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Fri Mar 3, 2017, 10:57 PM

California high-speed rail ready to lay some track

Source: Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) After years of prep work, Gov. Jerry Brown's finance department decided Friday that California's $64 billion high-speed rail project is ready to lay some track.

The administration approved the rail authority's request to spend $2.6 billion on work in the Central Valley. The decision lets the authority ask the state treasurer's office to sell a portion of the nearly $10 billion in bonds voters approved in 2008 for a bullet train.

However, the first 29-mile segment of track isn't expected to be completed until at least August 2019.

The bullet train's long-term prospects remain clouded because of uncertainty over funding and several pending lawsuits. Significant federal help is required, and the Republican-controlled Congress does not support the project. Private money also is needed but none has been secured yet.

Read more: https://apnews.com/98f8e3bb3df94f94b4b06743f66ccc26/California-high-speed-rail-ready-to-lay-some-track

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Reply California high-speed rail ready to lay some track (Original post)
Rollo Mar 2017 OP
mahatmakanejeeves Mar 2017 #1
Rollo Mar 2017 #2
mahatmakanejeeves Mar 2017 #9
Rollo Mar 2017 #27
lunatica Mar 2017 #74
Sen. Walter Sobchak Mar 2017 #13
grantcart Mar 2017 #16
pablo_marmol Mar 2017 #20
grantcart Mar 2017 #21
LineLineLineLineLineLineLineReply *
pablo_marmol Mar 2017 #25
Rollo Mar 2017 #31
jaysunb Mar 2017 #54
Rollo Mar 2017 #32
grantcart Mar 2017 #37
Rollo Mar 2017 #49
Sen. Walter Sobchak Mar 2017 #71
Rollo Mar 2017 #72
Sen. Walter Sobchak Mar 2017 #73
Rollo Mar 2017 #75
Sen. Walter Sobchak Mar 2017 #76
Rollo Mar 2017 #77
Sen. Walter Sobchak Mar 2017 #78
Rollo Mar 2017 #79
Rollo Mar 2017 #58
grantcart Mar 2017 #59
Rollo Mar 2017 #60
Rollo Mar 2017 #61
Rollo Mar 2017 #62
Rollo Mar 2017 #64
Rollo Mar 2017 #65
Rollo Mar 2017 #66
Rollo Mar 2017 #67
Rollo Mar 2017 #69
jaysunb Mar 2017 #53
tinrobot Mar 2017 #14
Rollo Mar 2017 #33
grantcart Mar 2017 #39
tinrobot Mar 2017 #68
grantcart Mar 2017 #38
Rollo Mar 2017 #50
EX500rider Mar 2017 #63
Rollo Mar 2017 #70
Name removed Mar 2017 #3
Firebrand Gary Mar 2017 #4
flamingdem Mar 2017 #7
Rollo Mar 2017 #34
Jamaal510 Mar 2017 #5
C Moon Mar 2017 #6
Rollo Mar 2017 #17
lambchopp59 Mar 2017 #8
Rollo Mar 2017 #19
grantcart Mar 2017 #40
Rollo Mar 2017 #51
grantcart Mar 2017 #56
Rollo Mar 2017 #57
lambchopp59 Mar 2017 #45
jaysunb Mar 2017 #55
MindPilot Mar 2017 #24
former9thward Mar 2017 #10
Sen. Walter Sobchak Mar 2017 #12
Rollo Mar 2017 #18
RandiFan1290 Mar 2017 #22
former9thward Mar 2017 #23
Rollo Mar 2017 #29
Sen. Walter Sobchak Mar 2017 #11
Rollo Mar 2017 #15
ghostsinthemachine Mar 2017 #26
Rollo Mar 2017 #28
ghostsinthemachine Mar 2017 #30
Rollo Mar 2017 #35
Rollo Mar 2017 #36
ghostsinthemachine Mar 2017 #41
mr_lebowski Mar 2017 #43
ghostsinthemachine Mar 2017 #42
lambchopp59 Mar 2017 #46
ghostsinthemachine Mar 2017 #47
ucrdem Mar 2017 #44
yortsed snacilbuper Mar 2017 #48
Rollo Mar 2017 #52
AngryAmish Mar 2017 #80

Response to Rollo (Original post)

Fri Mar 3, 2017, 11:05 PM

1. 29 miles? What's the airfare between LAX and SFO?

Hey, I like trains too, but....

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 3, 2017, 11:16 PM

2. What does the LA-SF airfare have to do with the initial segment?

I think it will run somewhere between Fresno and Modesto. Not a particularly heavily traveled segment, but:

1) The route is sited in the great Central Valley of California because the right of way is cheaper to acquire, and it's generally flat.
2) Similarly, the most heavily used freeway between SF and LA is Interstate Highway 5, which runs in the Central Valley as well.
3) You gotta start somewhere, and since this will be the first and only high speed rail system in America, it's important to iron out the inevitable bugs on a lightly used portion before going prime time between the major metro areas.

Personally I'm looking forward to being able to travel from one end of the state (or at least between Bay Area and LA area by rail, in my retirement. Cars are costly and inefficient, air travel is increasingly time consuming (2 hr to get through the TSA?), and a rail system that picks up and drops off in the centers of cities is a no-brainer, or at least should be.

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Response to Rollo (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 3, 2017, 11:38 PM

9. Everything.

I am familiar with the concept of railroads. They work by providing a means by which items located in a place in which they are in abundance can be moved to some other place in which they are scarce, and thus in demand.

Fore example, crops are transported from farms to cities, because the cities are where the hungry people are. Coal is moved from mines to power plants. Well, maybe not so much of that anymore.

In the case of passenger trains, people are transported from where they are to where they want to be. There are not as many people in Fresno and Modesto as there are in Los Angeles and San Francisco. If this railroad is going to make a go of it, it's going to have to serve the places where people live. Lots of people. More people than you'll find in Fresno and Modesto. Those people will weigh the costs and benefits of travel by rail versus the costs and benefits of travel by air.

