeways eliminated. Double whammy.

Yeah, virtually all the examples of the worst traffic in cities is where there was a plan to build one or more additional freeways which eventually got scrapped due to NIMBYism. Oftentimes you can literally see the exact route that was going to be taken but now it's been filled in with parks and/or houses. It's silly how people get highway projects canceled and then point at the traffic on the existing highways as proof highways don't work. No, they didn't work because you canceled the highway that was supposed to relieve this issue.. Not saying highways are the be all end all, but they serve a vital purpose. Most anti-highway people don't seem to understand that transit mode you use has to be tailored to the density of the area. You can't just shoehorn rail into sparse suburbs.

jmecklenborg Aug 27, 2018 8:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8295160)
1. It won't generate profit because it won't go anywhere so there will be no demand for it.

If Clinton had been elected instead of Trump, we likely would have already seen additional federal funding allocated to California. We're likely going to see Trump booted an a Democrat in the White House in 2020 along with at least one house of Congress going D. So it's possible that a contentious second public vote in California will be avoided and the Bakersfield-LA-Anaheim connection will be built with a new infusion of federal funds.

jmecklenborg Aug 27, 2018 9:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8295160)
1. it won't go anywhere

The Central Valley cities and counties, cumulatively, have just about as many residents as the Bay Area. 6~ million versus 7~ million, depending on what, specifically, is counted.

The Central Valley has roughly the same population as the 15th biggest of our 50 United States.

ardecila Aug 28, 2018 12:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8295160)
Yeah, virtually all the examples of the worst traffic in cities is where there was a plan to build one or more additional freeways which eventually got scrapped due to NIMBYism. Oftentimes you can literally see the exact route that was going to be taken but now it's been filled in with parks and/or houses. It's silly how people get highway projects canceled and then point at the traffic on the existing highways as proof highways don't work. No, they didn't work because you canceled the highway that was supposed to relieve this issue..

Plenty of US cities built virtually the entire freeway systems with no cancellations. Dallas, Houston, or Kansas City come to mind.

Quote:

Not saying highways are the be all end all, but they serve a vital purpose. Most anti-highway people don't seem to understand that transit mode you use has to be tailored to the density of the area. You can't just shoehorn rail into sparse suburbs.
You could say something similar about building freeways through dense cities, which are the canceled projects you're shedding tears for.

jtown,man Aug 28, 2018 12:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8295557)
If Clinton had been elected instead of Trump, we likely would have already seen additional federal funding allocated to California. We're likely going to see Trump booted an a Democrat in the White House in 2020 along with at least one house of Congress going D. So it's possible that a contentious second public vote in California will be avoided and the Bakersfield-LA-Anaheim connection will be built with a new infusion of federal funds.

Yay I can't wait for my Federal money to go to a single rail line in California for the upper-middle class and rich people. What an awesome cause...

jmecklenborg Aug 28, 2018 1:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8295865)
Yay I can't wait for my Federal money to go to a single rail line in California for the upper-middle class and rich people. What an awesome cause...

Free federal money goes to airports all the time. In my city we had a $200 million runway built by the feds in 2005...just in time for Delta to move its hub to Detroit. Total flights at the airport dropped by 50%.

Rail and transit projects always get 100x more scrutiny than highway and airport projects.

BrownTown Aug 28, 2018 2:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 8295834)
You could say something similar about building freeways through dense cities, which are the canceled projects you're shedding tears for.

Actually it was often the other way around. The interstate through the city got built, but then the one through the rich suburbs didn't due to NIMBYs having much more power in rich suburbs. Atlanta is a good example of a city with all it's traffic shoved straight through downtown because a bypass in the more suburban areas was never built.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8295865)
Yay I can't wait for my Federal money to go to a single rail line in California for the upper-middle class and rich people. What an awesome cause...

IKR. Just what we need, more federal dollars going to a white elephant that serves no purpose whatsoever.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8295933)
Free federal money goes to airports all the time. In my city we had a $200 million runway built by the feds in 2005...just in time for Delta to move its hub to Detroit. Total flights at the airport dropped by 50%.

Rail and transit projects always get 100x more scrutiny than highway and airport projects.

