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  #1501  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2020, 6:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
$600 million should fund, oh, about 200 ft. of rail. Maybe this will be done by AD 3000.
This has a couple advantages over CAHSR, that collectively amount to billions of dollars in savings. Still very expensive compared to other countries, but maybe feasible for the cost-averse, anti-government political culture in this country.

1) The California section runs through empty desert except for a short section in Barstow. The line planners (first XpressWest, now Virgin) simply decided not to build an urban section, and will terminate the line in Apple Valley. I'm sure they want to build into the LA Basin or at least the Inland Empire, but if they proposed that it would open the project up to all sorts of opposition. This way, there is nobody to object or demand costly design mitigations. The Nevada section has a few miles through semi-urbanized Vegas, but Nevada doesn't have a NIMBY culture or the usual NIMBY tools like CEQA.

2) the line will closely follow I-15, either in the median or to the side. CAHSR couldn't use interstates because their right-of-way is neither straight enough nor level enough for sustained 220mph service, and the strict 2h40m travel time from LA-SF written into law prevented California from building slower-speed segments except at the highly urbanized ends. Virgin will have a top limit of 150mph and operate at lower speeds than that, when required by the limitations of the ROW like tight curves or steep grades. It will basically be a West Coast Acela, minus the creakiness of 1910s infrastructure.

It's still unclear what rolling stock Virgin will use, yesterday's press release confirmed the line will be all-electric. I could see them turning to Alstom to piggyback on Amtrak's order for the new Acelas. Other than that, I'm not sure what Buy America-compliant manufacturers could offer an EMU or push/pull electric train capable of 150mph. The good news is that this line will be isolated completely from the national freight network, so it should be easy to get waivers to run Euro-style or Asian-style trains with minimal modifications.
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Last edited by ardecila; Apr 16, 2020 at 6:43 PM.
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  #1502  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2020, 7:01 PM
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Do we know the Las Vegas train top speed? Where is this enshrined? I know that articles for several years have mentioned the 150mph operating speed but we also have never seen a detailed route map, and rendered aerial, mock-up or anything of concrete detail for this project. A couple random trainset graphics clearly thrown together with no real evidence of a real specification yes, but other than that? The article just posted mentioned a top speed of 200 so how do me know that's not right? I really wish they would allocate a few thousand bucks and produce some proper renderings to show and entice the public of the promise of this project. It's strange they haven't done that. Also concerning the route, where is the information online describing specifics with the row? I haven't found it. A couple maps but no real detail.
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  #1503  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2020, 8:32 PM
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All these naysayers were the same ones saying that CAHSR would never put a shovel in the ground and that Brightline wouldn't last more than a year or extend past Ft. Lauderdale. I'm tired of hearing the same thing from people who are always wrong.
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  #1504  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2020, 10:24 PM
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https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/sho...198371&page=80

There is a link to a video in that thread of a Virgin planner outlining their strategy. That's from October last year. Top speed = 180 mph, 45-minute headways, service to start in 2023.
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  #1505  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2020, 3:35 AM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Although there are a few 10+ mile straightaways on I-15, the trains will have to slow to well under 100mph - probably 80mph - for several curves.

This thing is going to have crap terminals at either end. The apparently permanent terminus in Las Vegas is going to be in a random location. The Southern California terminus is going to be literally in the middle of nowhere.
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  #1506  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2020, 5:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Do we know the Las Vegas train top speed? Where is this enshrined? I know that articles for several years have mentioned the 150mph operating speed but we also have never seen a detailed route map, and rendered aerial, mock-up or anything of concrete detail for this project. A couple random trainset graphics clearly thrown together with no real evidence of a real specification yes, but other than that? The article just posted mentioned a top speed of 200 so how do me know that's not right? I really wish they would allocate a few thousand bucks and produce some proper renderings to show and entice the public of the promise of this project. It's strange they haven't done that. Also concerning the route, where is the information online describing specifics with the row? I haven't found it. A couple maps but no real detail.
Read the EIS for early details and drawings.
https://cms8.fra.dot.gov/environment...as-victorville
Read the Record of Decision for final issues resolutions.
https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/lahon...arod_final.pdf
Almost the entire route between Las Vegas and Victorville will be within the median of I-15, although it will depart the I-15 row at either end where the stations will be built, and near Primm and the Mohave National Preserve. The Preferred Alternate chosen was segment 4A during the EIS process remaining within the 1-15 row, but the ROD chose segment 4C instead which departs the I-15 row for a few miles before rejoining. Legal difficulties running through the preserve overcoming hydrological environment difficulties, which can be mitigated.

Last edited by electricron; Apr 17, 2020 at 5:59 AM.
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  #1507  
Old Posted May 11, 2020, 11:49 PM
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https://www.vvdailypress.com/news/20...QqRa0JVuZFNlD4

Tax credit for Virgin Trains project to bring maintenance facility to Apple Valley
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  #1508  
Old Posted May 22, 2020, 1:50 AM
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Congressman Seth Moulton proposes $240b investment in high speed rail

Plans released outlining $240 billion investment into U.S. high-speed rail

The nationwide high-speed rail project would result in a wide number of benefits, with the plan drawing from global examples, including China.

