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  #2981  
Old Posted May 30, 2020, 2:01 AM
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It's a par for the course naysayer piece from the LAT but I think the author meant hit in the sense of affect.

That stretch should ideally be in a trench shared with Metrolink, and the numerous arterials that were sunk under the current right of way over the years reconfigured to reconnect the neighborhoods and foster urban develop along the route. I think its a mistake to pursue the conservative approach they seem to be. Putting all that in a trench would be such a smart investment in the future. Four tracks, 2 for passing HSR and 2 for local electrified Metrolink with a modern mezzanine Glendale station spanning the trackway complete with escalators - you know like the 21st century.
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Last edited by Busy Bee; May 30, 2020 at 2:34 AM.
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  #2982  
Old Posted May 30, 2020, 8:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
It's a par for the course naysayer piece from the LAT but I think the author meant hit in the sense of affect.

That stretch should ideally be in a trench shared with Metrolink, and the numerous arterials that were sunk under the current right of way over the years reconfigured to reconnect the neighborhoods and foster urban develop along the route. I think its a mistake to pursue the conservative approach they seem to be. Putting all that in a trench would be such a smart investment in the future. Four tracks, 2 for passing HSR and 2 for local electrified Metrolink with a modern mezzanine Glendale station spanning the trackway complete with escalators - you know like the 21st century.
I understand why so many prefer electric locomotives on commuter trains, which Southern California lacks and Northern California will have. But let's look at why it is different within the same state.
Caltrain will run under electric catenaries for 47 miles between San Francisco and San Jose. Caltrain owns this portion of the rail corridor in which the entire length is 78 miles, extending around another 30 miles south of San Jose to Gilroy. Caltrain budget for electrifying just 47 miles is around $1.7 Billion.
Per Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caltrain
"Cost, excluding electric rolling stock, for the first phase was estimated at $471 million (2006 dollars). By 2016, costs had increased to $1.7 billion."

Some math = 1700 million / 471 million = 3.609. So the costs has increase 360% in 10 years time. That is what has happen in Northern California.

Metolink in Southern California runs on 534 miles with 52 locomotives and 260 railcars with 7 designated rail corridors. I have no idea how much of the 534 miles is owned by them or by freight railroad companies.

if it costs $1.7 billion to electrify 47 miles rail corridor, how much would it cost to electrify another 30 miles in Northern California, and likewise how much would it cost to electrify all 534 miles in Southern California?
Keeping the math simple and assuming the same costs per mile,
1.7 billion / 47 miles = $36 million per mile
Therefore 30 miles x $36 million per mile = $1.08 billion.
Therefore 534 miles x $36 million per mile = $19.22 billion.
Remember, the average $36 million per mile figure does not include the costs of the trains.

In 2016, the latest Wiki reports numbers for, California DOT budget was $17 billion. That's every penny the state government spent of highways, trains, buses, airways, and seaways. That includes any grants received from the US DOT.
Metrolink's budget set in 2019 was $330 million.
https://metrolinktrains.com/news/met...ear2020budget/
Caltrain's budget was $148 million (o&m) and $65 million (capital)
https://www.caltrain.com/Page5010.aspx

Where are you going to find an additional $20 billion?
If California can not find $20 billion in funding for intercity very fast CHSR, why do you think they can find $20 billion for slow commuter rail trains?

Let's not limit the argument to just funding. In San Francisco, one commuter rail line and one HSR line - both being electrified because both are using the same tracks, means 100% of these trains are electrified. But that would not be true in Los Angeles, unless all 7 commuter rail lines were electrified with the HSR line. I suppose Metrolink could electrify one line at a time, make the air cleaner one line at a time - but that would take decades to do all of them. It's harder to justify a non 100% electrification argument wise.

Last edited by electricron; May 30, 2020 at 2:48 PM.
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  #2983  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2020, 12:42 PM
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Southern California - Las Vegas rail

I don't recall which thread we should post these updates in.

Rancho Cucamonga route could be added to $5 billion train to Las Vegas
Transportation officials have entered into an agreement to expand the Apple Valley-to-Vegas train

By STEVE SCAUZILLO
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
July 1, 2020

"A San Bernardino County transportation agency on Wednesday, July 1, entered into an agreement with a private company building a high-speed train from Apple Valley to Las Vegas for a 50-mile spur through the Cajon Pass into Rancho Cucamonga.

Calling it Phase 2 of the project, the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority board voted unanimously for the 90-day agreement with a Miami-based company to work out where the southern line would run, including design, station locations and access.