So what's the airfare between LAX and SFO?

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 05:47 PM

27. Does the concept of a round trip ring a bell?

/nt

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 7, 2017, 05:33 PM

74. Rail traffice through Modesto and Fresno would bring commerce there too

The thing about having trains is not just the destinations. It's the cottage industry that would spring up all along the route. And businesses would start moving there because the train would be an easy way for customers or clients or goods to travel. It's not hard to imagine companies that would do quite well setting up shop at each train station. Car rentals would be one. Restaurants. All kinds of shops and destination activities would flourish.

The speed would make it possible to take a round trip in a day with time left over to get some work done while traveling. And the traffic hassle in Los Angeles would be sidestepped. That in itself would make it worth the effort. There would also be quite a few train stations in the larger destinations. The amount of time wasted in traffic would be cut into a fraction of what it takes now.

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Response to Rollo (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 12:05 AM

13. Start with the total build-out of local rail transit networks

 

Do something that will actually improve people's lives. I suspect if this is ever completed it will serve primarily as a tourist attraction and TSA free way to transport commercial quantities of meth.

How many regions in California actually have a "downtown" in the conventional sense of the word. We have a dozen downtowns in just Los Angeles and Orange County. There isn't enough centralization here, you will note Los Angeles and Orange County are served by six airports.

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Response to Sen. Walter Sobchak (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 02:26 AM

16. Unfortunately objective science based modeling shows that there isn't enough inter regional travel

to support expensive fast rail options in the mid California region.

Areas that are able to support high speed rail are corridors that have tens of millions of commuters; Japan, China, Europe. The only place in the US that has that kind of density is Boston to North Carolina.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 04:03 AM

20. Exactly. I find it extremely troublesome that so many can't admit this idea stinks.


With infrastructure in desperate need of repair, and water projects that should come first we're spending all of this $$ on a project with dubious utility? FFS.

Between this boondoggle and our dishonesty relating to the gun violence issue CA may be purple before long.

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Response to pablo_marmol (Reply #20)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 05:59 AM

21. unfortunately this is pulling a lot of union support

Because of the jobs in construction.

They trade short term jobs for first long term solvency.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #21)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 04:01 PM

25. *

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Response to pablo_marmol (Reply #20)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 06:02 PM

31. I find it distressing that so many self-described Dems don't get it...

Ca HSR is not intended to compete with air travel. It is intended to provide a ground link between major metro areas of the state, which include many populous cities other than SF and LA.

It is intended to relieve travelers in these areas of the cost, stress, and environmental damage that using automobiles inflict for the same travel routes.

CA HSR is not a boondoggle. You might as well try to prove that Japan's bullet trains, and France's TGV are boon doggles. If you can prove that, then you'd have a point. But you can't so you don't.

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Response to Rollo (Reply #31)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 12:44 AM

54. +1000 n/t

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Response to grantcart (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 06:04 PM

32. How about some references (links) to support that negative claim?

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Response to Rollo (Reply #32)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 06:58 PM

37. Why? Facts have never had any relevance in this debate.

If you look at the few places in the world where high speed transit is sustainable then you will see the same conditions apply which do not apply here:

a) large concentrated populations
b) significant end to end transit users
c) significant number of people who will use transit at intermediate points.
d) history of using rail services and gradually using HSR to upgrade their transportation experience.

The facts regarding the project have been well established and the idea that is self sustainable not seriously believed. In the end it will require about $ 4 billion a year in subsidies and these subsidies will mean that money that could be used for mass transit for the poor and the middle class will be diverted.

The idea that it is going to replace large numbers of people who use air travel between SF and Los Angeles is highly doubtful and the numbers of people who might use it in the rural areas in between are simply not large enough.

The criticisms have been well documented before but the voters specifically voted that the numbers had to add up and it be sustainable, and no one really believes that they will ever get close to that.

http://reason.org/files/1b544eba6f1d5f9e8012a8c36676ea7e.pdf

Here are some examples. Start on page 10 where it describes foreign markets. The fact is that it works in Japan because it is a large urban population mashed into a narrow corridor that has a long history of using railroads as a primary commuting platform, we don't have the density or the history. There is no reason to believe that millions of people are going to change their behaviour so that they can take more time to go from point a to point b.



Based upon international HSR experience, it appears that the CHSRA speed and travel time
objectives cannot be met. As a result, HSR will be less attractive as an alternative to airline travel
and is likely to attract fewer passengers than projected. Notably, the CHSRA’s anticipated average
speeds are not being achieved anywhere in the world, including on the most advanced systems. . .

This study, by assuming realistic speeds, estimates that a non-stop San Francisco–Los Angeles trip
would take 3 hours and 41 minutes—59 minutes longer than the statutory requirement of 2 hours,
42 minutes. In the future, the CHSRA’s travel times may be further lengthened by train weight and
safety issues and also by political demands to add stops to the system.

The proposed HSR system appears unlikely to provide travel time advantages for long-distance
airline passengers. It is likely that HSR door-to-door travel times would be greater and there would
be considerably less non-stop service than air service.

No existing European or Asian HSR train capable of meeting the speed and capacity goals of the
CHSRA system can legally be used in the United States.

It appears that the CHSRA 2030 ridership projections are absurdly high—so much so that they
could well rank among the most unrealistic projections produced for a major transport project
anywhere in the world.

Claims about HSR’s environmental benefits have been greatly overstated. California HSR will do
little to reduce CO2 emissions (greenhouse gas emissions).



I lived in Southern California for two decades and would have used fast rail a couple of times. It just doesn't fit the demographics. People who shuttle between the two cities for business are not going to use it because air travel will still be faster. People who want to travel socially won't give up using their cars because when you arrive at either SF or LA you need to have your car (unlike Chicago or Los Angeles).

