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

BrownTown Dec 7, 2018 12:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8401275)
Are you just trolling or clueless? The SAS second phase is u/c, right now. The first phase opened two years ago.

It's 8.5 miles, BTW, not including future extensions.

The SAS has nothing to do with CASHR, (or Crossrail, for that matter) so has no relevance to this thread anyways. Subway, commuter rail, and intercity rail are obviously different.

1. The current Second Avenue Subway is about 2.5 miles long. The 8.5 mile long length you refer to is the ultimate plan which will require not 1 but 3 additional phases. So far only the second phase has any real commitment, phases 3 and 4 are entirely speculative and will very possibly never be built. Indeed it is entirely possible that phase 2 isn't built either. The section in question was actually already under construction 40 years ago and never completed and that could easily happen again.

2. I did not bring up the Second Avenue Subway, however it is indeed very applicable to HSR. Not because it's exactly similar but because the same sort of incompetence and corruption that is plaguing it will invariably plague CAHSR as well (and indeed already is). This is a country wide issue and is especially bad in places like NYC and California which have absurdly onerous regulations and corrupt unions.

BrownTown Dec 7, 2018 12:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8401448)
They had zero off-street staging space. By comparison, they were able to knock down low-rise buildings in Los Angeles to help build the station boxes under Wilshire:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Wi...4d-118.3086829

Here you can see that construction of the station box directly under Wilshire isn't obstructing even a single lane of traffic:
https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0626...7i16384!8i8192

I remember walking the length of Second Ave. above subway construction in 2011 or 2012 and they had 2-3 lanes blocked off for 2 miles straight. The fenced off space was filled with cherry pickers, scaffold, dump trucks -- you name it -- for two miles.

Sounds like they have MORE room, not less. Also several buildings were indeed knocked down to build entrances to the Second Avenue Subway. Obviously I understand NYC is harder to work in than LA, but NYC is no more dense than all the other places in the world that are rapidly expanding subways for 1/10th the cost.

And back in the day they literally just dug the entire street up to build the subways. People somehow managed to survive with it then so it's hard to argue it's impossible to work around a few blocked off streets now.
http://images.nycsubway.org/articles/newsubways063b.jpg

jmecklenborg Dec 7, 2018 12:49 AM

They can't build cut-and-cover in Manhattan anymore because new lines have to pass under existing lines. The stations are gigantic. There is more non-revenue track. The physical links between lines are very expensive to build.

Cities like Boston and London run all sorts of incompatible equipment on different lines. So there is no interlining. Saves money during construction but costs much more over time.

Also, construction of a new HSR line through NYC would be much more complicated and expensive than the upcoming reconstruction of LA Union. Just getting a train from New Jersey to Manhattan and then up to The Bronx in a new pair of tunnels with a station somewhere in Midtown would cost $30+ billion.

BrownTown Dec 7, 2018 12:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8401485)
They can't build cut-and-cover in Manhattan anymore because new lines have to pass under existing lines. The stations are gigantic. There is more non-revenue track. The physical links between lines are very expensive to build.

They could cut and cover for most of the length from 60th st to 125th st. Indeed a lot of that tunnel was already built in the 1970s and they are just going to not use it and bore under it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8401485)
Cities like Boston and London run all sorts of incompatible equipment on different lines. So there is no interlining. Saves money during construction but costs much more over time.

NYC has lots of incompatible systems too. For instance IND and BMT equipment can't run in IRT tunnels because they are too narrow. The dimensions of the different systems are different and obviously so is a lot of the signaling, cars and other hardware.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8401485)
Also, construction of a new HSR line through NYC would be much more complicated and expensive than the upcoming reconstruction of LA Union. Just getting a train from New Jersey to Manhattan and then up to The Bronx in a new pair of tunnels with a station somewhere in Midtown would cost $30+ billion.

It's going to cost $30 Billion to get into LA Union. It would cost $100 Billion to get through NYC. Just getting from NJ to Penn Station is already forecast to cost $30 Billion and we all know that will greatly increase when it's actually built and that's only half way.

jmecklenborg Dec 7, 2018 4:15 AM

The existing section of the Second Ave. line that will not be used is in Phase 3. Disassembling, moving, and reassembling a tunnel boring machine 1,000 feet takes a lot more time and money than continuing, so they are going to bypass that section.

The cost of the LA Union Station HSR approach was just in the November audit and was more like $1 billion, so 1/30th of your figure. If you are referring to the tunnel or tunnels north of Burbank, well then that is the approach to Burbank, not LA Union Station.

The Chemist Dec 7, 2018 1:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8401448)
I remember walking the length of Second Ave. above subway construction in 2011 or 2012 and they had 2-3 lanes blocked off for 2 miles straight. The fenced off space was filled with cherry pickers, scaffold, dump trucks -- you name it -- for two miles.

Why would they need to block off lanes for the entire length of the the subway line under construction? That seems incredibly inefficient use of space. They're building a new subway line (Line 15) right past my apartment complex here in Shanghai and there's only surface construction and blocked off lanes at the station sites - the tunnel construction between station sites is completely invisible from the surface.

Busy Bee Dec 7, 2018 8:33 PM

F***ing Morocco.

Tell me again why California "can't afford" and is unable to build HSR as the naysayers would have you believe?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78JwkYrg1Rg

jmecklenborg Dec 7, 2018 8:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Chemist (Post 8401805)
Why would they need to block off lanes for the entire length of the the subway line under construction? That seems incredibly inefficient use of space.

It's a lot cheaper to keep stuff in Manhattan than to pay union laborers to drive truckloads of stuff back and forth to warehouses in Queens.

Also, U.S. property owners have many property rights. In China I imagine that the government can simply show up and start using your parking lot or yard to stage construction equipment without asking and without payment.

Sun Belt Dec 7, 2018 9:09 PM

I'll tell you what, I can't wait to spend $200 on a train ticket to S.F. instead of paying $125 for a flight!

I'm kidding -- sort of. But the post is what will determine the success of the project.

Q] Why in the heck would anybody pay more for a longer trip?
A] I don't know, maybe they hate money?

dubu Dec 7, 2018 9:22 PM

with a train you move more people but why would that many people want to go to the next city in the same state? most people travel at least a couple states i thought.

Busy Bee Dec 7, 2018 10:19 PM

You are correct, absolutely no one travels between cities in the same state. That makes perfect sense. :rolleyes:

jmecklenborg Dec 7, 2018 11:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sun Belt (Post 8402333)
I'll tell you what, I can't wait to spend $200 on a train ticket to S.F. instead of paying $125 for a flight!

