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  #2561  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2019, 7:45 AM
Will O' Wisp Will O' Wisp is offline
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Originally Posted by green_man View Post
Not only are airports are expensive to maintain, but even in an era when major infrastructure projects are a tough sell in the US (blame it partly on lack of political will), airport expansion/construction is especially problematic. Case in point: DIA, the last major airport to be constructed in this country, is almost 25 miles from downtown Denver. Another case in point: One proposal for a brand-new San Diego airport would put it about 50 miles from SD.

Owing to both increasingly constricted airport facilities and the desire to reduce CO2 emissions, I could see HSR (if implemented correctly) taking over many short/medium-haul trips while airlines focus more on longer-haul and transcontinental trips.
That's actually underselling how difficult it is to build a new international airport in America, if you can imagine that. In the past 50 years there have only been two major airports built in the US, DFW in 1969 and Denver International in 1995. When nearly every moderately sized and above city already has jet capable airport within spitting distance of its downtown, it's always a better option to squeeze every last bit of capacity out of them rather than building a vast new mega-hub out in the hinderlands.

The difficult part is that although the overall cost per rider might be higher, for a local government an airport is far cheaper than an HSR system. The federal government grants airports over $3 billion dollars a year for capacity improvements and major renovations, in addition to the $2.5 billion dollars a year it spends maintaining navigation aids (which include systems serving singular airports like glide slopes and approach lighting) and control towers. Not to mention the $7.5 billion dollars a year for ATC services, and the untold billions the US military gives aircraft manufactures to develop new aviation technology (for example the development of the jet engine was a military project, the 707 and 747 both started life as military projects, and the military funded development of carbon fiber components used on the 787). And the feds have been funding aviation at this level or even higher for over 70 years, which means all this infrastructure is already in place and earning cash. Unlike mass transit or roads most commercial airports in the US are major profit centers, and that sets a high bar for a new HSR system which isn't going to receive any of these benefits.
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  #2562  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2019, 7:50 AM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Originally Posted by accord1999 View Post
And yet Europe when they do all the things you want the US Federal Government to, cars still dominate modal share.
Yeah because a ton of Europe is rural, just like how a ton of the United States is rural. Way to lift a Cato Institute "argument".
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  #2563  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2019, 7:59 AM
accord1999 accord1999 is offline
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
Yeah because a ton of Europe is rural, just like how a ton of the United States is rural.
Europe must be incredibly rural in order for the car to have 4.8X the passenger-km of buses and trains. How rural must the UK be to actually use less mass transit now than it did 60 years ago.

The reality is Europeans don't actually use the train all that much, it's basically the same magnitude as Canadians traveling by car in passenger-km.
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  #2564  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2019, 8:11 AM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Originally Posted by numble View Post
25% of the cap-and-trade auction proceeds (each quarter there is $800 to $1 billion in revenue), which means about $800 million per year, had been dedicated to CAHSR. The issue wasn’t that the money was used up. It was that it was not enough even if financing against future cap-and-trade revenue to raise the full $77 billion.

Most recent auction:
https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local...222204730.html
California did not raise taxes on its companies or populace to build high speed rail. This contrasts directly with Ohio's HSR plan from 1983, which would have financed construction and operation with a 1% statewide sales tax and built the first 200mph high speed rail line in the United States between Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. That plan involved tunnels and 10+ mile viaducts over freight railroad tracks to get the line through the suburbs with zero trade crossings, a corollary to the dilemmas faced in California. The Republican takeover of Ohio politics toward the end of Dick Celeste's reign drove a stake through future HSR plans with construction of the new Federal Courthouse in the direct path of Cleveland's HSR approach.

People on these sorts of forums haven't worked in politics and don't understand what hardball these transit and rail projects are. Logic doesn't work when the Koch's and other players are out there relentlessly harassing logic. Take a look at where the Republicans succeeded in getting a federally-owned skyscraper built in Cleveland, OH -- in the former space occupied by the Terminal Tower passenger concourse, precluding that space's use by passenger rail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_B...tes_Courthouse

In Cincinnati, in the late 1980s the wealthiest family in town (which, incidentally briefly owned Grand Central in New York after the gigantic Penn Central/NY Central bankruptcy) built an Omnimax theater in the space where HSR was to have served the historic Cincinnati Union Terminal (https://www.cincymuseum.org/omnimax). So now big-time passenger rail can't return to the facility without the region's wealthiest family giving the thumb's up, which means they get something and get something big in exchange. Because being born into a $1+ billion fortune is never enough.