There simply isn't enough need by people who live in the area between the two hubs and use it for a daily commute (the fundamental source of ridership in Japan or China, etc).

The fact is that HSR in California will not be sustainable and need public funding. This funding should instead go to upgrading the mass transportation system in the urban areas to give higher quality options for the working poor and middle class.


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Response to grantcart (Reply #37)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 11:07 PM

49. Air travel receives huge public subsidies...

Airports and security services don't come free.

Add to that the epic air pollution visited upon the earth's upper atmosphere by the explosion of high flying fossil fuel burning airliners.

HSR runs on electricity, with far less pollution, and which can be controlled at the generation source, or avoided altogether with renewable fuels like solar, wind, hydro, thermal, etc.

Or are you going to put catalytic converters on Dreamliners?

Speaking of which, private automobiles, which HSR competes directly with, also receive huge subsidies. In the form of roads and highways, the policing thereof. Then there are the astronomical social public costs of car ownership and operation, insurance, medical costs from the inevitable collisions and injuries, and the bad health effects of the pollution caused by cars.

Me? I'd much rather load a bicycle on a HSR train and take it across the great state of California and enjoy the scenery along the way and the up close encounters with other towns on the bicycle. And I'm 65, no spring chicken, but even I know how much longer I'll live if I choose a bike/rail/bike solution over a car/plane/car addiction.

As for subsidies... LOL... try learning some facts:

Europe subsidizes passenger rail travel to the tune of $73 billion/yr.

China pumped $128 billion into its rail system in 2015.

Smaller Japanese cities heavily subsidize HSR ticket costs to try to prevent students and workers from moving out to larger cities.

And while direct subsidies to the private companies that run the JR HSR system, they receive valuable tax breaks and other perks to help them defray their costs. Not to mention that initial construction and right of way costs were greatly reduced by the fact that Japan's infrastructure was demolished during WWII and had to be rebuilt anyway.

What, are we going to wait for a nuclear war before we decide HSR rail is a good idea for the USA?

Some bright thinking going on there.

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Response to Rollo (Reply #49)

Tue Mar 7, 2017, 12:22 AM

71. What will do more to reduce air pollution?

 

Diverting an inconsequentially small number of road and airline travelers onto this stupid train or making public transit not just a viable but an attractive alternative for those who such as myself experienced absolutely no burden what-so-ever when gas was $5 a gallon?

Subsidizing intercity passenger railroads outside of the Northeast is like subsidizing a clinic that performs amputations for only twice the price of a cast. It is a service that has absolutely no reason to exist.

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Response to Sen. Walter Sobchak (Reply #71)

Tue Mar 7, 2017, 01:10 AM

72. Northeast chauvanism

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Response to Rollo (Reply #72)

Tue Mar 7, 2017, 01:18 PM

73. I'm from Orange County and consider most of the northeast unfit for human habitation

 

I drive to work every single day. Give me and my peers a better alternative than a bus that keeps no obvious schedule and smells like vomit.

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Response to Sen. Walter Sobchak (Reply #73)

Tue Mar 7, 2017, 11:38 PM

75. High speed rail...

duh

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Response to Rollo (Reply #75)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 12:26 AM

76. High speed rail... for my 7 mile commute

 

Yes, the high speed rail line down MacArthur Blvd will be incredibly well patronized.

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Response to Sen. Walter Sobchak (Reply #76)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 02:03 AM

77. Get a time machine...

And go back to 1948 when light rail systems crisscrossed LA. There was probably one you could have taken.

But they aren't there now, are there? Why is that?

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Response to Rollo (Reply #77)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 04:41 AM

78. Yeah, I saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit too.

 

It's a nice story but the street cars began their decline a whole lot earlier

In any event I am assuming you're unfamiliar with the Metro Rail. The plans for developing the Metro Rail over the next fifty years are pretty solid, they're just unfunded. But by all means lets fund high-speed rail instead. Why do something useful when we can just erect the mother of all straw-men for Republicans nation-wide to mock?

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Response to Sen. Walter Sobchak (Reply #78)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 10:50 AM

79. Look North, my son

BART is by no means a perfect system, but it was built in about five years and is a vital transportation link for millions of Bay Area residents. And it was built when phenomenal amounts were diverted from the national treasure to a pointless war in SE Asia. The people of the SFBA region raised their own funds for the lion's share of the costs. How about you southlanders do the same instead of whining about other mass transit solutions?

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Response to grantcart (Reply #16)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 05:52 AM

58. Nonsense

California is the most populous state in the nation.

To claim that only the Northeast Corridor (NEC) is suitable for HSR is rather misleading. If anything, it has a LOT of strikes against it. For example, people claim that Acela is high speed rail. Well, only for about 30 miles does it reach high speeds. Average speeds are between 66 and 81 mph on most of its length. It is particularly slow between New Haven and New York, due to the crowded infrastructure there (existing slower commuter trains get in the way, I suppose). Even so, the competition from Acela was enough to force the cancellation of one air service route between, as I recall from reading, NY and DC.

Unlike Acela, CA HSR is planned from the start as true high speed. It will have many more miles of true bullet train speeds by virtue of the fact that the Central Valley is still not as developed as the NEC and therefore dedicated high speed rail track can be laid, with few if any at grade crossings.

When you get to the major metro areas like SF, then of course you run into issues with space, land acquisition, prior right of way, etc. This drives up costs as well. This is an underlying problem with the whole Caltrain electrification issue. But sooner or later it's got to be done.

Now, Elon Musk has this rather unusual idea that you can stuff people into an evacuated pneumatic tube tunnel and whisk bodies at extremely high speeds from point A to point B. But then he also plans to send tourists into moon orbit in two years. Personally I don't think either one will happen. But HSR is a proven technology and also extremely safe.