I'm kidding -- sort of. But the post is what will determine the success of the project.

Q] Why in the heck would anybody pay more for a longer trip?
A] I don't know, maybe they hate money?


Each train has 1,000 seats that are the equivalent of first class on an airline. Plus, unless you happen to live within walking distance of LAX, it is faster door-to-door.

dubu Dec 7, 2018 11:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8402406)
You are correct, absolutely no one travels between cities in the same state. That makes perfect sense. :rolleyes:

no one builds hpr in the same state and doesnt plan to extend it later

k1052 Dec 8, 2018 12:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sun Belt (Post 8402333)
I'll tell you what, I can't wait to spend $200 on a train ticket to S.F. instead of paying $125 for a flight!

I'm kidding -- sort of. But the post is what will determine the success of the project.

Q] Why in the heck would anybody pay more for a longer trip?
A] I don't know, maybe they hate money?

I would knock grandmothers into the street to fork over my cash for that.

Never see the inside of/be delayed at LAX again? Sign me the fuck up right now.

BrownTown Dec 8, 2018 1:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 8402497)
Never see the inside of/be delayed at LAX again? Sign me the fuck up right now.

Union Station isn't exactly a beautiful gem ya know? At least there aren't homeless in LAX.

digitallagasse Dec 8, 2018 2:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sun Belt (Post 8402333)
I'll tell you what, I can't wait to spend $200 on a train ticket to S.F. instead of paying $125 for a flight!

I'm kidding -- sort of. But the post is what will determine the success of the project.

Q] Why in the heck would anybody pay more for a longer trip?
A] I don't know, maybe they hate money?

I would be all over that option. Depending on the start and end points the train could be the same time as the flight. Train seats are also larger compared to the similar class on airplanes. If I could get from Vegas to either LA or Anaheim via train I would never drive or fly that trip again. Even more so if it was a single seat ride.

BrownTown Dec 8, 2018 3:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by digitallagasse (Post 8402601)
I would be all over that option. Depending on the start and end points the train could be the same time as the flight. Train seats are also larger compared to the similar class on airplanes. If I could get from Vegas to either LA or Anaheim via train I would never drive or fly that trip again. Even more so if it was a single seat ride.

But there's also the sticker shock of buying a $200 ticket. Even if the gas. depreciation and amortized insurance and maintenance cost on a car are just as much for that many miles it still feels like a lot more when it's all in one ticket.

dubu Dec 8, 2018 3:58 AM

in a earthquake lots of people from sf and la will move to nevada probably, the two big cities are reno and vegas. thats where you would build, next to existing cities. people from portland will come to central oregon, so having hpr go to nevada would be smart. also planes arnt here forever unless we make electric ones.

digitallagasse Dec 8, 2018 4:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8402606)
But there's also the sticker shock of buying a $200 ticket. Even if the gas. depreciation and amortized insurance and maintenance cost on a car are just as much for that many miles it still feels like a lot more when it's all in one ticket.

It isn't fully a cost thing to me. Being able to avoid driving that trip is worth it to me. Another thing is tending to have to pay for parking on the other side as well. The more SoCal improves local transit the more it becomes possible to do the trip car free. I also absolutely hate driving in SoCal. HSR to local transit would be a dream and even worth the premium to me.

For an example taking a trip to Disneyland. For that trip now we would and do drive. We tend to stay across the street/next to the park in some fashion. That way we simply walk to and from the park each day. The car stays parked the whole time and we have to pay for parking. If the Virgin train from Vegas can use the CHSR tracks to get to Anaheim that would at least put it at the Anaheim transit center. It is reasonable to expect shuttle or bus service to the hotels adjacent to Disneyland. Even if needing to transfer from Virgin to CHSR would still be worth it. Being able to avoid the drive between Vegas and SoCal while also completely avoiding driving it SoCal would be priceless. I hate flying more than I do driving in those above situations. I pretty much only fly if it is the only reasonable choice (Hawaii), too far than I am willing to drive (Seattle), and if rail isn't a choice. Since Vegas isn't served by rail it isn't a possible choice yet.

If Amtrak long distance rail existed from Vegas to LA, SLC, Phoenix, Bay Area or Denver I would highly consider taking it. Even at the current snail speed the long distance trains are forced to run it. The train ride becomes an enjoyable part of the trip at that point.

lrt's friend Dec 8, 2018 4:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by digitallagasse (Post 8402630)
It isn't fully a cost thing to me. Being able to avoid driving that trip is worth it to me. Another thing is tending to have to pay for parking on the other side as well. The more SoCal improves local transit the more it becomes possible to do the trip car free. I also absolutely hate driving in SoCal. HSR to local transit would be a dream and even worth the premium to me.

For an example taking a trip to Disneyland. For that trip now we would and do drive. We tend to stay across the street/next to the park in some fashion. That way we simply walk to and from the park each day. The car stays parked the whole time and we have to pay for parking. If the Virgin train from Vegas can use the CHSR tracks to get to Anaheim that would at least put it at the Anaheim transit center. It is reasonable to expect shuttle or bus service to the hotels adjacent to Disneyland. Even if needing to transfer from Virgin to CHSR would still be worth it. Being able to avoid the drive between Vegas and SoCal while also completely avoiding driving it SoCal would be priceless. I hate flying more than I do driving in those above situations. I pretty much only fly if it is the only reasonable choice (Hawaii), too far than I am willing to drive (Seattle), and if rail isn't a choice. Since Vegas isn't served by rail it isn't a possible choice yet.

If Amtrak long distance rail existed from Vegas to LA, SLC, Phoenix, Bay Area or Denver I would highly consider taking it. Even at the current snail speed the long distance trains are forced to run it. The train ride becomes an enjoyable part of the trip at that point.

It is the comfort of train travel versus the increasing hassle of car and plane travel. If trains can be reasonably competitive with speed and cost of other modes, it will succeed.

More and more, my trips are becoming car free. I now plan for it.

The Chemist Dec 8, 2018 6:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8402301)
It's a lot cheaper to keep stuff in Manhattan than to pay union laborers to drive truckloads of stuff back and forth to warehouses in Queens.

Also, U.S. property owners have many property rights. In China I imagine that the government can simply show up and start using your parking lot or yard to stage construction equipment without asking and without payment.

I'm not seeing the need for so much equipment that you'd have to block off lanes of traffic for 2 whole miles. They keep pretty much all the equipment they need on the station construction sites here in Shanghai - I rarely see them bringing new equipment in. The only stuff that tends to get brought in is the tunnel segments, and the only stuff that tends to get brought out is the spoil from the tunnel excavation.