I don't think people here understand how much people are working behind the scenes to undermine this project in California because they know it ushers in a sea change and will work to delay or scuttle the whole thing if they themselves are not set up to profit from it. They don't care about the money needed to build it because Californians are not being taxed directly. It's about CAHSR determining real estate winners and losers. With Pacheco Pass, San Jose is the winner to SF's detriment. With Altamont, the East Bay for certain gets service but SF does not get high quality service unless the second Transbay Tube is built. That's what this is all about, people. San Francisco blue bloods -- just like those in Ohio back in the 1980s -- are working to protect their interests.

Last edited by jmecklenborg; Feb 18, 2019 at 8:33 AM.
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  #2565  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2019, 5:16 PM
Korey Korey is offline
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A few disparate thoughts:

I'm assuming all Prop 1A, ARRA funds, and Cap & Trade allocations will be fully used. Will those funds be enough to get to Bakersfield proper and Merced proper, not Poplar Ave to Madera (and is that indeed the new plan's phase 1)?

Will ACE get state funds beyond the current funding to extend track to Merced? It would make sense to electrify and do a couple short tunnels in the Altamont and Sunol. Dumbarton if we're feeling spendy.

How would the trainsets work, especially if ACE/NorCal Unified Service remains un-electrified? If I'm going Bakersfield to Fremont or Sacramento am I travelling at 220mph then switching trains at Merced or just dropping speed? Same question in reverse. Is the current San Joaquins track and service remaining or are the sections made redundant by the new track shut down?

I wonder if this means whenever we throw the next big batch of funds (whether state or federal) at the project, if it goes to the San Gabriel tunnels before Pacheco? I don't doubt that Pacheco will get it's HSR, the political power structures in Silicon Valley/NorCal are too strong for it not to, but with upgraded Altamont service maybe the Bakersfield to LA connection becomes the next priority.
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  #2566  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2019, 6:41 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Originally Posted by Korey View Post

I wonder if this means whenever we throw the next big batch of funds (whether state or federal) at the project, if it goes to the San Gabriel tunnels before Pacheco? I don't doubt that Pacheco will get it's HSR, the political power structures in Silicon Valley/NorCal are too strong for it not to, but with upgraded Altamont service maybe the Bakersfield to LA connection becomes the next priority.

Yeah this is definitely a battle royale between San Jose being on the mainline -- and getting 12 trains per hour per direction - vs. the Altamont route, which at-best puts San Jose on a spur.

If HSR is rerouted via Altamont to a new Transbay tube from Oakland, the possibility exists for HSR spurs to both San Jose and to Palo Alto via a rebuilt Dumbarton Bridge. They could do a train split where two half-length trains, one originating in Palo Alto and another from San Jose join to form a full-length train in Fremont and then head downstate as a full double-length train.
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  #2567  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2019, 7:32 PM
Car(e)-Free LA Car(e)-Free LA is offline
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
Yeah this is definitely a battle royale between San Jose being on the mainline -- and getting 12 trains per hour per direction - vs. the Altamont route, which at-best puts San Jose on a spur.