I'm all for increasing the fees airports can charge airlines. Gotta take that up with the Feds though. Also there is a little bit of a caveat with the highway funding. The money for highway projects is supposed to be paid out of the gas tax which is a user fee on those who drive. So, in theory, people who take transit wouldn't be paying for those highway projects at all which isn't true the other way around. I do realize that the gas tax hasn't been raised in a long time and is now not raising sufficient money, but most people likely aren't aware that we need to triple the gas tax (and would shoot any politician who suggested such a thing).

jmecklenborg Aug 28, 2018 3:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8295999)
The money for highway projects is supposed to be paid out of the gas tax which is a user fee on those who drive. So, in theory, people who take transit wouldn't be paying for those highway projects at all which isn't true the other way around. I do realize that the gas tax hasn't been raised in a long time and is now not raising sufficient money, but most people likely aren't aware that we need to triple the gas tax (and would shoot any politician who suggested such a thing).

The federal gasoline tax isn't being raised because the Republicans are trying to force the interstate highway system into private ownership. They are creating an artificial crisis so that Wall St. can buy the highways for much less than what they are actually worth. So the interstates will be like the railroads have always been. They're already tricking the states into leasing turnpikes and doing P3's on bridge projects and needless rural bypasses.

jtown,man Aug 28, 2018 3:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8295933)
Free federal money goes to airports all the time. In my city we had a $200 million runway built by the feds in 2005...just in time for Delta to move its hub to Detroit. Total flights at the airport dropped by 50%.

Rail and transit projects always get 100x more scrutiny than highway and airport projects.

True. But airports are universally more usable to the average public. They are a necessity when traveling overseas. I can get a ticket under 200 dollars to vegas. A train ticket would be like 1500 dollars or something crazy.

I have zero issue with the Feds giving money out fairly for cities to expand their transit systems. I've made this point endlessly but the HSR in California will not be a commuter train to relieve housing pressure in SF. It wont be used by anyone but the better-off. And they will use it just as a substitute to flying.

jtown,man Aug 28, 2018 3:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8296049)
The federal gasoline tax isn't being raised because the Republicans are trying to force the interstate highway system into private ownership. They are creating an artificial crisis so that Wall St. can buy the highways for much less than what they are actually worth. So the interstates will be like the railroads have always been. They're already tricking the states into leasing turnpikes and doing P3's on bridge projects and needless rural bypasses.

You realize the Democrats have had power on and off for the last 30 years, right? Its so tiring hearing political posturing on issues like this. Democrats in Washington share a lot less enthusiasm than say Democrats in San Francisco for raising gas taxes.

jmecklenborg Aug 28, 2018 4:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8296071)
You realize the Democrats have had power on and off for the last 30 years, right? Its so tiring hearing political posturing on issues like this. Democrats in Washington share a lot less enthusiasm than say Democrats in San Francisco for raising gas taxes.

That's simply not correct. Since the Newt Gingrich takeover circa 1995, Democrats have only controlled the White House and both houses of Congress for two years, the first two years of Obama's presidency. So only 2 years out of the past 23~. Those were the two years immediately following the economic collapse and Republicans endlessly derided the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act that funneled a lot of money directly to cities, bypassing the hostile Republican-controlled state governments.

California got a ton of money for HSR out of that so-called "stimulus package", including rail money that was allocated to Wisconsin and my home state of Ohio. When Kasich (and fellow tea partier Scott Walker) was elected in 2010 he rejected that Obama stumulus money for a new rail service in Ohio and the FRA re-allocated most of the returned $400 million to California.

jmecklenborg Aug 28, 2018 5:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8296065)
True. But airports are universally more usable to the average public. They are a necessity when traveling overseas. I can get a ticket under 200 dollars to vegas. A train ticket would be like 1500 dollars or something crazy.

Airline travel in the United States is heavily subsidized. The airplanes themselves, manufactured either by Boeing [http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...28-story.html] or Airbus, are heavily subsidized. The airports are subsidized. The fuel is subsidized. The roads leading to the airports are subsidized. Airlines often pay their pilots crap wages [http://www.slate.com/articles/busine...ine_jobs.html]. It's not a level playing field, because that's what capitalism so often is in America -- an artificially uneven playing field that presents itself as being good and honest. But moreover, trains vs. jets is a false dichotomy.