Here in Shanghai property rights are becoming more important. The government can't just come in and take your property for their use without compensation.

k1052 Dec 8, 2018 1:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8402559)
Union Station isn't exactly a beautiful gem ya know? At least there aren't homeless in LAX.

I disagree but it's not like I'm going to spend two hours there before my train leaves. I'll show up 10 minutes before departure, stroll up to the platform, and board.

Will O' Wisp Dec 9, 2018 6:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Chemist (Post 8402672)
I'm not seeing the need for so much equipment that you'd have to block off lanes of traffic for 2 whole miles. They keep pretty much all the equipment they need on the station construction sites here in Shanghai - I rarely see them bringing new equipment in. The only stuff that tends to get brought in is the tunnel segments, and the only stuff that tends to get brought out is the spoil from the tunnel excavation.

Here in Shanghai property rights are becoming more important. The government can't just come in and take your property for their use without compensation.

This is really veering into a conversation better suited for the NYC transit thread, but the short answer is that the NYC Subway has a more stations per mile than the Shanghai Metro and Manhattan is the densest part of the network station wise. Outside of the center city Shanghai Metro stations seem to average 1.25-1.5 miles apart, the 2nd Avenue subway is building a station about every half mile. At that range the construction impact from the station boxes tends to overlap, not to mention that Manhattan is so built up there's zero space to store equipment other than out in the street. It's a very different project than the extensions of Lines 5, 10, and 13, which are pushing outward from the city center rather than tunneling straight through it.

Property rights in China started improving in the late 00's from what I hear, but they're still fractional compared to those in the US. In the US the government has to take into account the physical value of the land (including what could be built on it, and how much value it provides to your other properties) in addition to the value of whatever you've already built on it. In China, only the second part really counts.

The Chemist Dec 9, 2018 2:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 8403206)
This is really veering into a conversation better suited for the NYC transit thread, but the short answer is that the NYC Subway has a more stations per mile than the Shanghai Metro and Manhattan is the densest part of the network station wise. Outside of the center city Shanghai Metro stations seem to average 1.25-1.5 miles apart, the 2nd Avenue subway is building a station about every half mile. At that range the construction impact from the station boxes tends to overlap, not to mention that Manhattan is so built up there's zero space to store equipment other than out in the street. It's a very different project than the extensions of Lines 5, 10, and 13, which are pushing outward from the city center rather than tunneling straight through it.

Property rights in China started improving in the late 00's from what I hear, but they're still fractional compared to those in the US. In the US the government has to take into account the physical value of the land (including what could be built on it, and how much value it provides to your other properties) in addition to the value of whatever you've already built on it. In China, only the second part really counts.

I'm not talking about the extension of Lines 5, 10, or 13 though - I'm talking about Line 15 (and also what I've seen of construction on Lines 14 and 18, whose central sections also pass through the city centre), whose central stretch goes through the city centre and has a station about kilometre or so. Anything inside the Outer Ring Road in Shanghai can be considered the city centre and has basically the same space issues as Manhattan would.

BrownTown Dec 9, 2018 6:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Chemist (Post 8403303)
I'm not talking about the extension of Lines 5, 10, or 13 though - I'm talking about Line 15 (and also what I've seen of construction on Lines 14 and 18, whose central sections also pass through the city centre), whose central stretch goes through the city centre and has a station about kilometre or so. Anything inside the inner ring road in Shanghai can be considered the city centre and has basically the same space issues as Manhattan would.

Yeah, seriously. Just because NYC is much more dense than any other city in the US doesn't mean it's special by world standards. Plenty of other major cities are just as dense.

Obviously the real reason for the cost difference is that the same sort of project in NYC has 4x as many workers each making $250,000/yr. So unless your average worker in Shanghai makes a $1,000,000/yr it's going to cost more in NYC. The fact it costs 10x as much more in NYC can be almost entirely attributed to this lone difference. Things like equipment staging areas are a drop in the bucket.

phoenixboi08 Dec 10, 2018 10:27 AM

1) NYC's (transit) construction costs are almost entirely driven by 1) shit design and 2) awful procurement policies. The work rules/labor contracts aren't driving much...

2) China has a unique property laws (as opposed to a place like the US which has effectively inherited -- and iterated within -- a Common Law-type framework): China separates land ownership (most of it is effectively government-held or else some other collective type of institution) from use of that land.

In a place like, say CA, the Authority must compensate not just for the actual present value of land but the reduced value based on its limitation of use. That is, the Authority could be forced to a) compensate a farmer for 500 acres or b) shift to using another property if the farmer can argue that the 10 out of that 500 acres the Authority needs would render the farm useless (ie. per se takings are a pain). Eminent domain doesn't work nearly as smoothly - nor nearly as much in the government's favor - as is commonly held.

99% of environmental studies are about mitigating these types of impacts.

The point is to solicit public input on a project to ensure the best project is being built, but the farmer asks, "What's the justification for using these 10 acres when those 10 acres in that brownfield site 1 mi down the road are just as good?" and this gets more weight than the fact that it would mean shifting the entire alignment and necessitating even more property takings and impacts to residents north and south of the farmer (see: Santa Clarita effectively forcing the Authority to build a tunnel under the San Gabriels and still complaining about it).

These planning processes - a legal requirement - are meant to produce least impacts for best benefit; the public wants no impacts benefits-be-damned.

The only way to have no impacts is to build nothing: That's why the first reaction is to immediately stop development, because that's what these people want.

It's why the frame is always on "rising costs," "costs overruns (on something that hasn't even occurred as a cost because its still an estimate) are increasing," and my favorite "$100 billion (based upon a-worst-case, conservative estimate with a rounding error of over 30%) train!" rather than the fact that the public has intervened every step of the way to force concessions that make it more expensive.

It didn't used to be this way, but it is now.

Facile comparisons to legal environments and economic development models that are oranges to our apples just confuse everything.

Busy Bee Dec 10, 2018 2:57 PM

^Bravo

jmecklenborg Dec 10, 2018 8:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 (Post 8403847)
1) NYC's (transit) construction costs are almost entirely driven by 1) shit design and 2) awful procurement policies. The work rules/labor contracts aren't driving much...

2) China has a unique property laws (as opposed to a place like the US which has effectively inherited -- and iterated within -- a Common Law-type framework): China separates land ownership (most of it is effectively government-held or else some other collective type of institution) from use of that land.