Unlike the NEC there still are a variety of routes that CA HSR could take to resolve the Caltrain issue. The simplest may just be to re-route the tracks to more friendly areas, like the East Bay or further inland. Due to local opposition (Marin County), SF is a dead end destination but one that is already well served by BART. HSR that goes intermodal with BART, either in San Jose or Oakland, would achieve the overall goal of linking north and south California by a high speed rail system.

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Response to Rollo (Reply #58)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 12:00 PM

59. The premises that drove the ballot approved measure

have long been proved dead, as shown in this thread where you argue on both sides that CA HSR will and won't be a significant displacement of SFO^LAX traffic (it won't).

Size of the population has NEVER been the issue, HSR requires a HIGHLY DENSE CORRIDOR of DAILY COMMUTER traffic and this does not exist.

Many of us who advocate for mass transit were for it until the objective data shows that the original premise of a sustainable fully self supported operation (with only massive capital support from public sources).

Your contradictory assertions prove how your position is epistomologically bankrupt, you have an unshakable conclusion in search of data. This is proved yet again where you discuss Elon Musk alternative to HSR which he has offered because of the widely accepted given that HSR isn't going to meet it's original premise (which you have shown to be painfully unaware).

The entire thread is off point and despite repeated posts you continue to avoid it so there is no reason to continue to try.

Here is the real point.

1) There are limited public funds to subsidize public mass transit.

2) It is clear that under Trump that the assumptions about federal support are not going to happen.

3) Given 1 + 2 above is sending $ 4 billion a year (mid level estimate) to create high speed rail for the relatively sparse Modesto CORRIDOR, or would it be better to improve mass transit in the city core where millions of commuters are struggling under increasingly worsening travel times.

As to your arguments that trains are neat (agree), high speed trains are really neat (agree) and that California is both big (LA County is bigger than RI) and populous that does not equate to the original premise of the ballot that it would be so high speed as to be a viable alternative to SFO/LAX air traffic which is critical to self sufficiency.

Since all you are doing is repeating off point and contradictory assertions I will leave the thread to you.

What started out as a technically exciting public enterprise the CA HSR will be completed because massive capital expenditures have created a phalanx of parties that will get massive short term riches, but it will end up as a permanent drain on limited funds diverting public resources from pressing urban needs to, yet again, sparsely populated rural areas.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #59)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 04:08 PM

60. Why Doing Nothing is Not an Option...

A pithy comment...

Why Doing Nothing is Not an Option

When opponents talk about the high costs of high speed rail (and they are high), they are comparing it to the cost of doing nothing. But that’s not an option. Building new interstate highways has a cost per mile from $5 million up to beyond $20 million. In California, the state estimates that building the same amount of transportation capacity as the full high speed rail plan in highways and airport infrastructure would cost $114 billion, vs. the projected rail cost of $68 billion. On the East Coast, I suspect the numbers would be similar, or even more disparate, as the land for highway expansion is simply not available.

Finally, a note about what I said in yesterday’s post about my skepticism about the funding model: government funding to government-sponsored companies. I take Amtrak between Washington and the New York area pretty often (my family lives in northern New Jersey) and the level of service and attention to detail drives me crazy. From the 1970s-era cars to the overpriced microwaved food, there is much that can be improved. Even on the few occasions when I travel by the Acela (only when someone else is paying), it’s a better experience, but still doesn’t meet levels I’ve seen when I’ve taken the train in Spain, Japan, or France. That said, it is better than domestic air travel these days, so I’m not sure that outright privatizing of the line would make it better. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Mica has proposed legislation that would privatize Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, and there is some logic to that: this section (the only part of Amtrak that makes money) is used to cross-subsidize the other routes that lose money for every passenger.

William Lind, one of the only conservative activists in favor of rail (he writes for the American Conservative’s Center for Public Transportation) has made a coherent case that the big-government highway-building program of the ‘50s and ’60 undermined the free-market passenger rail companies. In a world where private actors paid the full cost of transportation, I think rail would still win — but until government gets out of the highway and airport business, there must be a role for government in the rail business too.

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Response to Rollo (Reply #60)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 04:11 PM

61. Watch this

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Response to Rollo (Reply #60)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 04:20 PM

62. And this...

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Response to Rollo (Reply #60)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 04:29 PM

64. Not to mention this...

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Response to Rollo (Reply #60)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 04:37 PM

65. Don't forget...

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Response to Rollo (Reply #60)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 04:50 PM

66. For the entire nation...

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Response to Rollo (Reply #60)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 04:53 PM

67. But wait, there's more...

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Response to Rollo (Reply #60)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 05:16 PM

69. Construction in progress...


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Response to Rollo (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 12:42 AM

53. +1 n/t

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 01:30 AM

14. Planes between LAX and SFO don't stop in Fresno and Bakersfield

The train serves LA and SF, plus about a half dozen cities in the middle.

The train is not meant to compete with air travel between large cities, it serves a different market segment - mid sized cities. The people in these places don't have an easy way to the big cities.

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Response to tinrobot (Reply #14)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 06:15 PM

33. Presactly

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Response to Rollo (Reply #33)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 07:11 PM

39. Wrong

The legislation required that LA/SF meet speed metrics that were thought to be attractive enough to displace air travel. When it was on the ballot no one ever argued that the intermediate traffic would come any where near sustaining the huge capital and operating costs



http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_3001-3050/ab_3034_bill_20080826_chaptered.html

(a) Electric trains that are capable of sustained maximum revenue
operating speeds of no less than 200 miles per hour.
(b) Maximum nonstop service travel times for each corridor that
shall not exceed the following:
(1) San Francisco-Los Angeles Union Station: two hours, 40
minutes.
(2) Oakland-Los Angeles Union Station: two hours, 40 minutes.
(3) San Francisco-San Jose: 30 minutes.
(4) San Jose-Los Angeles: two hours, 10 minutes.
(5) San Diego-Los Angeles: one hour, 20 minutes.
(6) Inland Empire-Los Angeles: 30 minutes.
(7) Sacramento-Los Angeles: two hours, 20 minutes.