And since you love airplanes so much, you will be happy to hear that CAHSR will serve SFO. So people in Fresno, Bakersfield, etc., will be able to take a 60-minute train ride to SFO and they fly away to Japan or Australia or wherever instead of having to drive there. It'll take an hour to get to LAX from LA Union Station on light rail, but at least that will become an option for the first time.

phoenixboi08 Aug 28, 2018 9:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8295160)
1. It won't generate profit because it won't go anywhere so there will be no demand for it.

2. Even if it did generate a profit that meager earnings would take decades or more to raise enough money to even think about building the most expensive parts of the system.

3. No, other countries don't ave 50+ year plans for building a single rail line; they just build it. If CAHSR were in China it would have been operating end to end for years at this point.


1. Just because you think it won't, doesn't mean it won't -- As I pointed out, there are plans to get interim service to the Peninsula from Madera, which is the only part that's up-in-the-air at this point. They have several options...

2. No...even by their most conservative ridership estimates, they can fully finance the rest of the system, because any credit they attempt to access will be based on the potential future ridership, not current. Or are you really saying that the Authority wouldn't be able to demonstrate the gains from completing the system to LA?

3. It isn't 50 years. It's been under construction for 3-4 years at this point... Timelines are fungible; they depend on financing schedules and public funding. China took more than 30-40 years to complete the Beijing-Shanghai line: They just planned and phased the entire national network in bits and pieces to complete these national lines. None of the major N-S, E-W corridors were completed in anything like 5 years.


Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8295865)
Yay I can't wait for my Federal money to go to a single rail line in California for the upper-middle class and rich people. What an awesome cause...

What....? How does that even make sense?

You're saying that a statewide, inter-city system will only be used by...rich people?

As opposed to, what, the bulk of business travelers currently shuttling between LAX/SFO? Caltrain? Private/corporate bus shuttles?

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8296065)
True. But airports are universally more usable to the average public. They are a necessity when traveling overseas. I can get a ticket under 200 dollars to vegas. A train ticket would be like 1500 dollars or something crazy.

Again...huh?
Nothing indicates fares being anywhere near $1500.

BrownTown Aug 28, 2018 2:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 (Post 8296216)

Pretty sure he's talking about Amtrak, not CAHSR ( obviously since it doesn't go to Vegas). At any rate if you look at the cost from LA to San fran I'd guess it will be somewhere between $500 - $1000. Then the question becomes how much will California subsidize it? I'm sure a lot, but still can't see a ticket costing less than $250. That's why it will only be for the rich. Those of more modest means will fly or drive.

jmecklenborg Aug 28, 2018 3:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8296382)
Pretty sure he's talking about Amtrak, not CAHSR ( obviously since it doesn't go to Vegas). At any rate if you look at the cost from LA to San fran I'd guess it will be somewhere between $500 - $1000. Then the question becomes how much will California subsidize it? I'm sure a lot, but still can't see a ticket costing less than $250. That's why it will only be for the rich. Those of more modest means will fly or drive.


A passenger is on a HSR train for much less time to cover the same distance. So staffing costs are much lower (although maintenance and electricity costs are likely much higher). The same train and same crew can make several cross-state trips per day whereas a traditional passenger train can hardly make it from LA to SF and back in 24 hours due to track conditions.

BrownTown Aug 28, 2018 9:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8296437)
A passenger is on a HSR train for much less time to cover the same distance. So staffing costs are much lower (although maintenance and electricity costs are likely much higher). The same train and same crew can make several cross-state trips per day whereas a traditional passenger train can hardly make it from LA to SF and back in 24 hours due to track conditions.

The problem isn't paying the crew, it's paying off the $100,000,000,000 capital costs.

sopas ej Aug 28, 2018 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8296382)
Pretty sure he's talking about Amtrak, not CAHSR ( obviously since it doesn't go to Vegas).

He was talking about flying from wherever he lives to Vegas. This is his quote:


Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8296065)
True. But airports are universally more usable to the average public. They are a necessity when traveling overseas. I can get a ticket under 200 dollars to vegas. A train ticket would be like 1500 dollars or something crazy.

And he has this unfounded idea that a high speed train ticket would cost 1500 bucks and only rich people would use it. Where is *that* coming from, I wonder?

BrownTown Aug 28, 2018 10:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 8296958)
He was talking about flying from wherever he lives to Vegas. This is his quote:

And he has this unfounded idea that a high speed train ticket would cost 1500 bucks and only rich people would use it. Where is *that* coming from, I wonder?