In a place like, say CA, the Authority must compensate not just for the actual present value of land but the reduced value based on its limitation of use. That is, the Authority could be forced to a) compensate a farmer for 500 acres or b) shift to using another property if the farmer can argue that the 10 out of that 500 acres the Authority needs would render the farm useless (ie. per se takings are a pain). Eminent domain doesn't work nearly as smoothly - nor nearly as much in the government's favor - as is commonly held.

99% of environmental studies are about mitigating these types of impacts.

The point is to solicit public input on a project to ensure the best project is being built, but the farmer asks, "What's the justification for using these 10 acres when those 10 acres in that brownfield site 1 mi down the road are just as good?" and this gets more weight than the fact that it would mean shifting the entire alignment and necessitating even more property takings and impacts to residents north and south of the farmer (see: Santa Clarita effectively forcing the Authority to build a tunnel under the San Gabriels and still complaining about it).

These planning processes - a legal requirement - are meant to produce least impacts for best benefit; the public wants no impacts benefits-be-damned.

The only way to have no impacts is to build nothing: That's why the first reaction is to immediately stop development, because that's what these people want.

It's why the frame is always on "rising costs," "costs overruns (on something that hasn't even occurred as a cost because its still an estimate) are increasing," and my favorite "$100 billion (based upon a-worst-case, conservative estimate with a rounding error of over 30%) train!" rather than the fact that the public has intervened every step of the way to force concessions that make it more expensive.

It didn't used to be this way, but it is now.

Facile comparisons to legal environments and economic development models that are oranges to our apples just confuse everything.


Wealthy people have been pretty successful in keeping airports from expanding or being built near wealthy areas, even though it often made a lot more sense for the region as a whole. Situations like Logan and Reagan and LaGuardia are unusual for this reason. We ended up with some airports situated preposterous distances from their respective cities as a result -- Dulles and KC come immediately to mind.

The most extreme example of rich people succeeding in getting an airport moved to the detriment of their metro area was the cancelation of construction of Cincinnati's airport on the Ohio side of the river in the late 1940s, at the dawn of the jet age, on the only significant spread of flat land near the city. That's how the "Cincinnati" airport infamously ended up across state lines in rural Kentucky.

Will O' Wisp Dec 11, 2018 5:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8404412)
Wealthy people have been pretty successful in keeping airports from expanding or being built near wealthy areas, even though it often made a lot more sense for the region as a whole. Situations like Logan and Reagan and LaGuardia are unusual for this reason. We ended up with some airports situated preposterous distances from their respective cities as a result -- Dulles and KC come immediately to mind.

The most extreme example of rich people succeeding in getting an airport moved to the detriment of their metro area was the cancelation of construction of Cincinnati's airport on the Ohio side of the river in the late 1940s, at the dawn of the jet age, on the only significant spread of flat land near the city. That's how the "Cincinnati" airport infamously ended up across state lines in rural Kentucky.

American airports on the whole are older, smaller, closer to their respective city centers, and more numerous than their counterparts in most areas of the world. Logan, Regan, and LaGuardia and majority of US airport were were all built in the 1920-30s when their cities were a fraction of the size they are now, once on out outer edge of the urban area but now have been effectively surrounded by infill. They could never be built in those locations today. KC and Dulles were built later during the late 1940s and early 50s respectively, and while this forced a more more distant location are actually closer to their city centers than is typical for airports being currently being built in Asia and Europe.

This makes flying a lot more convenient for Americans, and has lead to some of the highest per capita airline traffic rates in the world when accounting for average income levels and the fact that America isn't an island nation. For HSR that means there's a great deal more competition along the same routes, and much more well developed competition. But being surrounded by what is now some of the oldest and most desirable suburban housing in the US has made large scale airport expansions effectively impossible, which more than anything is driving the movement towards HSR.

jmecklenborg Dec 11, 2018 6:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 8404874)
American airports on the whole are older, smaller, closer to their respective city centers, and more numerous than their counterparts in most areas of the world. Logan, Regan, and LaGuardia and majority of US airport were were all built in the 1920-30s when their cities were a fraction of the size they are now, once on out outer edge of the urban area but now have been effectively surrounded by infill. They could never be built in those locations today. KC and Dulles were built later during the late 1940s and early 50s respectively, and while this forced a more more distant location are actually closer to their city centers than is typical for airports being currently being built in Asia and Europe.

This makes flying a lot more convenient for Americans, and has lead to some of the highest per capita airline traffic rates in the world when accounting for average income levels and the fact that America isn't an island nation. For HSR that means there's a great deal more competition along the same routes, and much more well developed competition. But being surrounded by what is now some of the oldest and most desirable suburban housing in the US has made large scale airport expansions effectively impossible, which more than anything is driving the movement towards HSR.


Also, as is pretty obvious to those familiar with HSR systems around the world, they often directly serve major airports and so enable very easy access to international airports from the hinterlands. California's Central Valley residents will enjoy a 1-seat ride to and from SFO, and getting to LAX will require a few transfers but nevertheless will be doable via public transportation in a way that isn't possible now.

Somehow the fact that the Central Valley is home to 6 million people -- roughly the same as the Bay Area -- continues to be lost in HSR conversations.

Will O' Wisp Dec 11, 2018 7:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8404894)
Also, as is pretty obvious to those familiar with HSR systems around the world, they often directly serve major airports and so enable very easy access to international airports from the hinterlands. California's Central Valley residents will enjoy a 1-seat ride to and from SFO, and getting to LAX will require a few transfers but nevertheless will be doable via public transportation in a way that isn't possible now.

Somehow the fact that the Central Valley is home to 6 million people -- roughly the same as the Bay Area -- continues to be lost in HSR conversations.

It has been LAWA's (LAX controlling authority) dream to build an international airport in Palmdale since the 1960s. They own over 17,000 acres of land out there, which combined with the 6,000 acres of land already used by Palmdale regional could fit six and a half LAX sized airports to become the single largest airport on the planet. All in a region that wouldn't just not constantly complain about the noise and threaten to sue over every airfield improvement, but would actively seek to promote this as a way to economic prosperity. And yet over the past 50 years they've utterly failed at convincing anyone to drive that far for a flight, even after spending millions subsidizing airlines to offer rock bottom prices in an effort to lure people away from the overcrowded LAX.

And now they'll be a high speed rail line to SF and the Central Valley running on the eastern border of the property, and a high speed rail line to Los Vegas running on the southern border, and at the corner of the property where they meet there will be a regional transit center and a high speed rail line going straight to DTLA. There's a ton of potential synergy between HSR and air travel.

