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  #2001  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2018, 9:30 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Wouldn't this be an argument against CA HSR? You're arguing there are tons of people in CA, yet no ridership.

LA is bigger than Paris, but rail ridership is almost zero. The Bay Area has like 9 million people and one of the biggest centralized cores in the U.S. and rail ridership is very low. Both regions have spent megabillions on transit and are very pro-transit both culturally and through public policy, yet rail is practically irrelevant.
City transit systems and intercity rail aren't the same thing. The Wilshire subway was supposed to be the first line built in LA but Henry Waxman killed it because he knew that its absence would undermine the viability of the whole system. In the Bay Area, draconian zoning fights have kept high-density construction away from some BART stations.

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This is all fantasy nonsense. Putting aside the odd idea of HSR as an engine for exurban sprawl, has never happened anywhere on the planet. No one is going to be commuting from the Central Valley to San Jose (or anywhere) by HSR. It's for intercity travel, not daily commuting.
Many people DO commute via HSR around the world. Fresno will become a 45-minute train ride from San Jose. Right now, many people commute more than an hour on traditional commuter railroads all over the country.
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  #2002  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2018, 10:04 PM
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HSR is about way more than people going from San Fransisco to LA. It's about connecting all of CA, and a great way to make cities more affordable. It's about turning central CA cities in to suburbs of SF and LA, allowing workers in those two cities to live in affordable communities while working in vastly more expensive cities. It's about turning California in to a cohesive whole.
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  #2003  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2018, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
This is all fantasy nonsense. Putting aside the odd idea of HSR as an engine for exurban sprawl, has never happened anywhere on the planet. No one is going to be commuting from the Central Valley to San Jose (or anywhere) by HSR. It's for intercity travel, not daily commuting.
So you are saying that the people already commuting from the central valley in the form of ACE, Capitol Corridor, and the San Joaquin train will stick with the slow ass train they are currently buying tickets for?
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Last edited by TWAK; Apr 26, 2018 at 11:21 PM.
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  #2004  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2018, 10:43 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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I'll repeat that the real winner is San Jose.

The "flaw" with the HSR plan is that San Francisco loses out to San Jose as the effective northern terminus of the LA-SF stretch. San Jose is physically closer to LA by about 45 miles, which should pass by in just 15 minutes on a HSR line. But the "blended" Caltrains line is going to restrain HSR speeds AND capacity.

So everyone talks about slow LA-SF times but LA-San Jose times will be very fast. Plus, trains that originate in SF will get to San Jose much faster than Caltrains does now because there will only be one stop. So not only will San Jose draw commuters from Merced and Fresno but also from...San Francisco.

It is believed that the Transbay Terminal will have capacity for four HSR trains per hour. I expect that all four of those trains will be express trains to LA -- they will only stop at Mibrae and San Jose. They will then run express from San Jose to LA.

But San Jose will be where the "local" trains terminate. These trains will only run between San Jose and Sacramento or between San Jose an LA.

So San Jose will be the true hub of the network, to San Francisco's detriment. So who is behind all of the anti-HSR propaganda? San Francisco real estate interests.
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  #2005  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2018, 5:05 PM
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Don't worry San Jose will still be lame and most people will go into Silcon Valley/SF and the East Bay
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  #2006  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2018, 8:05 PM
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Originally Posted by TWAK View Post
So you are saying that the people already commuting from the central valley in the form of ACE, Capitol Corridor, and the San Joaquin train will stick with the slow ass train they are currently buying tickets for?
Obviously, yes, as is true as everyone else on the planet. Why aren't people in the Northeast commuting to Manhattan via Acela? Gee, I wonder why. Why isn't half of France commuting to Paris via TGV?

There is no example on the planet where high-cost HSR replaced low-cost commuter rail (because, obviously, if you could afford commuting by HSR every day, you wouldn't be living in the sticks in the first place, and HSR is geared towards intercity travel, not commuting patterns).

And what people? There are barely any passengers riding those trains. If 100% switched to commuter rail it would be essentially meaningless to regional growth patterns. In places where you have like 50x the rail commuter flows (say Paris), it's still meaningless.

The arguments being advanced for CA HSR have no precedent anywhere on the planet. The whole plan is fantasy.
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  #2007  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2018, 8:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Obviously, yes, as is true as everyone else on the planet. Why aren't people in the Northeast commuting to Manhattan via Acela? Gee, I wonder why. Why isn't half of France commuting to Paris via TGV?
So those are discussions better suited for the NY and Paris transport threads. Your anger is misplaced....focus that on NE Transport planning.
If not...time to flood NY threads with "subway to nowhere".

