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  #3221  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2021, 1:40 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Originally Posted by nito View Post
Not to add fuel to the fire, but the longer construction time for CHSR relative to HS2 (Phase 1) is curious when you consider that HS2 involves 51km of dual-bore tunnel and significant station works in the centre of London and Birmingham.
The combined length of the two major CAHSR tunnels will total roughly 30 miles, so a similar length.

The approach tunnel to Transbay Terminal will be about 2 miles long but will a project of similar complexity to any in London.

Newsom kept his job so my thought is that he and the legislature could easily fund this project without bringing out the HSR boo-birds. Same with construction of HSR between San Jose and Gilroy - it could be used by electrified Caltrains right away.
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  #3222  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2021, 1:45 PM
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Not to mention COMPLETELY different geology and challenges, but hey "details shmetails".
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  #3223  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2021, 3:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Not to mention COMPLETELY different geology and challenges, but hey "details shmetails".
Also, my guess is that there is no state/federal funding relationship in English railroading as exists here in the United States. There are EU grants to local transit projects in Europe but I'm not sure about intercity high speed rail.

As I have mentioned previously, California has enjoyed gigantic budget surpluses for several years but the state can't shower the high speed rail project with cash because any California governor is vulnerable to recall efforts triggered by obstructionists. Further, any state dollar goes much further with a federal match, so no state can really go at it alone without attracting a ton of criticism for not applying for federal grants and federal matching.

Meanwhile - I've seen this where I live - obstructionists sometimes apply for preposterous low-scoring federal matches as favors to donors. These projects have no chance at winning federal dollars but a politician gets to illustrate to potential future donors that he does favors. These stunts also deflect free federal money from the pet (and possibly meritorious) projects of opponents.
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  #3224  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2021, 7:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
California has enjoyed gigantic budget surpluses for several years but the state can't shower the high speed rail project with cash because any California governor is vulnerable to recall efforts triggered by obstructionists.
Jerry Brown was probably the strongest proponent of HSR who will ever occupy the Governor's office--he boosted it in spite of all objections and obstacles--and nobody tried to recall him. I don't think any governor needs to worry about a recall on that basis alone.
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  #3225  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2021, 1:57 AM
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It is curious that the English-speaking world sucks at high speed rail.

Among the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and NZ, the UK's rail sucks the least. However, when one considers that England has the same population density as the Japanese Island of Honshu, and –were it an independent state– would be the second densest country in Europe (nearly tied with the Netherlands, twice as dense as Germany and Italy, 3 times as dense as France, and 5 fucking times as dense as Spain), and fifth-densest in the world, then its lack of high speed rail is glaring.

If i had to guess an explanation, i think English common law must have something to do with it
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  #3226  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2021, 7:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jbermingham123 View Post
It is curious that the English-speaking world sucks at high speed rail.

Among the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and NZ, the UK's rail sucks the least. However, when one considers that England has the same population density as the Japanese Island of Honshu, and –were it an independent state– would be the second densest country in Europe (nearly tied with the Netherlands, twice as dense as Germany and Italy, 3 times as dense as France, and 5 fucking times as dense as Spain), and fifth-densest in the world, then its lack of high speed rail is glaring.

If i had to guess an explanation, i think English common law must have something to do with it
DISTANCE has something to do with it. The US, Canada and Australia are countries where distances are measured in thousands of miles and people are just accustomed to flying. Even where high speed rail trips might take only a few hours, most people think of intercity travel in terms of flying time, not rail travel time. And the fact that rail gets you city center to city center, which seems like one of its greatest advantages (or does if you'v ever driven to LAX or SFO at rush hour), for people most of whom live in far-flung suburbs that doesn't seem much of an advantage either.

I think the best argument in California to convince the mostly unconvinced residents of the vast Central Valley is that HSR would make getting to and from a major airport so much easier for them.
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  #3227  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2021, 9:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
DISTANCE has something to do with it. The US, Canada and Australia are countries where distances are measured in thousands of miles and people are just accustomed to flying. Even where high speed rail trips might take only a few hours, most people think of intercity travel in terms of flying time, not rail travel time. And the fact that rail gets you city center to city center, which seems like one of its greatest advantages (or does if you'v ever driven to LAX or SFO at rush hour), for people most of whom live in far-flung suburbs that doesn't seem much of an advantage either.