Car(e)-Free LA Dec 13, 2018 1:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 8404918)
It has been LAWA's (LAX controlling authority) dream to build an international airport in Palmdale since the 1960s. They own over 17,000 acres of land out there, which combined with the 6,000 acres of land already used by Palmdale regional could fit six and a half LAX sized airports to become the single largest airport on the planet. All in a region that wouldn't just not constantly complain about the noise and threaten to sue over every airfield improvement, but would actively seek to promote this as a way to economic prosperity. And yet over the past 50 years they've utterly failed at convincing anyone to drive that far for a flight, even after spending millions subsidizing airlines to offer rock bottom prices in an effort to lure people away from the overcrowded LAX.

And now they'll be a high speed rail line to SF and the Central Valley running on the eastern border of the property, and a high speed rail line to Los Vegas running on the southern border, and at the corner of the property where they meet there will be a regional transit center and a high speed rail line going straight to DTLA. There's a ton of potential synergy between HSR and air travel.

This seems increasingly inevitable. By the year 2040, assuming air passenger growth trends stay constant (I actually expect them to grow on a percentage basis by more than they have been this decade), the Southern California region of airports (LAX/BUR/SNA/LGB/ONT/SAN) will have 342,549,779 passengers per year. Ambitiously assuming most of the intrastate/Vegas air passengers--or a passenger reduction of air travel by 7%--switch to HSR, Southern California will have 318,571,294 air passengers per year.
At the absolute maximum use, this requires eight runways of capacity, with room for future expansion. Bear in mind this means virtually every short haul flight being operated by an a321/b737 (~180 pax), mid-range flights being operated by an a350/b787 (~280 pax), and long haul flights being operated by an a380 (~500 pax). While all the Southern California Airports together have nine runways of capacity, only LAX's are useful for this level of operations. As such, a four runway airport will eventually be needed somewhere else.
The only two areas with this kind of space are in the Antelope Valley and at Camp Pendleton. The former would obviously be the more affordable and politically feasible option, with the added benefit of HSR connections to Burbank being ~15min, DTLA being ~25 min, and the Central Valley/Vegas being within the HSR catchment zone as well. Such an option would allow for the closure/redevelopment of increasingly useless BUR/LGB, but ONT/SNA/SAN should stay open for flights within their respective regions. In the longer run, and with future growth, perhaps by 2050, the latter will needed to be consolidated into a second four runway airport at Camp Pendleton. Ideally, the HSR alignment to San Diego should serve it.
Further on, LAX could be closed and redeveloped, with two more runways added at both Palmdale and Camp Pendleton, bringing them each to six runway megahubs. Future growth through the 2080s probably warrants one or two further runways at each.

jmecklenborg Dec 14, 2018 6:37 AM

^Also, the lack of a direct LA>San Diego connection in HSR Phase 2 portends the closure of Camp Pendleton.

The Phase 1 HSR that will terminate at the Anaheim baseball stadium continue another 30~ miles to the point where they reach the ocean and continue south for seven miles to Camp Pendleton. I think that HSR would be okay continuing with blended service to that point but will then need to travel in a 7-mile tunnel roughly beneath I-5 since the people who own coastal homes in that area will not tolerate high speed rail trains passing every ten minutes.

If the Marines vacate Camp Pendleton, 17 miles of easy HSR construction will be possible parallel to I-5. Here the HSR trains could briefly achieve full 200mph+ speed.

Unfortunately, getting into San Diego is going to be at least as complicated, if not more complicated, than the Caltrains service from San Jose into San Francisco. A 100+ wide ROW exists for most of the 38 miles from Camp Pendleton to Downtown San Diego, but expect all sorts of NIMBYISM forcing much of it into a tunnel, plus a lot of grade crossings that will require underpasses.

The total distance from DTLA to DTSD following this route is about 120 track miles. So with no stops and a 125mph cruising speed it would be just about 60 minutes.

Will O' Wisp Dec 14, 2018 8:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Car(e)-Free LA (Post 8406824)
This seems increasingly inevitable. By the year 2040, assuming air passenger growth trends stay constant (I actually expect them to grow on a percentage basis by more than they have been this decade), the Southern California region of airports (LAX/BUR/SNA/LGB/ONT/SAN) will have 342,549,779 passengers per year. Ambitiously assuming most of the intrastate/Vegas air passengers--or a passenger reduction of air travel by 7%--switch to HSR, Southern California will have 318,571,294 air passengers per year.
At the absolute maximum use, this requires eight runways of capacity, with room for future expansion. Bear in mind this means virtually every short haul flight being operated by an a321/b737 (~180 pax), mid-range flights being operated by an a350/b787 (~280 pax), and long haul flights being operated by an a380 (~500 pax). While all the Southern California Airports together have nine runways of capacity, only LAX's are useful for this level of operations. As such, a four runway airport will eventually be needed somewhere else.
The only two areas with this kind of space are in the Antelope Valley and at Camp Pendleton. The former would obviously be the more affordable and politically feasible option, with the added benefit of HSR connections to Burbank being ~15min, DTLA being ~25 min, and the Central Valley/Vegas being within the HSR catchment zone as well. Such an option would allow for the closure/redevelopment of increasingly useless BUR/LGB, but ONT/SNA/SAN should stay open for flights within their respective regions. In the longer run, and with future growth, perhaps by 2050, the latter will needed to be consolidated into a second four runway airport at Camp Pendleton. Ideally, the HSR alignment to San Diego should serve it.
Further on, LAX could be closed and redeveloped, with two more runways added at both Palmdale and Camp Pendleton, bringing them each to six runway megahubs. Future growth through the 2080s probably warrants one or two further runways at each.

I don't want my words to be misinterpreted, and I hope I didn't give the impression that LAWA's Palmdale holdings are even being conceived of as some sort of replacement for LAX. That is simply not feasible. Even in the wildest and most hopeful fantasies BUR, LGB, and LAX will remain open and busy. If LAWA decided, right now, to seek and plan for a new major airport in Palmdale it would not be ready for service by 2040. It takes at least 25 years to design and build a major airport in the US, and only two have been built since 1960 (DFW and DEN). And to be clear, right now LAWA isn't. The only immediate ideas I've heard anyone over there express is potentially swinging a deal with CAHSR to provide a train ticket to Palmdale, a shuttle ride to the current terminal, and an airline ticket to a regional destination all for one packaged price. Maybe. If CAHSR really seems to be getting a lot of usage and the economics work out.