He's talking about the difference between the two. And he's right. If I look at the price for a ticket from here to Reno (Amtrak doesn't go to Vegas so far as I can tell) it's $1000-$1500 round trip by rail or $500 by plane. Do you people ever even use HSR? You don't exactly see a lot of poor people on the Acela or Eurostar etc because they cost hundreds of dollars unless you get an off-peak time months in advance.

jmecklenborg Aug 28, 2018 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8296937)
The problem isn't paying the crew, it's paying off the $100,000,000,000 capital costs.

The authority has only spent a fraction of that sum so far, well under $10 billion, and they do not have to repay the federal grants, which to date comprise about $5 billion. The initial operating segment is going to cost about $6 billion. Obviously, the connection to Gilroy/San Jose is going to be much more expensive than that because of the big tunnel and because they will have to buy dedicated HSR trains, but the fact is that to date relatively little money has been spent relative to the doomsday figures trumpted by the haters.

Another factor ignored by the haters is the complication involved in acquiring the trains because of Made in USA stipulations from the federal grants. Getting Florida and Texas to build their systems to the same specs would help justify establishment of a HSR train and parts industry in the United States. Instead, California and Texas are almost certain to buy their trains from overseas but then have compatibility problems with the USA parts.

Where I live we have had chronic trouble with Spanish-made CAF vehicles that were outfitted with American parts that don't quite match the manufacturer specs.

jmecklenborg Aug 28, 2018 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8297034)
You don't exactly see a lot of poor people on the Acela or Eurostar etc because they cost hundreds of dollars unless you get an off-peak time months in advance.

So are you anti-airport because poor people rarely fly?

I took Amtrak two years ago from Ohio to Baltimore for like $200 round-trip. Yes, I bought the ticket in advance. You can get an advance Greyhound ticket from here to California for a similar sum.

When I rode the TGV in France I didn't spend a lot of time worrying about what sort of people were on or not on the train. I do recall a bunch of school kids boarding at one point.

jtown,man Aug 29, 2018 2:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 (Post 8296216)
1. Just because you think it won't, doesn't mean it won't -- As I pointed out, there are plans to get interim service to the Peninsula from Madera, which is the only part that's up-in-the-air at this point. They have several options...

2. No...even by their most conservative ridership estimates, they can fully finance the rest of the system, because any credit they attempt to access will be based on the potential future ridership, not current. Or are you really saying that the Authority wouldn't be able to demonstrate the gains from completing the system to LA?

3. It isn't 50 years. It's been under construction for 3-4 years at this point... Timelines are fungible; they depend on financing schedules and public funding. China took more than 30-40 years to complete the Beijing-Shanghai line: They just planned and phased the entire national network in bits and pieces to complete these national lines. None of the major N-S, E-W corridors were completed in anything like 5 years.




What....? How does that even make sense?

You're saying that a statewide, inter-city system will only be used by...rich people?

As opposed to, what, the bulk of business travelers currently shuttling between LAX/SFO? Caltrain? Private/corporate bus shuttles?





Again...huh?
Nothing indicates fares being anywhere near $1500.

I am talking about Amtrak. A ticket from Norfolk to Vegas(according to their website) is 1050 one way.

And yes. Poor and lower middle class people either don't travel or use a car or bus.

BrownTown Aug 29, 2018 2:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8297086)
The authority has only spent a fraction of that sum so far, well under $10 billion, and they do not have to repay the federal grants, which to date comprise about $5 billion. The initial operating segment is going to cost about $6 billion. Obviously, the connection to Gilroy/San Jose is going to be much more expensive than that because of the big tunnel and because they will have to buy dedicated HSR trains, but the fact is that to date relatively little money has been spent relative to the doomsday figures trumpted by the haters.

1. Whether they have to pay it back or not doesn't change the fact that it's a massive waste of money.

2. The fact they have spent so little money is an example of how terrible this project is, not how great it is. They're progressing at a snails pace which is the only reason so "little" money has been spent.

3. The "doomsday" scenarios you speak of are the projects own projections. Any any fools knows if they say 85 Billion then it's 100 Billion at a minimum. All big infrastructure projects blow their budgets out like this, only a fool would think CAHSR would be an exception (especially after all the cost increases so far).