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There is no example on the planet where high-cost HSR replaced low-cost commuter rail (because, obviously, if you could afford commuting by HSR every day, you wouldn't be living in the sticks in the first place, and HSR is geared towards intercity travel, not commuting patterns).
This can be something new.

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And what people? There are barely any passengers riding those trains. If 100% switched to commuter rail it would be essentially meaningless to regional growth patterns. In places where you have like 50x the rail commuter flows (say Paris), it's still meaningless.
I think you are just generally unaware of what's going on with the project, and what is going on with local transportation agencies. When is the last time you have read California's state rail plan, huh? NEVER.
Check out the wikipedia for Capitol Corridor.
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The arguments being advanced for CA HSR have no precedent anywhere on the planet. The whole plan is fantasy.
It's already construction reality for Northern California. So at the minimum if New Yorkers plan to stop this project, our local systems can use the infrastructure. 100+ miles of rail and road projects in Fresno and the electrification of Caltrain will be very helpful. Hell, trains that you claim are empty, are actually going to increase capacity and frequency because of it.
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  #2008  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2018, 7:01 AM
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Why aren't people in the Northeast commuting to Manhattan via Acela?
Because there is lots of affordable housing within a reasonable commute of Manhattan. The same is not true for San Francisco.
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  #2009  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2018, 1:59 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Originally Posted by pizzaguy View Post
Because there is lots of affordable housing within a reasonable commute of Manhattan. The same is not true for San Francisco.
The argument against this happening on a large scale isn't the theoretical practicality of it -- it's that the capacity of the full HSR is unknown at this point because they haven't ordered the trains.

The Parsons-Brinkerhoff study from around 2008 projected 4 trains per hour to SF and at least 2 more that will terminate at San Jose. But the problem is that they are limiting the station platforms to 800 feet, not 1600 feet as exists in France and Japan. So each train will be limited to about 400 passengers, not 800.

That means many if not most trains will sell out far in advance. The big advantage of the 1600-foot trains is that few trains sell out, so ticket prices can be lower, which incentivizes people to take the train instead of fly or drive.
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  #2010  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2018, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
The argument against this happening on a large scale isn't the theoretical practicality of it -- it's that the capacity of the full HSR is unknown at this point because they haven't ordered the trains.

The Parsons-Brinkerhoff study from around 2008 projected 4 trains per hour to SF and at least 2 more that will terminate at San Jose. But the problem is that they are limiting the station platforms to 800 feet, not 1600 feet as exists in France and Japan. So each train will be limited to about 400 passengers, not 800.

That means many if not most trains will sell out far in advance. The big advantage of the 1600-foot trains is that few trains sell out, so ticket prices can be lower, which incentivizes people to take the train instead of fly or drive.
CHSR hasn’t ordered any trains yet. Suppose they order double level TGV HSR train sets - wouldn’t they transport the same number of passengers as a twice longer single level train?
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  #2011  
Old Posted May 1, 2018, 1:44 AM
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The specifications for CHSR rolling stock has been established for some time as it was required to be known for even preliminary engineering of structures and track geometry. CHSR will not be using bilevel, Duplex-style rolling stock as used on some TGV routes. A single level train is what is called for. I have read about the 800 foot platform detail but am not sure how finalized that is and to the best of my knowledge there is not specification in the engineering doc's that specifically identify how long the planned rake of cars will be. I too hope they do not pigeon hole themselves into capacity and scheduling conflicts by cutting corners with platform lenghth. Perhaps engineering is accommodating the flexibility of future platform lengthening as demand warrants. This I have no knowledge of. It is important to remember though that a 1600' rake is an outlier. With the exception of the Eurostar, as far as I know the only other HSR consists of this length are when two separate trains are coupled together (proper term?) while sharing a specific leg of the journey. I believe this occurs frequently on certain trunk line segments in Germany and France, I also believe it is practiced in Japan, though I am not sure. Regardless, this practice wouldn't be necessary on CHSR anyways, so it was unlikely one would expect trains of that length planned or engineered for. For example, a 1600' rake would be something in the order of 20 passenger coaches with two power cars. I'm not convinced such single train capacity is even remotely warranted.
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  #2012  
Old Posted May 1, 2018, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Obviously, yes, as is true as everyone else on the planet. Why aren't people in the Northeast commuting to Manhattan via Acela? Gee, I wonder why. Why isn't half of France commuting to Paris via TGV?
A combination of journey time, frequency, capacity, cost, and origin/destination connectivity.