Camp Pendleton will almost assuredly never close within our lifetimes. It's federal land, which means Cali has zero say if it stays or goes. Being the most effective location for USMC amphibious training by far, and conveniently co-located near a major USN fleet anchorage, it will probably be the last base ever picked for a BRAC round. San Diego would never support it either, seeing as the military accounts in one form or another for about 40% of our economy and Camp Pendleton is critical to the entire network of bases in the region.

The sort of ideas you're expressing don't really fall in line with the current American trends in airport planning and placement, which tends to focus in maintaining and expanding our large network of relatively smaller sized hubs. This is viewed as being more convenient for travelers getting to the airport, more tolerant to problems at any one airport, and most importantly of all vastly cheaper than trying to build an entirely new set of airports distant from city centers and all the infrastructure needed to reach them. But your ideas aren't totally out of place, the Chinese mindset does focus on building a handful of gigantic megaports to serve an entire region. It's just not the sort of thing I see happening in California or the US.

The Chemist Dec 14, 2018 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8404894)
Also, as is pretty obvious to those familiar with HSR systems around the world, they often directly serve major airports and so enable very easy access to international airports from the hinterlands. California's Central Valley residents will enjoy a 1-seat ride to and from SFO, and getting to LAX will require a few transfers but nevertheless will be doable via public transportation in a way that isn't possible now.

For the most part, this isn't true in China. The only HSR station that I can think of in China that's directly connected to an airport is Shanghai Hongqiao, and it's only connected to Shanghai's second airport, Hongqiao (SHA), not the primary international airport in Pudong (PVG).

However, given that railway stations in major cities are pretty much without exception connected to heavy rail metro systems, as are many of the country's airports, transferring from rail to air travel or vice versa is reasonably convenient, even if it's not direct.

spoonman Dec 14, 2018 6:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 8408494)
I don't want my words to be misinterpreted, and I hope I didn't give the impression that LAWA's Palmdale holdings are even being conceived of as some sort of replacement for LAX. That is simply not feasible. Even in the wildest and most hopeful fantasies BUR, LGB, and LAX will remain open and busy. If LAWA decided, right now, to seek and plan for a new major airport in Palmdale it would not be ready for service by 2040. It takes at least 25 years to design and build a major airport in the US, and only two have been built since 1960 (DFW and DEN). And to be clear, right now LAWA isn't. The only immediate ideas I've heard anyone over there express is potentially swinging a deal with CAHSR to provide a train ticket to Palmdale, a shuttle ride to the current terminal, and an airline ticket to a regional destination all for one packaged price. Maybe. If CAHSR really seems to be getting a lot of usage and the economics work out.

Camp Pendleton will almost assuredly never close within our lifetimes. It's federal land, which means Cali has zero say if it stays or goes. Being the most effective location for USMC amphibious training by far, and conveniently co-located near a major USN fleet anchorage, it will probably be the last base ever picked for a BRAC round. San Diego would never support it either, seeing as the military accounts in one form or another for about 40% of our economy and Camp Pendleton is critical to the entire network of bases in the region.

The sort of ideas you're expressing don't really fall in line with the current American trends in airport planning and placement, which tends to focus in maintaining and expanding our large network of relatively smaller sized hubs. This is viewed as being more convenient for travelers getting to the airport, more tolerant to problems at any one airport, and most importantly of all vastly cheaper than trying to build an entirely new set of airports distant from city centers and all the infrastructure needed to reach them. But your ideas aren't totally out of place, the Chinese mindset does focus on building a handful of gigantic megaports to serve an entire region. It's just not the sort of thing I see happening in California or the US.

I agree. I don't see airports in SoCal consolidating. Rather, I see expansion of existing airports. LAX and SAN (and even TIJ) will continue to be used for international travel. Others like BUR, SNA, LGB, and increasingly CLD and ONT will be used for regional/US travel.

Car(e)-Free LA Dec 14, 2018 11:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spoonman (Post 8409005)
I agree. I don't see airports in SoCal consolidating. Rather, I see expansion of existing airports. LAX and SAN (and even TIJ) will continue to be used for international travel. Others like BUR, SNA, LGB, and increasingly CLD and ONT will be used for regional/US travel.

This'll work in the short term, but what will happen in 2060-ish, when Southern California has 35 million people flying 2-3 round-trips a year? Ultimately new capacity--hub capacity--will be needed. The great thing is a lot of it can be payed for by the land Southern California airprots sit on, the cumulative value of which is almost certainly in the hundred-billions, albeit requiring a lot of debt.

spoonman Dec 15, 2018 4:09 PM

The problem is it's not realistic to think that people all over SoCal are going to board a train to Palmdale, luggage and all, so they can schlep to an airport +/-100 miles away. San Diego has already been down this road and talked about a desert airport and it flopped. The solution (at least for SD) is decentralizing air traffic. SAN gets long distance commercial, Brown Field gets air cargo, TIJ is taking Intra-Mexico, and CLD is in the process of expanding "local" service (LAS, OAK, PHX).

Sure, a high speed train can get people somewhere fast, but people have to DRIVE to the train, schlep all their stuff on the train, then schlep their stuff into the airport. Until the rail infrastructure supports that, I believe people are going to want to drive their stuff to the closest regional airport.

urban_encounter Dec 19, 2018 4:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8404894)
Somehow the fact that the Central Valley is home to 6 million people -- roughly the same as the Bay Area -- continues to be lost in HSR conversations.


On the contrary the proponents are keenly aware of this fact and they’re aware that lack of affordable housing in the Bay Area and LA mean the Central Valley (mostly the San Joaquin Valley) can serve as the nations largest bedroom community. It’s a grossly overpriced commuter train that won’t even be truly high speed.

We should have built the SF/Sac and LA/SD spurs first since those are two of the busiest commuter corridors in the state currently using Amtrak California. Once California HSR successfully demonstrated its ability to build those two spurs on time and on budget then (and only then) should the north/south main artery have been built.

Now it remains to be seen if any of it sees it to completion or whether Fresno gets stuck with a HSR version of the Easter Isle statues fronting Highway 99.
A monument to poor planning.

Busy Bee Dec 19, 2018 3:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urban_encounter (Post 8413611)
It’s a grossly overpriced commuter train that won’t even be truly high speed.


If I had a dollar for every time this groundhog day misinformation came from an hsr naysayer...


Truthfully sir, state your evidence that this program won't deliver a "truly high speed" train. I'm waiting.

SoCalKid Dec 19, 2018 5:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urban_encounter (Post 8413611)
On the contrary the proponents are keenly aware of this fact and they’re aware that lack of affordable housing in the Bay Area and LA mean the Central Valley (mostly the San Joaquin Valley) can serve as the nations largest bedroom community. It’s a grossly overpriced commuter train that won’t even be truly high speed.