I think the best argument in California to convince the mostly unconvinced residents of the vast Central Valley is that HSR would make getting to and from a major airport so much easier for them.
Distance is a major factor why, I will agree.
But I do not agree selling Valley residents with easier access to major airports. The main reason being that CHSR trains will not stop at stations at or near major airports. In the San Francisco Bay area, the three HSR train stations will be located in downtown San Francisco, San Jose, and Millbrae.
In the LA area, the five HSR stations will be located at Burbank, Downtown LA, Norwalk, Fullerton, and Anaheim. Burbank being located near Bob Hope Airport, but it is not a major airport with just 14 gates.
To put that into perspective, here are the gate numbers at various large California airports:
LAX 146 gates
SFO 115 gates
SAN 51 gates
SJC 41 gates
OAK 32 gates
SMF 32 gates
ONT 26 gates
SNA 22 gates
BUR 14 gates
BFL 8 gates
FAT 6 gates
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  #3228  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2021, 1:07 PM
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Millbrae is directly adjacent to SFO. You know that right?
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  #3229  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2021, 2:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Millbrae is directly adjacent to SFO. You know that right?
Relatedly they really should extend the AirTrain to Millbrae and mothball the SFO BART station. HSR, BART, and Caltrain passengers would have optimal access to the airport though an automated free high frequency link.
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  #3230  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2021, 3:46 PM
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Also, BART will be extended into DT San Jose by the time HSR is running. This means that travelers could reach Oakland's airport via BART. Nowhere close to as convenient as SFO, but still possible.

It also will be possible to travel from LAX to LA Union Station via rail public transportation by 2025 or so. It'll involve a transfer and it'll take about an hour but it's something that someone living in Palmdale or Bakersfield might do.

Extending HSR via an 11-12 mile tunnel from LA Union to LAX would be horrendously expensive. It would be a lot cheaper to build a limited stop (Inglewood stadium, future Vermont red line extension, and maybe 2-3 more) transit line in a bored tunnel between those points.
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  #3231  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2021, 4:03 PM
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this thread is almost 12 years old, connecting two cities is harder then you would think. though the sea level is rising and the valley is sinking. also a earthquake could happen, i see why it isnt going anywhere.
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  #3232  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2021, 5:15 PM
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Originally Posted by k1052 View Post
Relatedly they really should extend the AirTrain to Millbrae and mothball the SFO BART station. HSR, BART, and Caltrain passengers would have optimal access to the airport though an automated free high frequency link.
Yes that probably makes the most sense, but then BART couldn't charge $$$ to SFO trips.
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  #3233  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2021, 5:41 PM
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Originally Posted by SIGSEGV View Post
Yes that probably makes the most sense, but then BART couldn't charge $$$ to SFO trips.
Yeah I wonder what their decision making would look like since not using the wye anymore has significant operational and frequency upsides but they'd lose some of the higher fare. From a mobility standpoint it really should be done though.
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  #3234  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2021, 7:23 PM
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
Distance is a major factor why, I will agree.
But I do not agree selling Valley residents with easier access to major airports. The main reason being that CHSR trains will not stop at stations at or near major airports. In the San Francisco Bay area, the three HSR train stations will be located in downtown San Francisco, San Jose, and Millbrae.
In the LA area, the five HSR stations will be located at Burbank, Downtown LA, Norwalk, Fullerton, and Anaheim. Burbank being located near Bob Hope Airport, but it is not a major airport with just 14 gates.
To put that into perspective, here are the gate numbers at various large California airports:
LAX 146 gates
SFO 115 gates
SAN 51 gates
SJC 41 gates
OAK 32 gates
SMF 32 gates
ONT 26 gates
SNA 22 gates
BUR 14 gates
BFL 8 gates
FAT 6 gates
Wrong. The HSR up the Peninsula into San Francisco passes right by SFO. Not sure if Milbrae is a planned stop but it easily could be (you say it is). That’s one BART stop from the station inside SFO—not much different from an airport “people mover” ride and closer/shorter than the connection between BART and Oakland Airport ((although somebody comong from Bakersfield or Fresno could even get to OAK that way).
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  #3235  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2021, 4:49 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
Not sure if Milbrae is a planned stop but it easily could be (you say it is).
All HSR trains, including the expresses, will stop at Mibrae. This universal intermediate stop (the others being San Jose and Burbank) was needed so that the mixed HSR/Caltrains traffic can be cued into San Francisco in a civilized fashion rather than backing up in the future tunnel to Transbay Terminal. It made the most sense to position this cuing activity at Mibrae since it serves SFO.