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Response to grantcart (Reply #39)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 05:06 PM

68. Maximum "nonstop" travel times...

If you ran a nonstop express train between LA and SF, it would easily achieve those times. So, I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here.

I do suspect the biggest demand will be from those in the middle. In other words, the train may stop for a few minutes to let more people ride it.

Completely unacceptable... right?

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Response to tinrobot (Reply #14)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 07:09 PM

38. Not Correct

Here is the quote from the enabling legislation which gives as its first point



http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_3001-3050/ab_3034_bill_20080826_chaptered.html

(b) Maximum nonstop service travel times for each corridor that
shall not exceed the following:
(1) San Francisco-Los Angeles Union Station: two hours, 40
minutes.



Replacing SF/LA air traffic was an essential part of the argument from day one.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #38)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 11:42 PM

50. And no doubt CAHSR will replace some SF-LA air traffic

Because the train will deliver passengers directly into city centers, not to airports on the outskirts of town, that require so much time to get in and out of that HSR becomes the FASTER solution.

It's a no brainer, however, that the train MUST go through other parts of the state along the way. Why not route it through other cities in between? And these are some of the fastest growing communities in the state. It opens up all sorts of new opportunities for residents there... like keeping one's home in Fresno but being able to commute to another town, even LA, for work or school. Tourism also is a big winner, as demonstrated in Japan and elsewhere in the world where HSR has been built. Business-to-business connections also benefit from HSR, allowing businesses to connect to suppliers outside their immediate vicinity with timely delivery and quality better assured.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 04:22 PM

63. Looks to be about $141rt on Travelocity, so $70 ea way by airplane.

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Response to EX500rider (Reply #63)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 06:54 PM

70. Ignoring other costs...

Like tax dollars that support airport infrastructure and operations, costs to travel by car to airport, park, etc. Then there are the extra baggage charges. All told, it will take LONGER to get from city center to city center via air vs. via HSR. The costs are probably equivalent, if you ignore the environmental and social negative costs of air transport.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)


Response to Rollo (Original post)

Fri Mar 3, 2017, 11:20 PM

4. This is great news!

I'm thrilled that the design started in the central valley, otherwise it would have been kicked off even further. This project is important to the future of California, and at a time where republicans will stop at nothing to kill it, we must defend it and get it built.

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Response to Firebrand Gary (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 3, 2017, 11:35 PM

7. +1

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Response to Firebrand Gary (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 06:18 PM

34. +2

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Fri Mar 3, 2017, 11:26 PM

5. I never was wild

about the idea of a CA high-speed rail. It seems pointless since we already have airports, Amtrak, and greyhound. Also I could be wrong, but what I see happening in the long-term once this gets built is even more people from outside of the Bay Area coming here, jobs becoming more scarce, the traffic worsening, and the cost of living rising even more.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 3, 2017, 11:32 PM

6. I for one, wish I lived in the Bay area. I'm in So Cal. Love it up there!

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Response to Jamaal510 (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 02:34 AM

17. As a long term Bay Area resident...

A high speed rail link between North and South California is a long held dream, to come true in due course.

Air travel is a huge hassle. Stressful, unhealthy, and environmentally destructive. And if you figure in the infrastructure costs of airports, getting to/from airports, etc, it's a sad comparison with high speed rail. Amtrak if poorly run and slow slow slow. I'll probably get a senior pass and ride ti cross country when I retire and am in no big hurry. Greyhound? Been there, done that. A lurching crowded smelly Greyhound bus is OK for medium hops, I suppose.

On a train you can stretch out, have a meal, even sleep overnight. No comparison.

I've ridden the high speed trains in Japan. They are phenomenal. Even their slower local trains put ours to shame.

And, actually, the high speed rail will not increase traffic and crowding in the Bay Area. If anything, it will help get cars OFF the roads. It's part of the public transit network, and as such works to everyone's benefit, except perhaps not to the benefit of Big Oil and the car companies.

People will be riding the high speed rail system to be able to STAY where they live but to VISIT other places in state as they need or want. It means an actor can live in the Bay Area and make a hop down to LA for some work, then return home. It means a producer in LA can come up to SF to scout out new locations. Without having to deal with the farce that air travel has become, or spending dangerous hours behind the wheel in I5.

Change scares some people. Progress scares some people. These people will be left behind.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Fri Mar 3, 2017, 11:36 PM

8. It is soooooo overdue

For this whole nation to wean itself of driving one or two fat asses to the all you can eat buffet and back home on fossil fuels. The oily garchs have done more to push this nation so behind all other developed nations in the world with their republican suckups. I recall when BART was being built in the early 1970's, all us kids thought some day we would be waiting at the BART station for the Seattle train. Seriously. From the RayGun puppet on I watched our magnificent futuristic world we thought would be by now melt into selfish, pretentious ownership society that has brought us to the brink of ecological disaster and beyond.

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Response to lambchopp59 (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 02:48 AM

19. Like Japan, California is geographically perfect for high speed rail...

Japan has one main high speed rail line, between Tokyo and Osaka, and points like Nagoya in between. Nobody there complains about it going "nowhere". Like Japan, California is long and narrow, hemmed in on one side by the tallest mountains in the contiguous United States, and on the other by the vast Pacific Ocean. In the middle is the Great Central Valley, flat and long for hundreds of miles. It's railway heaven.

BART? Originally it was supposed to "ring the Bay". But then isolationist Marin County opted out early on, and San Jose was still a sleepy agricultural backwater (well, not exactly) but it also declined. Now BART is being expanded - at a snail's pace - to north San Jose, long overdue. BART itself was one of those 60's cluster fucks as well. Who in their right mind would design an interurban high speed (80 mph) system using a track gauge nobody else uses, with cars manufactured by a company with zero rail experience (Rohr Corporation). It was supposed to mostly underground, and silent. Instead long stretches are elevated and the wheels make a terrible racket. The whole thing stunk of cronyism and kickbacks. But somehow it got built, and somehow it runs well enough to be vital to the entire economy of the SF Bay Area, and megalopolis of some seven or more million souls.