We should have built the SF/Sac and LA/SD spurs first since those are two of the busiest commuter corridors in the state currently using Amtrak California. Once California HSR successfully demonstrated its ability to build those two spurs on time and on budget then (and only then) should the north/south main artery have been built.

Now it remains to be seen if any of it sees it to completion or whether Fresno gets stuck with a HSR version of the Easter Isle statues fronting Highway 99.
A monument to poor planning.

Can you explain to me how a train traveling at top speeds of 220mph with AVERAGE speeds around 170 mph (from SF to LA)* is not "truly high speed"?

*2 hour and 55 minute travel time over a 490 stretch between SF and LA = 168 mph

urban_encounter Dec 19, 2018 10:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8413873)
If I had a dollar for every time this groundhog day misinformation came from an hsr naysayer...


Truthfully sir, state your evidence that this program won't deliver a "truly high speed" train. I'm waiting.


I’m not opposed to the idea of high speed rail. I’m opposed to this plan because it was common knowledge that they low balled the cost estimates before the vote on Prop 1A. There was no solid plan for high speed rail and we lacked the experience and expertise to ensure success. Secondly, Prop 1A $9 billion dollar bond was the spigot to get the money flowing. The plan promised voters that $9 billion in Proposition 1A bonds would include $2-3 billion in local funding, $12-16 billion in federal funding, and $6.7-$7.5 billion in public-private partnership funding (which still hasn’t materialized) which in theory would build the San Francisco to Anaheim line for $33.6 billion.

Fast forward to 2018 and phase I alone is now expected to cost from $63.3 billion to $98.1 billion. Again, I’m not against high speed rail for California, I’m against selling taxpayers a bill of goods with false cost estimates, unknown ridership and inflated revenue projects. The cost of the system literally went up days after prop 1A passed. Secondly, California has no experience building this type of system which is why politicians on the right and left are issuing scathing reports about mismanagement and poorly executed contracts.

As I said; (IMO) they should have started with the spurs first in order to maximize both ridership and the engineering learning curve. As far as truly high speed rail? This system is in danger of never leaving the station and if it does you can bet there will only be high speeds on limited segments.

jmecklenborg Dec 20, 2018 7:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urban_encounter (Post 8414453)
This system is in danger of never leaving the station and if it does you can bet there will only be high speeds on limited segments.

250+ miles of this system are going to be built to operate at 200mph+. Everything that is under construction as we speak is being built to operate at that speed.

The "slow" sections of HSR near LA and SJ>SF will profoundly speed up commuter rail in the same corridor.

As has been repeated here ad nauseam, building a completely self-contained HSR system that does not interact with the existing commuter rail entrances to SF and LA would cost tens of billions more directly, plus all of those commuter rail improvements would still be wanted anyway.

sopas ej Dec 27, 2018 11:09 PM

From Merced Sun-Star:

California’s bullet train is pumping billions into the Valley economy. So why is it so unpopular?

BY DALE KASLER, RYAN LILLIS, AND TIM SHEEHAN

DECEMBER 23, 2018 12:00 AM, UPDATED DECEMBER 23, 2018 01:25 PM


MADERA - Vicente Ward had trouble finding work after leaving the Air Force — until California’s bullet-train project came along. Now he’s helping build a bridge that some day will carry rail passengers across the San Joaquin River between Madera and Fresno.

“It’s a sense of accomplishment; my kids can see this 20 years from now,” said Ward, 52, a carpenter from Clovis, during a break at the job site. “It’s providing jobs for the community. We help stimulate the economy. ... Now my family has medical, has dental.”

Phase One of the state’s high-speed rail line is being assembled, piece by painstaking piece, along a 119-mile stretch between Madera and northern Kern County. A decade after getting approval from California voters, and nearly four years after breaking ground, one of the largest public works projects in California history is taking on a life of its own: Bridges, viaducts and overpasses have sprouted on fertile San Joaquin Valley soil. A section of Highway 99 has been relocated. Work has begun on an enormous trench in Fresno where trains will run beneath an irrigation canal.

More than 2,300 workers have been put to work at more than 20 different sites around the Valley. Eventually $10.6 billion will be spent on the Valley portion of the project, fueling dreams of an economic bounty in one of the poorest regions of California. Community leaders envision Fresno, with its relatively low cost of living, becoming a bedroom community for Silicon Valley — which will be less than an hour’s ride away once the train is running.

“We’ve got a lot of things to sell that Silicon Valley can’t provide,” said Tom Richards, a Fresno developer and vice chairman of the rail project’s governing authority.

Yet for all the dollars and dreams chugging into the Valley, the high-speed rail project is notoriously unpopular around here. A Los Angeles Times/USC poll earlier this year showed that 64 percent of Valley residents want the bullet train halted in its tracks. Statewide, 49 percent want to pull the plug.

The opposition in the Valley is partly philosophical. Many in this hotbed of conservatism see the bullet train – beset with lengthy delays, substantial cost overruns and serious questions about future funding – as big government run amok.

But for many Valley residents, it’s also intensely personal. They resent how construction has carved up their farms and scrambled their highways. Completion of just a partial segment through the Valley is still years away, and residents doubt the project will ever get finished. They question the promises that high-speed rail will lift the Valley out of its economic doldrums.

“Let’s fix our roads and bridges – anything but high-speed rail,” said John Tos, a Kings County farmer who’s tried unsuccessfully to keep the California High-Speed Rail Authority from taking a portion of his walnut orchard. “It’s unbelievable the cost we’re going to have to pay.”

Meanwhile, advocates for low-income residents warn that the very thing train boosters are promising — trainloads of Bay Area techies moving to the Valley — will lead to gentrification and a nightmarish spike in housing prices. The Central Valley is already facing a long list of issues, including poor air quality, a lack of affordable housing and contaminated water, and social justice advocates are worried Valley residents will be left behind by any progress created by the bullet train.

“We’re concerned that one of high speed rail’s major goals is to address a lack of affordable housing in the Bay Area,” said Veronica Garibay, a co-founder and co-director of the Fresno-based Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability. “How are families already living in the Valley today going to benefit from all of this? (High speed rail) is just one small component of the pressures that are facing and are going to face this region.”

[...]