4. The only reason the price hasn't been completely blown out is because they keep scaling back the scope of the project. They've already drastically reduced the speed of the overall system and the length of the trains it can handle. It's comparing apples to oranges to look at the original estimate and the current proposed system.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8297086)
Another factor ignored by the haters is the complication involved in acquiring the trains because of Made in USA stipulations from the federal grants. Getting Florida and Texas to build their systems to the same specs would help justify establishment of a HSR train and parts industry in the United States. Instead, California and Texas are almost certain to buy their trains from overseas but then have compatibility problems with the USA parts.

The costs of the trainsets themselves is more or less insignificant compared to the cost of the infrastructure. This is not any signification portion of the issue even if we can all agree FRA standards are stupid.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8297091)
So are you anti-airport because poor people rarely fly?

Huh?

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8297091)
I took Amtrak two years ago from Ohio to Baltimore for like $200 round-trip. Yes, I bought the ticket in advance. You can get an advance Greyhound ticket from here to California for a similar sum.

That's nice and all, but that isn't a high speed route. Acela is much more expensive per mile and CAHSR will be vastly more expensive than Acela.

SIGSEGV Aug 29, 2018 2:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8297214)
I am talking about Amtrak. A ticket from Norfolk to Vegas(according to their website) is 1050 one way.

And yes. Poor and lower middle class people either don't travel or use a car or bus.

Huh? I just looked for Friday and it's $349 (bus to Newport News, train to DC, train to Chicago, train to Kingman, bus to Las Vegas). Slightly more expensive than Greyhound, but not exorbitant. If you upgrade to a sleeper it's a different story, of course.

Makid Aug 29, 2018 5:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8297219)
2. The fact they have spent so little money is an example of how terrible this project is, not how great it is. They're progressing at a snails pace which is the only reason so "little" money has been spent.

3. The "doomsday" scenarios you speak of are the projects own projections. Any any fools knows if they say 85 Billion then it's 100 Billion at a minimum. All big infrastructure projects blow their budgets out like this, only a fool would think CAHSR would be an exception (especially after all the cost increases so far).

4. The only reason the price hasn't been completely blown out is because they keep scaling back the scope of the project. They've already drastically reduced the speed of the overall system and the length of the trains it can handle. It's comparing apples to oranges to look at the original estimate and the current proposed system.

While I really haven't posted in this thread much, I have been following it and wanted to offer a reply on these points. Not individually but as a group.

There have been numerous projects from across the country that have gone over budget. A few were slightly over budget and this can be possibly excused as incorrect estimation issues or minor budget issues possibly due to weather delays. There are other projects that were grossly over budget to the point where either the estimates were severely under actual costs to get public support.

Most of the time though, the estimates are correct and as the project is under way, it is the design changes and features that are added that start to increase the costs. Sadly, I think most Project Managers over the large projects come to rely on the contractors and their PM's to pass upward the budget impacts to change requests.

This in turn leads many of the changes to go to the Contractors directly rather than through the overall Project Manager, who is in charge of the overall budget for the project. The Contractors just think about the money and do the work, bill the project and boom, over budget even if it wasn't fully approved because it was requested by the people that hired the Project Manager.

With CAHSR, what we are seeing is that the contractors have been told who to listen to, the overall Project Manager, not local politicians or anyone else with regards to special projects. This is keeping the overall costs down on the project.

This is also why the speed of the project seems to be going slower, bids are able to be kept lower as the number of workers needed is lower. The same for the amount of concrete, steel, equipment, and so forth. The various contractors working on the project don't end up competing against each other for the items they are all needing.

So, while it may take potentially 2 years longer (estimated) doing it the slow and steady way, it can potentially save the project $3-$5 Billion (estimated) that can be used elsewhere.

Scaling back the scope is showing that the Project Manager is doing what they are supposed to be doing. Projects are game of give and take. You have a budget and a set of requirements. When someone comes in with a change request the Project Manager looks at the change, evaluates it and then gets feedback from the contractors about how it would impact the budget and timelines. They then present the information back in the form of a risk assessment.

This gives the person requesting the change a chance to withdraw the request, change the budget, or change the requirements. In this case, they felt going with shorter stations was worth the trade off.

I guess the presumption is that the longer stations will not be needed until many years after opening and they will be able to extend the stations before they are needed. I think they are also planning on running smaller train sets initially and gradually adding cars as ridership increases.