If HSR is rerouted via Altamont to a new Transbay tube from Oakland, the possibility exists for HSR spurs to both San Jose and to Palo Alto via a rebuilt Dumbarton Bridge. They could do a train split where two half-length trains, one originating in Palo Alto and another from San Jose join to form a full-length train in Fremont and then head downstate as a full double-length train.
Or just run it Modesto-Tracy-Pleasanton-Fremont-Redwood City-SFO-Transbay, take the $3 billion in savings, and give ~$1 billion to VTA for LRT along Stevens Creek or something as compensation.
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  #2568  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2019, 9:21 PM
SIGSEGV SIGSEGV is online now
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The Altamont option makes the most sense, starting with the Dumbarton and maybe eventually a new transbay tunnel (how stupid the new Bay Bridge can't support rail) from Oakland. San Jose is a glorified suburb, Oakland/Berkeley will be a greater trip generator imo as those are actually cities. SJ will have two good options in BART to Fremont or upgraded Caltrain to RWC. Oakland/Berkeley will have BART to Fremont until the new Transbay is ready.
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  #2569  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2019, 3:09 AM
plutonicpanda plutonicpanda is offline
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Originally Posted by mt_climber13 View Post
How many hundreds of billions do freeways cost? And they are a 100% loss leader. At least HSR would make up some of the cost in ticket sales. The next Dem president should declare a national emergency on climate change and build it.
How many hundreds of billions does transit cost? Should we bring we bring up the second ave. subway line? Busybee wants to complain about the Big Dig while it created a more walkable city and solved the issue of dividing communities that freeways tend to create and he's against that? Par for the course.

Let's be real, 25 billion compared to a project that would likely cost well over 100 billion can't be compared. This project takes the crown of the biggest boondoggle in American history and is an utter failure in every which way. That does not mean I don't want to see HSR in California, but we need to go back to the drawing board from scratch and reform our infrastructure building process to reduce costs. US transit advocates just seem so hell bent on getting HSR here they are loosing grips on realities and willing to pay 10 fold over what other countries would pay for the same thing.
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  #2570  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2019, 4:01 AM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Originally Posted by SIGSEGV View Post
The Altamont option makes the most sense, starting with the Dumbarton and maybe eventually a new transbay tunnel (how stupid the new Bay Bridge can't support rail) from Oakland. San Jose is a glorified suburb, Oakland/Berkeley will be a greater trip generator imo as those are actually cities. SJ will have two good options in BART to Fremont or upgraded Caltrain to RWC. Oakland/Berkeley will have BART to Fremont until the new Transbay is ready.
There is a way (a very, very expensive way, no doubt) to build a new transbay tube that serves Capitol Corridor, ACE, and HSR and brings them all into the new Transbay Terminal.

But then another huge tunnel or tunnels would be necessary to get to I-5 and the central valley, plus dozens and dozens of grade separations. So we're talking a solid 45 miles of extremely complicated construction to make this possible *after* building the new tube.

For those advocating for big improvements to the east bay commuter rail situation in lieu of building HSR through the Central Valley, be aware that just getting the 45 miles of construction done between Oakland and the east side of the Alameda Pass (none of which would travel much faster than 100mph) is going to cost many times what the current 150~ miles of HSR is costing in the Central Valley.
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  #2571  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2019, 6:03 AM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Originally Posted by plutonicpanda View Post
This project takes the crown of the biggest boondoggle in American history
Bigger than the Iraq War? Which by all estimates cost at least $1 trillion, and some peg much higher? And for which no tax was raised (instead, Bush actually cut taxes)?
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  #2572  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2019, 12:10 PM
Crawford Crawford is offline
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Originally Posted by accord1999 View Post
And yet Europe when they do all the things you want the US Federal Government to, cars still dominate modal share. The car did not win because of Government Intervention, it won because it's the best form of ground transportation. It brought fast transport over wide areas to the masses.
There's a huge difference in modal share between Europe and the U.S. That difference is a major reason HSR works in Europe and probably won't work in U.S. (excepting NE corridor).
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  #2573  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2019, 2:41 PM
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Originally Posted by plutonicpanda View Post
How many hundreds of billions does transit cost? Should we bring we bring up the second ave. subway line? Busybee wants to complain about the Big Dig while it created a more walkable city and solved the issue of dividing communities that freeways tend to create and he's against that? Par for the course.
Actually just for the record that wasn't me that brought up the Big Dig.
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  #2574  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2019, 4:07 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
There's a huge difference in modal share between Europe and the U.S. That difference is a major reason HSR works in Europe and probably won't work in U.S. (excepting NE corridor).