Link: https://www.mercedsunstar.com/news/s...223441880.html

SIGSEGV Dec 27, 2018 11:47 PM

Yeah, HSR certainly won't do anything to address air quality :haha:

BrownTown Dec 27, 2018 11:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 8419917)
Meanwhile, advocates for low-income residents warn that the very thing train boosters are promising — trainloads of Bay Area techies moving to the Valley — will lead to gentrification and a nightmarish spike in housing prices. The Central Valley is already facing a long list of issues, including poor air quality, a lack of affordable housing and contaminated water, and social justice advocates are worried Valley residents will be left behind by any progress created by the bullet train.

Why do so many people believe this absurd notion that San Francisco residents are going to move to the central valley and spend insane amounts of time and money commuting each day just to avoid San Francisco real-estate prices. That's just plain not going to happen. Is there any real world example where high speed rail is used by daily commuters? Especially for the distances that would be required here (150+ miles including all the slow miles between San Jose and San Francisco).

SIGSEGV Dec 28, 2018 12:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8419946)
Why do so many people believe this absurd notion that San Francisco residents are going to move to the central valley and spend insane amounts of time and money commuting each day just to avoid San Francisco real-estate prices. That's just plain not going to happen. Is there any real world example where high speed rail is used by daily commuters? Especially for the distances that would be required here (150+ miles including all the slow miles between San Jose and San Francisco).

Joe Biden?

Anyway, people already commute from Modesto to the bay area, although they are not typically high earners. With HSR, Madera/Merced to San Jose would be an easyish commute.

BrownTown Dec 28, 2018 12:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SIGSEGV (Post 8419951)
Anyway, people already commute from Modesto to the bay area, although they are not typically high earners. With HSR, Madera/Merced to San Jose would be an easyish commute.

Certainly not, "easy" although definitely doable.

It's more the cost that's the issue though. Just looking at Acela trains for instance if you go a few months out to get cheap tickets you can get from Newark to New York (10 miles) for $50 round trip. That's $1000 a month for a typical job. There goes your entire cost of living advantage in pretty much one fell swoop. And the cost of CAHSR will presumably have to be much higher given its far higher capital costs. Maybe California will massive subsidize it in order to keep it operational, but even if they do and that commute becomes economically viable it's still not good for the state or the country, just for the individual benefiting from those huge subsidies. Regardless, everyone on here keeps telling me that skilled young professionals only want to live in huge cities so if the new narrative is that they'll move to shitty central valley cities and take the train then that's a pretty big 180. I'm sure SOME will, just not enough to drastically alter the landscape.

EDIT: Maybe the issue is that some people don't understand how the pricing works for HSR. They want to keep the trains full, not have them mostly empty until they get to the commuter towns and then pick up lots of passengers (that's what commuter rail is for). Therefore the price of a ticket isn't even remotely proportional to the number of miles. Longer distances cost far less per mile and short commutes aren't drastically cheaper because if you're taking a seat from Madera to San Jose it's knocking out someone else who could have gone the whole way from LA to SF.

Will O' Wisp Dec 28, 2018 2:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8419990)
Certainly not, "easy" although definitely doable.

It's more the cost that's the issue though. Just looking at Acela trains for instance if you go a few months out to get cheap tickets you can get from Newark to New York (10 miles) for $50 round trip. That's $1000 a month for a typical job. There goes your entire cost of living advantage in pretty much one fell swoop. And the cost of CAHSR will presumably have to be much higher given its far higher capital costs. Maybe California will massive subsidize it in order to keep it operational, but even if they do and that commute becomes economically viable it's still not good for the state or the country, just for the individual benefiting from those huge subsidies. Regardless, everyone on here keeps telling me that skilled young professionals only want to live in huge cities so if the new narrative is that they'll move to shitty central valley cities and take the train then that's a pretty big 180. I'm sure SOME will, just not enough to drastically alter the landscape.

EDIT: Maybe the issue is that some people don't understand how the pricing works for HSR. They want to keep the trains full, not have them mostly empty until they get to the commuter towns and then pick up lots of passengers (that's what commuter rail is for). Therefore the price of a ticket isn't even remotely proportional to the number of miles. Longer distances cost far less per mile and short commutes aren't drastically cheaper because if you're taking a seat from Madera to San Jose it's knocking out someone else who could have gone the whole way from LA to SF.

While I can see your logic relating to cost of living, I think you fail to appreciate just how stupidly expensive the SF housing market is. My sister lives in downtown SF and pays $1900 a month to rent a room the size of a largeish closet in an apartment with 4 other gals. A good friend of mine spends $2400 a month to rent a studio in San Mateo and spends 30+ minutes commuting everyday to work. Both consider themselves to be getting a deal as well.

Each could easily move to Merced or Fresno, buy a $150K house, and spend $1000 a month for the HSR to their jobs in SF, and still come out financially ahead of their current situations. Especially my poor buddy in San Mateo, he could afford the mortgage payments on a $250K house in Merced ($1,182 a month @ 3.92%) plus the $1000 for the HSR and still be saving $200 a month. After the tunnel to the transbay finishes he'd even have a similar commute time to boot!

This is why no one is pushing harder for HSR than SF, they have the most to gain.

SIGSEGV Dec 28, 2018 4:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8419990)
Certainly not, "easy" although definitely doable.

It's more the cost that's the issue though. Just looking at Acela trains for instance if you go a few months out to get cheap tickets you can get from Newark to New York (10 miles) for $50 round trip. That's $1000 a month for a typical job. There goes your entire cost of living advantage in pretty much one fell swoop. And the cost of CAHSR will presumably have to be much higher given its far higher capital costs. Maybe California will massive subsidize it in order to keep it operational, but even if they do and that commute becomes economically viable it's still not good for the state or the country, just for the individual benefiting from those huge subsidies. Regardless, everyone on here keeps telling me that skilled young professionals only want to live in huge cities so if the new narrative is that they'll move to shitty central valley cities and take the train then that's a pretty big 180. I'm sure SOME will, just not enough to drastically alter the landscape.

EDIT: Maybe the issue is that some people don't understand how the pricing works for HSR. They want to keep the trains full, not have them mostly empty until they get to the commuter towns and then pick up lots of passengers (that's what commuter rail is for). Therefore the price of a ticket isn't even remotely proportional to the number of miles. Longer distances cost far less per mile and short commutes aren't drastically cheaper because if you're taking a seat from Madera to San Jose it's knocking out someone else who could have gone the whole way from LA to SF.


My understanding (potentially flawed) was that there would be LA to SF superexpresses that don't really stop at Madera which would presumably get most of the long distance trains and somewhat slower "local" trains that I would guess fewer people will ride all the way and could act as interregional commuter trains. They would be expensive, but they still might be the best options for some people (e.g. resolution of the 2-body problem).


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