Preliminary plans call for the southern spur to travel along the median of the 15 Freeway and when reaching Foothill Boulevard, jog west to connect with the Metrolink station located just west of Milliken Avenue..."

https://www.dailybulletin.com/2020/0...-to-las-vegas/
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  #2984  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2020, 12:50 PM
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This could also serve as commuter rail for the people who live in the high-desert communities and commute into the LA basin for work, especially with a station at the Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink station.

"Vegas train an “outside the box” solution to car traffic, gridlock and air pollution. Wolfe said he is eager to work with XpressWest and its privately built and managed high-speed passenger rail to Vegas by getting a second phase built through the Cajon Pass.

Not only would it be the first such ground, non-driving option to Las Vegas from Southern California, but the southern spur would be the first rail option for moving commuters to and from the High Desert and employment centers in the San Bernardino and West valleys."
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  #2985  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2020, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist View Post
I don't recall which thread we should post these updates in.

Rancho Cucamonga route could be added to $5 billion train to Las Vegas
Transportation officials have entered into an agreement to expand the Apple Valley-to-Vegas train

By STEVE SCAUZILLO
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
July 1, 2020

"A San Bernardino County transportation agency on Wednesday, July 1, entered into an agreement with a private company building a high-speed train from Apple Valley to Las Vegas for a 50-mile spur through the Cajon Pass into Rancho Cucamonga.

Calling it Phase 2 of the project, the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority board voted unanimously for the 90-day agreement with a Miami-based company to work out where the southern line would run, including design, station locations and access.

Preliminary plans call for the southern spur to travel along the median of the 15 Freeway and when reaching Foothill Boulevard, jog west to connect with the Metrolink station located just west of Milliken Avenue..."

https://www.dailybulletin.com/2020/0...-to-las-vegas/
Excellent idea. But who is going to pay for the extension? XpressWest did not agree to fund it exclusively, so the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority probably will.

Good luck!
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  #2986  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2020, 5:38 PM
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California High Speed Rail has posted a construction update for July 2020.

https://buildhsr.com/construction_update/

It looks like a few overpasses will open this summer, Avenue 7, 10 and 15 in Madera County.

Great to see this progressing!
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  #2987  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2020, 6:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist View Post
Rancho Cucamonga route could be added to $5 billion train to Las Vegas
Transportation officials have entered into an agreement to expand the Apple Valley-to-Vegas train
Damn, that's a game-changer. With dual mode locomotives, they could probably run a few trains each day into Union Station. Probably not every train can do this, since Metrolink's San Bernardino Line is single-tracked.

Of course, I don't know any locomotives that can run 150mph on an electrified line and then switch to diesel territory... XpressWest might need to couple on an auxiliary diesel at Rancho Cucamonga to bring it into LA.

Also worth noting there is a huge empty parcel (former Empire Lakes golf course) next to the Rancho Cucamonga station, so Virgin could potentially put in a large TOD development there, especially if SB35 or some of the other TOD bills pass the legislature.
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Last edited by ardecila; Jul 2, 2020 at 6:38 PM.
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  #2988  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2020, 8:33 PM
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Good news indeed. I feel like the next big announcement will be to double-track and electrify the San Bernardino line.
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  #2989  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2020, 2:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Damn, that's a game-changer. With dual mode locomotives, they could probably run a few trains each day into Union Station. Probably not every train can do this, since Metrolink's San Bernardino Line is single-tracked.

Of course, I don't know any locomotives that can run 150mph on an electrified line and then switch to diesel territory... XpressWest might need to couple on an auxiliary diesel at Rancho Cucamonga to bring it into LA.

Also worth noting there is a huge empty parcel (former Empire Lakes golf course) next to the Rancho Cucamonga station, so Virgin could potentially put in a large TOD development there, especially if SB35 or some of the other TOD bills pass the legislature.
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  #2990  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2020, 2:59 PM
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^ Maybe, but Virgin would have to get a waiver to run them on San Bernardino Line mixed with Metrolink's heavyweight rolling stock.

Most of the exceptions granted for lightweight equipment have assumed a sealed or closed system not connected to the national rail network, or time-separated.

I guess they might be more lenient with the waivers if PTC is already reducing the risk of collisions.
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  #2991  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2020, 7:08 PM
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Study: High-speed rail could slow down emergency responders on Peninsula

https://paloaltoonline.com/news/2020...s-on-peninsula

Quote:
.....

- The rail authority's plan for preventing collisions between cars and trains is not grade separation but the installation of four-quadrant gates that would extend against all lanes of travel, blocking cars from entering the tracks. — "These gates would prevent drivers from traveling in opposing lanes to avoid the lowered gate arms," the document states. "Pedestrian crossing gates would be built parallel to the tracks and aligned with the vehicle gates on either side of the roadway."