The idea here is that airlines don't start flying 400 seat planes between locations when estimates show only 20 people will fly between the cities daily. They start smaller and ramp up as passengers increase. The same with highways, and other forms of transit, including personal vehicles.

Overall, I just think it is counter productive to complain about projects that go vastly over budget and then talk about the scope scaling back when that shows that the budget is actually being watched closely and the project isn't scaling back, just the station size.

One thing to remember, the project is the first high speed rail line to be built from the ground up in North America. Once the initial segment is completed, it will be able to be studied by many other States and groups looking at bring HSR to their region. They will be able to see what worked and what didn't and can learn from what California has done.

jmecklenborg Aug 29, 2018 9:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8297219)

4. The only reason the price han't been completely blown out is because they keep scaling back the scope of the project. They've already drastically reduced the speed of the overall system and the length of the trains it can handle. It's comparing apples to oranges to look at the original estimate and the current proposed system.

The project hasn't been scaled back at all. If anything, the opposite has occurred. The Palmdale alignment was an addition not required by Prop 1A, nor were the huge tunnels now planned for nocal and socal.

The project always from the beginning was going to have 200-220mph operation limited to the central stretch between Gilroy and Burbank Airport. This is how the TGV and most other HSR systems operate around the world...they enter cities on tracks that they share with conventional passenger trains.

What proposal for 200mph HSR operations ever existed for the approach to San Francisco? For the LA approach? For the line between LA and San Diego? The 10 year-old language of Proposition 1A explicitly says otherwise.

What's more, the time savings from boosting Burbank to LA Union to a brief spurt of 200mph would be *maybe* 5 minutes. Billions to save 5 minutes. Up north, tens and tens of billions to shorten the Gilroy-SF stretch by 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, the stations are still being designed for 1400-foot platforms. Of course they're not going to operate 1200-foot, 1,000-seat double trainsets on the IOS and probably not operate them until the full SF-LA connection is in place. There is no reason to physically build the full platforms until double trainsets are in testing.

Sun Belt Aug 30, 2018 12:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SIGSEGV (Post 8297577)
Huh? I just looked for Friday and it's $349 (bus to Newport News, train to DC, train to Chicago, train to Kingman, bus to Las Vegas). Slightly more expensive than Greyhound, but not exorbitant. If you upgrade to a sleeper it's a different story, of course.

How many hours is that trip?

A flight, is cheaper and about 6 hours.

SIGSEGV Aug 30, 2018 1:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sun Belt (Post 8298320)
How many hours is that trip?

A flight, is cheaper and about 6 hours.

Well of course it's longer. The point is that it's not $1000, not that flying doesn't make sense for cities 2000+ miles apart.

Jonesy55 Aug 30, 2018 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8297034)
He's talking about the difference between the two. And he's right. If I look at the price for a ticket from here to Reno (Amtrak doesn't go to Vegas so far as I can tell) it's $1000-$1500 round trip by rail or $500 by plane. Do you people ever even use HSR? You don't exactly see a lot of poor people on the Acela or Eurostar etc because they cost hundreds of dollars unless you get an off-peak time months in advance.

You see all sorts of people on Eurostar and other HSR, it's maybe a bit of an exaggeration to say that tickets are hundreds of dollars unless bought months in advance.

Eurostar is a fairly expensive one, I guess the fact it has a big tunnel under the sea increases costs but these are the one way London-Paris fares on the website at the moment.

Travel today £191 ($249)
Travel on Monday (4 days in advance) £101 ($132)
Travel on Thursday September 20 (3 weeks in advance) £84 ($110)
Travel on Thursday October 4 (5 weeks in advance) £44 ($57) which is the cheapest one way ticket. Return tickets start at £58 ($76)

If you turn up at the airport and ask for a ticket on the next plane you will also pay more than booking it in advance most of the time.

Jonesy55 Aug 30, 2018 2:04 PM

Perhaps more representative are Thalys tickets,, these are best prices one way from Cologne to Brussels

Travel today €66 ($77)
Travel Monday (4 days in advance) €54 ($63)
Travel on Thursday September 20 (3 weeks in advance) €28 ($33)
Travel on Thursday October 4 (5 weeks in advance) €33 ($39)

electricron Aug 30, 2018 5:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonesy55 (Post 8298735)
Perhaps more representative are Thalys tickets,, these are best prices one way from Cologne to Brussels

Travel today €66 ($77)
Travel Monday (4 days in advance) €54 ($63)
Travel on Thursday September 20 (3 weeks in advance) €28 ($33)
Travel on Thursday October 4 (5 weeks in advance) €33 ($39)

Cologne to Brussels is 222 kilometers (138 miles), Los Angeles to San Francisco using SH99 is 644 kilometers (400 miles). Please do not suggest CHSR will ever be able to match those fares, a direct ratio per distance would suggest fares being 2.9 (almost triple the amount) times higher.