Yeah, why would anyone ever fly between LA and San Francisco when they can just drive?
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  #2575  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2019, 4:11 PM
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caligrad caligrad is offline
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Originally Posted by jtown,man View Post
But HSR is competing with the airlines. Driving from LA to SF is *much* cheaper driving than flying. It will also be much cheaper than HSR.

When will urbanist realize drivers represent the vast majority of Americans. Most people on here that use public transport also have a car. The majority wins.
Not necessarily. If you buy tickets early enough, You can get a round trip ticket with southwest for around 55 with taxes and fees. getting a full tank in a comfortable sized car going one way is about 60. Then tolls, parking, depending on how long you're staying, gas again. Taking a car can quickly end up being 180 for gas (60 going, 60 while you're there, 60 on the way back), most hotels in SF have a 20 dollar average daily parking fee that that's another 60, then paying for parking if you decide to drive to places, then the tolls that you will most likely hit if you decide to travel over the bay. Even if you go with another person, splitting that in half, Flying is still cheaper. LA isn't as bad but it'll still be cheaper to fly, granted a bigger hassle since LAs is more spread out.
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  #2576  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2019, 4:28 PM
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Originally Posted by caligrad View Post
Not necessarily. If you buy tickets early enough, You can get a round trip ticket with southwest for around 55 with taxes and fees. getting a full tank in a comfortable sized car going one way is about 60. Then tolls, parking, depending on how long you're staying, gas again. Taking a car can quickly end up being 180 for gas (60 going, 60 while you're there, 60 on the way back), most hotels in SF have a 20 dollar average daily parking fee that that's another 60, then paying for parking if you decide to drive to places, then the tolls that you will most likely hit if you decide to travel over the bay. Even if you go with another person, splitting that in half, Flying is still cheaper. LA isn't as bad but it'll still be cheaper to fly, granted a bigger hassle since LAs is more spread out.
Flying can be affordable if you know you when you're traveling and you purchase your ticket sufficiently far ahead of time. I looked at sample fares for Burbank - SFO for next Monday, February 25. Flights are between $138 - $178, with most flights priced at $146 (taxes and fees included) for the cheapest fares on Southwest. If you are a business traveler and want a flexible ticket that you can change, the fares are between $256 - $265.
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  #2577  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2019, 4:31 PM
accord1999 accord1999 is offline
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
There's a huge difference in modal share between Europe and the U.S. That difference is a major reason HSR works in Europe and probably won't work in U.S. (excepting NE corridor).
Even with significantly higher mass transit share, over 80% of ground passenger-km in the EU-28 is provided by cars. Even if not to the same level as North America, I would still consider that domination.
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  #2578  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2019, 4:39 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Originally Posted by accord1999 View Post
Even with significantly higher mass transit share, over 80% of ground passenger-km in the EU-28 is provided by cars. Even if not to the same level as North America, I would still consider that domination.
Relatively few people live in the large cities served by high speed rail. The majority of people in the United States and Europe live in small cities and towns or out in the country on farms.
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  #2579  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2019, 4:40 PM
Crawford Crawford is offline
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Even with significantly higher mass transit share, over 80% of ground passenger-km in the EU-28 is provided by cars. Even if not to the same level as North America, I would still consider that domination.
HSR is exclusively transport between major cities. If Western Europe has (say) 80% car share (which I doubt), that means a gigantic share of urban residents (probably like half) rely on modes other than cars.

In the U.S., cars have like 95% share, and in every metro but NYC are like 90%+ auto share, so HSR is a longshot.

And then you have to consider that intercity driving in Western Europe generally doesn't make much sense. It's often tolled, it's generally much slower, with much more congestion, gas costs more, and there's nowhere to put your car. North America has none of these issues.
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  #2580  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2019, 4:54 PM
accord1999 accord1999 is offline
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
HSR is exclusively transport between major cities. If Western Europe has (say) 80% car share (which I doubt), that means a gigantic share of urban residents (probably like half) rely on modes other than cars.
Sure, but my original comment was not in reference to HSR but to Busy Bee's assertion that cars only uniquely dominate in the US because the US Federal Government wanted it to and subsidized it.

And yes Western Europe is over 80% share for cars.

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