- While these gates would discourage cars from getting on the tracks, they also will result in greater delays at rail crossings. The document states that the increase in "gate-down time" from the added high-speed rail trains would "result in potential delays in emergency vehicle response times for fire stations/first responders in San Francisco, Millbrae, Burlingame, Redwood City, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, and Mountain View.

.....
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  #2992  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2020, 8:37 AM
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For every one person killed by crossing gates, 100 will be spared by having an alternative to driving.
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  #2993  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2020, 3:11 PM
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For every one person killed by crossing gates, 100 will be spared by having an alternative to driving.
Absolutely correct, not to mention the lives saved from reducing auto emissions and all of the health problems burning oil causes.

Also, Palo Alto has been against this investment in high-speed rail since the beginning of the project, so I would treat the article with some skepticism.
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  #2994  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2020, 3:27 PM
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I genuinely don't want to poop on progress but the Peninsula investment as currently being pursued has the potential to be a colossally shortsighted endeavor. The CHSRA should have insisted on a 4-track Caltrain/HSR row with full grade separation top to bottom. For the life of me I don't know how they are going to accommodate 12 HSR trains/hour through 2-track stations at any reasonable speed. It just seems like all these millions will likely be wasted when they realize that you can't pull off proper operation of Caltrain and HSR without a row to facilitate it which includes dedicated tracks bypassing stations and zero potential interaction w/ people or vehicles.
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  #2995  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2020, 3:45 PM
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I think the idea is that the HSR trains will crawl up the Peninsula, facilitated by warp speed on other parts of the line like the Central Valley and even the mountain crossings. If you reduce the speed differential between HSR and Caltrain on the shared segment, you can run a pretty dense schedule with only one or two overtakes needed.
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  #2996  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2020, 5:43 PM
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Running that many trains past platforms full of passengers inches away at intermediate stations is a piss poor way of operating a railroad.
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Last edited by Busy Bee; Jul 14, 2020 at 6:48 PM.
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  #2997  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2020, 10:20 PM
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surely the first responders are smart enough to take a road without grade crossings.
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  #2998  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2020, 7:26 PM
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This is off-topic, but the more that I think about it, the more I think that the station in Tulare doesn't make sense.

Imagine an HSR line with stations in San Francisco, Millbrae, San Jose, Fresno, Bakersfield, Burbank, Los Angeles and Anaheim. I think that that would be pretty cool.
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  #2999  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2020, 2:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
I genuinely don't want to poop on progress but the Peninsula investment as currently being pursued has the potential to be a colossally shortsighted endeavor. The CHSRA should have insisted on a 4-track Caltrain/HSR row with full grade separation top to bottom. For the life of me I don't know how they are going to accommodate 12 HSR trains/hour through 2-track stations at any reasonable speed. It just seems like all these millions will likely be wasted when they realize that you can't pull off proper operation of Caltrain and HSR without a row to facilitate it which includes dedicated tracks bypassing stations and zero potential interaction w/ people or vehicles.
Would have tied the whole thing up in lawsuits for years. Once it gets running, if it's a success, the two tracks can be turned into 4 when/if there's the political support.

Meanwhile, CalTrain itself is on life support:

Quote:
Caltrain might have to shut down after supervisors scuttle sales tax measure
Rachel Swan
July 14, 2020 Updated: July 15, 2020 6:49 p.m.

Caltrain, faced with financial ruin as it runs a near-empty commuter rail line along the Peninsula, may have to shut down altogether.

Officials made the grim prediction Tuesday after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors declined to introduce a 1/8-cent sales tax measure for the November ballot — a vital lifeline that would have generated $100 million a year. It needed approval from four transit boards and Boards of Supervisors in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. By opting not to support the measure, the San Francisco supervisors effectively scuttled it.

Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Shamann Walton had previously voiced opposition to Caltrain’s governance structure, saying they want to separate the rail line from the San Mateo County Transit District, which manages and operates the rail system for a three-county Joint Powers Board. They say the two other counties served by Caltrain, San Francisco and Santa Clara, should have more control of its leadership and operations.

“It’s taxation without representation,” Peskin said Tuesday, adding that he disagrees with regressive sales taxes. He and Walton committed to “find a policy or legislative solution by next year,” possibly in the form of a state bill . . . .
https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/...s-15408435.php

One assumes they'll resolve this. The carmagedden apocalypse that would occur if all peninsula commuters had to drive into the city is unthinkable and these 2 liberal Democrats surely can't want that. But even if the politics gets ironed out, the damage being done by COVID is severe.
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  #3000  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2020, 2:35 AM
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Meanwhile, CalTrain itself is on life support
Crazy how Caltrain was having record ridership just a few months ago.

The impact of Covid is insane.
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