Sure, people will still have cars for trips that public transit including high speed rail doesn't go. But this system will help reduce greatly the dependence on the individual car for daily living. What's not to like?


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Response to Rollo (Reply #19)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 07:18 PM

40. As someone who has lived in both Southern Ca and spent extended times in Tokyo area

I find the assertion that they are similar to be beyond astonishing, they couldn't be more different:



The current population of the Japanese Bullet Train market is more than double that of the
California market as projected for 2030.
The counties and metropolitan areas that will have
stations in the California system are projected to have less than 44 million people in
2030.29 By comparison, the prefectures of Japan served by the Bullet Trains already have a
population of more than 97 million.30
? The Japanese urban areas are considerably more dense than the California urban areas.
This means that HSR stations are closer to more of the urban population than they would
be in California.31 In addition, the large Japanese urban areas have large central business
districts (CBD’s or downtowns). The Tokyo CBD has more than twice as many jobs as
Manhattan has south of 59th Street. and the Osaka central business district is larger than
any for which data is available, except for Tokyo and New York. Nagoya’s CBD has more
than twice as many jobs as the San Francisco CBD.32 The CBD employment is a strong
generator of ridership because HSR stations are located in the CBD and they are easily
accessed by rapid transit,33 by short cab rides or by walking. This gives the Bullet Trains a
substantial market advantage.
? Japan has the developed world’s most comprehensive transit systems. In the Tokyo and
Osaka–Kobe–Kyoto urban areas, 63 and 56% respectively of urban travel is by transit.34 In
the third largest urban area, Nagoya, transit’s share is approximately 25%. Approximately
80% of that transit travel is by rapid transit modes in each area, which tend to be
competitive in travel time with cars (subways and commuter rail).35 Finally, in each of
these large urban areas, commercial revenues (including fares) account for more than 95%
of operating and capital costs.36 By contrast, the San Francisco urban (urbanized) area’s
transit market share is 3.8%, Los Angeles is 1.6%, San Diego 1.2%, San Jose 0.8% and
Sacramento 0.7%.37 The existence of Japan’s comprehensive rapid transit systems, which
were built as the urban areas spread out, makes near “seamless” travel possible throughout
the Japanese urban areas. In California, the overwhelming majority of HSR trips are likely
to require a car at one or both ends to complete the trip in a reasonable time and with
reasonable comfort.
? The automobile ownership rate is considerably lower in Japan. The auto and SUV
ownership rate per household is approximately 70% higher in the United States than in
Japan.38
? Driving is considerably more expensive in Japan. Gasoline costs more and the intercity
freeways have very steep tolls.

? Finally, each of the Bullet Train routes were preceded by a strong conventional rail
service—a “ready market” from which a large portion of the high-speed rail ridership was
attracted.
Before the high-speed system opened in the 1960s, there was little air service and
there were relatively few automobiles. Thus, much of the HSR ridership simply transferred
from slower trains to faster trains. By comparison, California has a small market potential
in diverting traffic from traditional rail services.


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Response to grantcart (Reply #40)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 11:53 PM

51. OK, so what was the combined population of Tokyo/Nagoya/Osaka in 1964, when the first bullet trains

became operational?

Let me help: In 1960, the combined population of Tokyo/Nagoya/Osaka was about 13 million. The combined population of the SF and LA metropolitan areas in 2000 was over 20 million.

Do the math.

We have more than enough population to justify HSR in California.

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Response to Rollo (Reply #51)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 03:11 AM

56. Your attempts at justification are growing more and more pathetic

You have an answer: High Speed Rail

You will now try and juggle any possible fact to try and make it fit.

At one point you assert that replacing SFO/LAX traffic was never intended and when I show you the legislative/referendum mandate that proscribed that to be the number one priority you go searching for another metric.

In 1964 what was the individual rate of car ownership in Tokyo/Osaka? Negligible
In 1964 (or today) what is the number of highway per 100,000? A fraction of the US.

You already argued that it wasn't point to point transportation but hub to point and the amount of commuter traffic that is relevant so using combined urban populations of LAX and SFO that are not going to be using the corridor on a regular basis is completely irrelevant.

But even more to the point is the question of distance and density. The distance between LAX and SFO is 50% longer than Tokyo/Osaka.

Personally I love rail. Use it every day I am on the East Coast or Chicago. When I am in Asia use it instead of air travel because you can get great first class sleepers. I voted for the referendum when it was offered as a self supporting system. It is clear that the premise that it was offered and voted on is not what is going to be put into place. It is not going to be self sustained, it is going to require substantial subsidies. (By the way one of the assumptions was that a significant percentage of the cost would be borne by federal grants. It should be clear to everyone that will not happen now).

This is a question about allocating limited sources of public funds for mass transit. The fact is that CA fast rail will require about $ 4 billion a year to maintain (forgetting the massive capital allocations). Instead of using revenue from the urban areas to subsidize travel in the rural areas (where traffic congestion is not an issue) that money would be better spent providing real life improvements to poor and working class people in the inner parts of LAX, SFO and SAN where there is a real need and congestion is turning the daily commuter ride for the lower classes into an extended nightmare. The time of allocating a disproportionate amount of resources into the rural areas where the services will require significant subsidy should be over. We should make rebuilding the mass transit of our cities the higher priority. You can't have both.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #56)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 05:23 AM

57. Your focus on being mean spirited is noted

The truth is that high speed rail does not serve just one function, it serves many, including but not limited to:

1) Air travel alternative
2) Automotive alternative
3) Enhancing tourism
4) Bringing far flung populations together
5) Reducing environmental pollution
6) More energy efficient travel
7) Enabling wider net for businesses to hire qualified employees (this is big, apparently, in Japan)
8) B2B communications and sourcing

Now, what the politicians use as justification at one point is all well and good, but you can't jump all over that just because one study refutes or questions the other. Like I said, there are many reasons why HSR is good for the state, the economy, and the citizenry. You'll never be able to nay say them all, like we've seen some glib responses in this thread.