Acela has several key flaws that undermine its ability to be a viable mode of commuting, which is why the entire Amtrak NEC had just 12mn riders (FY17). TGV’s tend to have low frequencies, measured in terms of frequency per day rather than per hour which isn’t conducive to commuting, especially over long-distances.


Coming to the topic of trainsets. I think the majority of trains on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen are 400m trainsets rather than 2x200m coupled units. 400m trainsets only really make sense if there is the demand to fully utilise the entire train; moving empty trains at high-speed is not cost effective, which is why you tend to have a mixture on routes that are high-intensity (Beijing-Shanghai, the u/c HS2, etc…). A big benefit of running two coupled units is that it gives you operational flexibility either to split the train further down the line to serve two destinations or regulate capacity whilst maintaining frequencies off-peak.

Double-decker trains aren’t too much of a problem if they are running non-stop, the issue is when you have stopping services, the dwell time eats into the journey time savings. It also makes operating high frequencies more of a problem.
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  #2013  
Old Posted May 2, 2018, 4:37 PM
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Some numbers:
*Total cost is estimated around $98 billion for the scaled back version from what was originally promised to cost $33 billion for the entire system before they eliminated phases and spurs of HSR.

*The cost to relocate utilities along a 32 mile segment in the Central Valley was initially estimated to be $25 million, it is now expected to cost $400 million to relocate utilities.

*Last week $40 million was pulled from the overall budget for utility relocation to keep the project funded through June. That's money pulled from the yet-to-be-spent budget for the future construction of the actual rail tracks for the entire 119-mile Valley section.

*Total costs to completion of the entire 119-mile Valley sections are estimated at $10.6 billion – an increase of $2.8 billion from the rail authority’s 2016 estimate of $7.8 billion.

*1900 parcels of land have been identified to be acquired for HSR, yet to date only 607 parcels have been acquired.
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  #2014  
Old Posted May 2, 2018, 5:18 PM
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BART went incredibly, ridiculously over budget as well. And could you imagine San Fransisco without it?
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  #2015  
Old Posted May 2, 2018, 5:22 PM
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Well shoot. I guess since things cost money, we should all just throw in the towel and give up on living like 1st world 21st century citizens. Let's all just be happy with our crumbling 1950s transportation system and tremble in fear at the sound of big scary amounts of money that the government wants to spend. Ambition is hard.
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  #2016  
Old Posted May 2, 2018, 6:29 PM
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  #2017  
Old Posted May 2, 2018, 7:23 PM
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Sometimes stuff just costs money, the UK high speed rail project is probably going to cost $85bn but it's needed because the current intercity network is going to be at full capacity shortly so it just needs to be paid for. These are big numbers but if you work out the cost per resident and spread it over the lifetime of the infrastructure it's only a few dollars a year each
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  #2018  
Old Posted May 2, 2018, 7:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Illithid Dude View Post
BART went incredibly, ridiculously over budget as well. And could you imagine San Fransisco without it?
BART has OK ridership, though, at least compared to this boondoggle. And it serves a tangible purpose.
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  #2019  
Old Posted May 2, 2018, 7:35 PM
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Originally Posted by pizzaguy View Post
Because there is lots of affordable housing within a reasonable commute of Manhattan. The same is not true for San Francisco.
First, this isn't true. There are no real "cheap" areas within 40 miles or so of Manhattan, at least not places where professionals would willingly live.

Second, we have data on supercommuting, and there are actually far more supercommuters to NYC than to SF. But they're almost all in local trains, on buses, ferries or cars. Very few Acela riders.

Again, the logic behind CA HSR assumes things that don't exist, anywhere. There are no "Barb from Bakersfield" commuters who are gonna pay 5k a month to gain a few minutes on a hell commute.
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  #2020  
Old Posted May 2, 2018, 10:42 PM
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I'm not convinced such single train capacity is even remotely warranted.
It's water under the bridge because the decision has already been made to go with 800-foot platforms, but the big advantage of the bigger trains is that it drives down the per-seat cost. Running a 2x train doesn't cost 2x. It might cost 20-30% more accounting for electricity and train/track wear.

They're going to be selling out these 800-foot trains right away. Four trains per hour leaving SF Transbay, with three headed for LA and 1 to Sacramento is not really that much capacity -- specifically, a max of about 1,200 passengers per direction between LA and SF, with one of those trains likely being an all-stops local.

So they're going to end up charging big $ to ride this thing since so many trains will sell out 7 days per week.

Plus, we return to the issue of San Jose having a much larger capacity for trains than SF. Transbay is maxed out at 4 trains per hour, forever. San Jose could have those 4 plus 6-8 more that originate there.
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