Bakersfield is 113 miles away from Los Angeles, which is more representive of the Cologne to Brussels distance and what those fares listed would be than all the way from LA to SF.

I don’t mind the fare comparisons, but at least try to match distances slightly more closer than was done here. While I’ll admit distance travel isn’t the only component in setting train fares, it certainly is a significant one to consider.

lrt's friend Aug 30, 2018 6:05 PM

I hope this project is not all or nothing. In other words, trains will be able to take advantage of the first completed section.

A few years ago, I took the train from Prague to Berlin. The portion of route between Dresden and near Berlin was designed for high speed. The fact that this portion of the track was designed for high speed allowed the full trip time to be reduced, maybe not to the degree as if the whole route was designed for high speed trains, but better than if the train had to run 60 mph the whole way.

Is this the plan in California? Will it be possible to use the first HSR portion completed to speed up overall trip times between SF and LA?

Busy Bee Aug 30, 2018 6:17 PM

Just throwing this out there but is there reason to believe there is definitive knowledge that a fare is always tethered to distance? Would the the fare really be 2.9 times more $ because the distance is 2.9 times longer? I'm not convinced it does or will work like that. I would suspect the fare economics could be more similar to what we are all familiar with while shopping for widgets.

Single widget costs x
2 widgets costs 1.7x
4 widgets costs 3x
12 widgets costs 8x and so forth...


In most retail cases of like consumer items, there is a value in bulk. No one expects a 12 pack of widgets to cost the same as 12 individual widgets. The value is in bundling. Is there any reason to think fares based on mileage could use a similar base + distance (diminishing cost per increased route mile) model?

Obviously I'm not economist so I'm sure there is probably a specific term for this. Anyways, I suspect CHSR fares will be much more reasonable than all the doubt peddling naysayers are freaking out over.

Busy Bee Aug 30, 2018 6:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lrt's friend (Post 8299099)
I hope this project is not all or nothing. In other words, trains will be able to take advantage of the first completed section.

A few years ago, I took the train from Prague to Berlin. The portion of route between Dresden and near Berlin was designed for high speed. The fact that this portion of the track was designed for high speed allowed the full trip time to be reduced, maybe not to the degree as if the whole route was designed for high speed trains, but better than if the train had to run 60 mph the whole way.

Is this the plan in California? Will it be possible to use the first HSR portion completed to speed up overall trip times between SF and LA?

Yes and no. There is a plan for an ISO (initial operating section) in the central valley to San Jose, but obviously without a completed SF terminal tunnel and base tunnels to the LA basin, the actual high speed trainset would stop at either end and require a transfer to conventional rail. Obviously under no circumstances would a hsr trainset capable of 200 mph switch off the hsr row and continue on regular rails. Two things are likely. True electrified hsr operating on the ISO until the full system ends are complete OR a more conventional interim trainset, diesel and slower speed using the hsr row until the endpoints are completed.

jmecklenborg Aug 30, 2018 6:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8299120)
Yes and no. There is a plan for an ISO (initial operating section) in the central valley to San Jose, but obviously without a completed SF terminal tunnel and base tunnels to the LA basin, the actual high speed trainset would stop at either end and require a transfer to conventional rail. Obviously under no circumstances would a hsr trainset capable of 200 mph switch off the hsr row and continue on regular rails. Two things are likely. True electrified hsr operating on the ISO until the full system ends are complete OR a more conventional interim trainset, diesel and slower speed using the hsr row until the endpoints are completed.

I believe I once read that they are going to shift existing Amtrak service onto the HSR tracks between Madera and Bakersfield until the tunnel and connection to San Jose are built, at which time the line will be electrified. However, traditional diesel Amtrak will need to move back to the parallel freight tracks when they start testing the electric HSR trains.

Also, work on the Caltrans electrification has technically begun, so HSR trains might terminate at 4th & King before the connection to Transbay is built.


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