As for subsidies... perhaps fewer subsidies for other forms of transport are in order. And I've already provided details that show HSR is subsidized, quite heavily, in Europe and parts of Asia. Japan is not really an exception because private businesses heavily subsidize the inflated ticket prices on the bullet trains. That's a sort of Japanese thing, where the business sector controls so much of daily life.

I didn't write the original justification for CAHSR so I won't defend it. Perhaps they made promises they can't keep. It doesn't mean that CAHSR should be abandoned. Quite the contrary. The list I provided is more than enough justification to go forward with it. Yes, it will be costly. Just about everything in California costs more. Yes, it will require government subsidies, just as most passenger train systems do. But it's important to remember that there will be savings in many other areas as a result of a functional HSR system that offset the burden of government subsidies.

The prime target of any American HSR proposal is not air travel. It's the private automobile. And the private automobile is perhaps the most costly, polluting, and dangerous to move people that we have. Our reliance on it needs to be reduced, and HSR is one of many ways that can be accomplished. If the original planners chose to ignore this fact, I can only speculate it was to try to avoid bringing down the considerable weight of expected opposition from the oil/gas/automotive sector. After all, they killed inter-urban light rail systems all across the nation in favor of the private auto. Don't get me wrong, I love cars, old and new, and I love driving them. But I hate stop and go, bumper to bumper traffic and unnecessary wear and tear and expense.

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Response to Rollo (Reply #19)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 09:18 PM

45. I don't recall if it was San Mateo or Santa Clara counties

That actually formed the "STOP BART" committee--- hilarious in retrospect because pics in the paper I saw of this actual group were all grey, huge haired old women you just knew drove Cadillacs and all long, long dead now that the "expressway bill" they voted in lieu of funding their BART stations... so now, screeeech! "expressways" that now are veritable, maddening parking lots from 5-7 pm. I was just a tyke reading about this in the papers back then so if my details are sketchy, I"ve slept since then. But I clearly remember facepalming myself seeing the pic of a handful of scornful old matrons holding red, octagonal "STOP BART" signs overhead, and the actual jest of the article was that this group didn't want that "urban element coming down here". I've googled for that old pic, don't recall if it was in the chronicle or some other rag.
Anyhow, now funding to electrify the CalTrain is even in jeopardy.
I haven't been down there to see the progress of the coming Warm Springs station and beyond, but my understanding it was both Marin and Sta Mateo's vote down at the planning stages that broke the bay circular plan. But I still find it maddenly amusing that they screwed their grandchildren into that long walk and wait for BART at Millbrae now.
The RW nutjobs especially have always had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future. After all, they almost voted down the whole BART. And it happens every time! I recall Anaheim-Las Vegas project that stalled soon as GWB appeared, now apparently back on track as http://www.xpresswest.com/
Hoping that one isn't in jeopardy now too.

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Response to lambchopp59 (Reply #45)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 02:05 AM

55. +1 n/t

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Response to lambchopp59 (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 01:12 PM

24. Yep, I totally agree with you.

 

"As goes California; so goes the nation" works in both directions.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Fri Mar 3, 2017, 11:54 PM

10. The $64 billion railroad to nowhere.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 3, 2017, 11:56 PM

12. If you're looking to buy meth right at the source it might be useful to you

 

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Response to former9thward (Reply #10)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 02:37 AM

18. Poppycock

It's not going to Indiana, fer Gawd's sake.

LOL.

Seriously, if you think SF, LA, and points in between are "nowhere", then stay wherever the heck you are and don't cross the Sierra Nevada.

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Response to Rollo (Reply #18)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 06:56 AM

22. That was a 'provacative' statement, eh? nt

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Response to Rollo (Reply #18)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 11:48 AM

23. If you think Fresno and Modesto are substitutes for SF and LA

then I think you may wish to look at the map. I only make the dreaded trip across the Sierra Nevada when I visit my sister in San Diego. I get feelings of extreme relief when I cross back.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #23)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 05:56 PM

29. Oh for Gawd's sake

Nobody here is pushing Fresno or Modesto as SF/LA equivalents.

The train track construction has to start somewhere and the reasons for it starting in the Central Valley have already been more than adequately explained elsewhere in this thread. It just takes an open and intelligent mind to read and comprehend them.

That said, I usually feel a sigh of relief when I cross back over the Sierras after visiting points east.

BTW, I have friends in Modesto that I'd love to visit on holidays via the train. The road traffic is horrendous at those times. So there.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Fri Mar 3, 2017, 11:55 PM

11. Stupid.

 

If California is going to spend this kind of money, spend it on making local transit something short of horrendous. Don't spend it competing with Southwest Airlines.

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Response to Sen. Walter Sobchak (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 02:24 AM

15. Truth in labeling...

nt

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 05:44 PM

26. Good, but bad (Trump destroyed)

By not authorizing the CALTRAIN© electric conversion. Without it, a key component, no point in the rest of it. CALTRAIN is diesel now and cost prohibitive in the scheme of things.
This would have been amazing and would have jump started a lot of CA economy.

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Response to ghostsinthemachine (Reply #26)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 05:52 PM

28. Cal Train only makes a spur hop between San Jose and SF.

It will still be there, and Cal Train is in the process of going electric despite Twittler's lastest tantrump.

Don't help the goons destroy progress.