Last edited by jmecklenborg; Sep 19, 2021 at 7:35 PM.
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  #3236  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2021, 6:25 PM
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
Distance is a major factor why, I will agree.
But I do not agree selling Valley residents with easier access to major airports. The main reason being that CHSR trains will not stop at stations at or near major airports. In the San Francisco Bay area, the three HSR train stations will be located in downtown San Francisco, San Jose, and Millbrae.
In the LA area, the five HSR stations will be located at Burbank, Downtown LA, Norwalk, Fullerton, and Anaheim. Burbank being located near Bob Hope Airport, but it is not a major airport with just 14 gates.
To put that into perspective, here are the gate numbers at various large California airports:
LAX 146 gates
SFO 115 gates
SAN 51 gates
SJC 41 gates
OAK 32 gates
SMF 32 gates
ONT 26 gates
SNA 22 gates
BUR 14 gates
BFL 8 gates
FAT 6 gates
Gates don’t tell the entire picture. As of July 2021 SMF was the fourth busiest airport in California and has been in a close race with SJC and Oak the past few years. Like many airports, SMF is talking expansion even as it emerges from Covid flight disruptions. SMF obviously draws passengers from much of the area North of Sacramento, West into the outer East Bay (Walnut Creek), Fairfield and Napa; as far South as Merced and as far East as Stateline.

FAT in Fresno has 6 gates now, but with Southwest Airlines initiating service expect it to be a game changer for air travel in the Southern Central Valley.

Domestic travelers in the Central Valley really won’t need to rely on Bay Area airports for domestic travel as was the case in years past.

However, SFO is the main International airport in Northern California. But the question will be, do travelers want to drive or take the train to SFO to catch a flight to Paris or do they want to fly from their local airports and connect in Chicago, or further East? By the time Cal HSR reaches SFO Fresno’s FAT will likely expand capacity exponentially.

That said, HSR is growing on me in the sense that when it came to the vote, I was dead set against it because it was a poorly conceived plan, clearly underestimated construction costs, overestimated funding sources and being overseen by people who would be hard pressed to assemble a Lionel train set, to say nothing of a “high speed rail” system. My predictions rarely come to pass. When I make predictions I’m usually wrong. But even my predictions all came to pass with the HSR system.

I still question whether the entire system will be grossly obsolete by the time it’s complete. Maybe we should have considered maglev or hyper loop. (I’m not qualified in any case to speculate on the alternatives and I have no problem admitting that). But with climate change posing an existential threat to our one planet, we are going to have to invest heavily in transportation infrastructure and better urban planning in order to help reduce the impact of climate change. Maybe that includes new fuel sources or aviation advances for the airline industry as well? But we would be wise to not put all of our eggs in one basket and try to complete HSR to include the Sacramento and San Diego extensions (sadly not in my lifetime).
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Last edited by urban_encounter; Sep 19, 2021 at 6:35 PM.
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  #3237  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2021, 7:35 PM
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Sacramento should at least be cheaper since the conditions are the same as most of the central valley route.
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  #3238  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2021, 7:46 PM
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I still question whether the entire system will be grossly obsolete by the time it’s complete.
This system is big-time and is going to restructure life throughout the state. Was the Northeast Corridor rendered obsolete by Trump's shuttle?


Quote:
Maybe we should have considered maglev or hyper loop.
Maglev barely exists. What is being built in Japan right now is orders of magnitude more ambitious than CAHSR.

The hyper loop is a scam.


Quote:
But we would be wise to not put all of our eggs in one basket and try to complete HSR to include the Sacramento and San Diego extensions (sadly not in my lifetime).
This is an incomplete sentence, so your specific intent is unclear, but I will attempt to address it. Many people advocate for upgrades to ACE and the Capitol Corridor on par with what is going on with Caltrains on the peninsula right now. Many people envision a unified, electric system that connects all three systems through a second Transbay Tube. This unified system would compliment and be integrated with CAHSR on the Peninsula and possibly in the East Bay, including the planned branch from the wye up to Sacramento.
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  #3239  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2021, 7:48 PM
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Sacramento should at least be cheaper since the conditions are the same as most of the central valley route.
And it'll likely be designed for a slightly lower top speed, which will save a lot of money. I don't know if Prop 1A requires LA>SF to be completely up and running or not before the Sacramento branch (Phase 2) can begin construction. I hope not, since it seems like an Easy Win.
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  #3240  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2021, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
And it'll likely be designed for a slightly lower top speed, which will save a lot of money. I don't know if Prop 1A requires LA>SF to be completely up and running or not before the Sacramento branch (Phase 2) can begin construction. I hope not, since it seems like an Easy Win.
Jmeck, I usually find myself agreeing with everything you say, but I have to disagree with you on this. I see no hint and no reason to suggest they will suddenly pursue a lower speed spec for the Sac and SD legs, especially after the public and media undoubtedly become mesmerized by the speed and "futureness" of the IOS. I have 100% confidence the system will be completed as planned with the phase 2 not being treated as a less-than afterthought in any way.
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