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Response to Rollo (Reply #28)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 05:57 PM

30. The San Jose to SF link is

The major component of phase one. They (HSR and CALTRAIN) are to share track there and the electrification is crucial for this. And Trump shut it down last week.

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Response to ghostsinthemachine (Reply #30)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 06:24 PM

35. Wrong wrong wrong

Don't let tantrumps rule our progress.

Caltrain is planning to go ahead with electrification despite Trump's tantrum.

Even without the HSR link to SF, CA HSR will still service San Jose, which has a larger population than SF.

Soon, no matter what the Idiot-in-Chief does, people will be able to ride on electrified rails between SF and San Jose. It's called BART. Ever heard of it?

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Response to Rollo (Reply #35)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 06:31 PM

36. Caltrain acts to keep electrification plan alive

Caltrain acts to keep electrification plan alive

Caltrain moved to keep its plan to electrify the Peninsula rail service alive Monday by extending the contracts of the contractors who would do the work for four months.

The contractors were set to start work Wednesday on the electrification of the system, but the Trump administration temporarily pulled the plug on the project by delaying $647 million in federal funds.

The new agreements, hurriedly reached after the administration’s decision, extends the contractors’ ties to the project to June 30 but could cost Caltrain up to $20 million that it hadn’t anticipated spending. ...

The extensions also give Bay Area transportation officials more time to sell the administration on the project. In addition to speeding up service, electrifying the line would allow Caltrain to increase capacity, proponents say. The project would also create jobs not just in the Bay Area but also across the country where railcars are assembled, equipment is built and engineering and planning work is done.

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Response to Rollo (Reply #36)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 07:48 PM

41. New, , to me, news.

I know Trump will not fund it however, so it may be good money chasing no money here.

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Response to Rollo (Reply #36)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 07:57 PM

43. Electrification of CalTrain isn't to the benefit of the oily-garchs ...

Ergo, Hair Drumpfenfuhrer says NEIN!!!

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Response to Rollo (Reply #35)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 07:56 PM

42. Yeah, I ride it frequently and know

That it doesn't go to San Jose. The airport is the farthest south BART goes. Then you have to ride the CALTRAIN from there to San Jose light rail system .BTW, I ask you to be a bit less condescending in your reply. I should be able to read a post without someone being an asshole. That goes not just me, but it degrades the entire board.

I had yet to read that they were continuing anyway and you made me feel like shit.

And, according to the article this move is to continue hoping that Trump will fund the project. He won't. So good money spent for nothing.

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Response to ghostsinthemachine (Reply #42)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 09:33 PM

46. Perhaps you can recall, if you're kinda old like me...

I don't recall if it was San Mateo or Santa Clara counties

That actually formed the "STOP BART" committee--- hilarious in retrospect because pics in the paper I saw of this actual group were all grey, huge haired old women you just knew drove Cadillacs and all long, long dead now that the "expressway bill" they voted in lieu of funding their BART stations... so now, screeeech! "expressways" that now are veritable, maddening parking lots from 5-7 pm. I was just a tyke reading about this in the papers back then so if my details are sketchy, I"ve slept since then. But I clearly remember facepalming myself seeing the pic of a handful of scornful old matrons holding red, octagonal "STOP BART" signs overhead, and the actual jest of the article was that this group didn't want that "urban element coming down here". I've googled for that old pic to no avail, don't recall if it was in the chronicle or some other rag.
Anyhow, now funding to electrify the CalTrain is even in jeopardy.
I haven't been down there to see the progress of the coming Warm Springs station and beyond, but my understanding it was both Marin and Sta Mateo's vote down at the planning stages that broke the bay circular plan. But I still find it maddenly amusing that they screwed their grandchildren into that long walk and wait for BART at Millbrae now.
The RW nutjobs especially have always had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future. After all, they almost voted down the whole BART. And it happens every time! I recall Anaheim-Las Vegas project that stalled soon as GWB appeared, now apparently back on track as http://www.xpresswest.com/
Hoping that one isn't in jeopardy now too.

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Response to lambchopp59 (Reply #46)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 10:11 PM

47. Yeah, they all wanted

Municipalities to be in control of transit, instead of regional. I live around Sacramento and every city changes service. Get on a elk Grove, Davis, Folsom, west Sac bus after being on light rail.

And that's the bay area there for ya. Some great things are handled regionally but then the Peninsula fought, and continues to fight the regional approach.

People just aren't ready to move into the future. Even in CA we still don't see solar everywhere (in comparison to other states we have a lot) or electric cars a plenty. Reluctant to change.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 09:13 PM

44. Great. Long overdue.

And even if it turns out to be a dud, which I doubt, the country is full of boondoggles and getting fuller all the time, see the Great Wall of Trump and most of the military budget including all those nukes that had to be decommissioned and all those new ones our new pres is planning that will eventually meet the same fate if we're lucky.

ps I'd take it in a heartbeat to visit friends and fam in the bay area.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Sat Mar 4, 2017, 11:00 PM

48. Gandy dancers.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 12:04 AM

52. Don't forget plan B...

The original discussion of CAHSR contemplated a number of different routes between SF and LA.

The one currently chosen is said by critics to be in jeopardy because of the latest tanTrump.

Well, lookee here. Run the damn thing from San Jose through Oakland and then on over to Sac. That was one of the original routes planned. SF bound passengers can hop on a BART train at the Oakland intermodal station for the short ride to downtown SF. Problem solved.

As I recall, there was opposition to the peninsula routing of the HSR system by wealthy 1%'rs in that area. So fuck 'em. If they don't want it, they won't get it.

The Peninsula holigarchs also opposed BART running through their territory back when that system was being planned. Hey, guess what, they didn't get BART, and they may not get HSR. You can't fix stupid.

But the East Bay would be delighted to have a bullet train running parallel to 880, 80, and points north east.

Problem solved.

Fuck Trump and his oily cronies.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 11:32 AM

80. They should just dig a tunnel and be done with it.

 

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