Global Railway Review
May 21, 2020

Plans released outlining $240 billion investment into U.S. high-speed rail
Seth Moulton, the U.S. Representative for Massachusetts’s 6th congressional district, has released a proposal for investing $240 billion in a nationwide high-speed rail network. The plan would create an estimated 2.6 million jobs over the span of five years and “let the free market thrive in transportation as it does elsewhere in the American economy, [giving] a new generation of Americans, competing in a new world, the options and efficiencies we demand.”

Seth pointed to the lack of train options as a major competitive disadvantage for the U.S. at a moment when other nations are investing heavily in high-speed rail. For example, in China, business travellers regularly use high-speed lines that cover the equivalent distance from Chicago to Atlanta. The plan notes: “With more frequent service, far nicer accommodations, no weather disruptions, and much more time aboard rather than in terminal lines or security checks.” Major stops along a Chicago to Atlanta high-speed line would include Indianapolis, Louisville, Nashville and Chattanooga, offering an hourly service.

Seth notes that the cost of the U.S. status quo, where cars and airplanes monopolise funding, “is hundreds of billions of dollars of added costs to our economy—from lost time and business due to historic traffic congestion, to environmental degradation and land waste on a massive scale—as well as hundreds of billions in lost economic opportunity.”

Development of the proposal began prior to the current COVID-19 crisis, but Seth outlined that the pandemic is “a moment to rethink the status quo of transportation and development dominated by the car. Why not more bike lanes? Why not more scooters? Why not high-speed rail?”

Rest of story
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  #1509  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2020, 3:32 PM
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Virgin Trains plans extension of LA – Las Vegas high-speed line

https://www.railjournal.com/passenge...gh-speed-line/

Quote:
.....

- XPRESSWEST, the subsidiary of Virgin Trains USA planning a high-speed line from California to Las Vegas, has begun early talks to extend the western terminus from Victorville to Rancho Cucamonga, where the line could connect directly to the Los Angeles metro network. — Virgin Trains USA and the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to undertake a study into extending the 270km line along Interstate 15 through the Cajon Pass into Rancho Cucamonga, which is situated around 55km southwest of Victorville and 65km east of central Los Angeles.

.....


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  #1510  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2020, 6:20 AM
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Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
Virgin Trains plans extension of LA – Las Vegas high-speed line

https://www.railjournal.com/passenge...gh-speed-line/
Studying is a far cry from actively planning, although the very first step in the EIS process.
Brightline or XpressWest., whichever you prefer, is only studying to San Bernardino - not to Los Angeles. Much like they have studied and finished an EIS to Palmdale.
What I see is them hedging their bets on which segment of the CHSR will get built first in Southern California. Either way, Palmdale to L.A. or Victorville to San Bernardino, an elevation change of feet must be accomplished in miles.
San Bernardino elevation = ~1,000 feet
Victorville elevation feet = ~2,700 feet
A difference of ~1,700 feet.
Highway miles between San Bernardino and Victorville along I-15 is 40 miles.
That averages 42.5 feet (4 stories) per mile.

CHSR trains will have to run on dedicated tracks in Southern California. Brightline does not have to run their trains all the way into L.A. All they have to do is get to either Palmdale or San Bernardino or both for transfers to future CHSR trains.
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  #1511  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2020, 7:47 AM
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Build this puppy please... have you seen what they are cookin up over there in Europe these days.. we need in on the action!
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  #1512  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2020, 9:44 PM
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Neither Japan, Europe, nor China have built a national wide HSR network in 5 years, why does this Congressman from Massachusetts thinks the USA can?
Where is he going to find $240 Billion, averaging just short of $50 Billion per year, in 5 years?
The USDOT yearly budget is $87 Billion per year, including allocations to almost every transit agency in the country, only $49 Billion went to highway programs.
Let's break that $87 Billion down some:
Aviation $17 Billion
Highways $49 Billion
Transit $13 Billion
Railroads $3 Billion
Maritime $1 Billion
Miscellaneous programs $1 Billion
Various Safety Administrations $1.5 Billion
Administration of DOT in D.C. $1.5 Billion

Of that total, $62 Billion is mandatory spending under existing allocations passed by Congress, and only $25 Billion is discretionary, not required by previous budget allocations. Even if next year all $25 Billion of discretioinalry funds were moved into railroads, there will still be around a $25 Billion yearly shortfall. So, where does that Congressman plan to find the additional revenues to make his program real?
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  #1513  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2020, 10:20 PM
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Well, we did just spend $2 trillion and counting in the past few months. It doesn't need to be over 5 years, but the US can certainly afford to greatly increase it's spending on infrastructure, which, as a national investment, is pretty good spending compared to many other things. If your question was more literal than philosophical, infrastructure bonds purchased by the fed, pick your timeline and interest rate.
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  #1514  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2020, 7:10 AM
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Well, we did just spend $2 trillion and counting in the past few months. It doesn't need to be over 5 years, but the US can certainly afford to greatly increase it's spending on infrastructure, which, as a national investment, is pretty good spending compared to many other things. If your question was more literal than philosophical, infrastructure bonds purchased by the fed, pick your timeline and interest rate.
That's the right attitude. American's transit is woefully bad in comparison to much of the developed world.
The scummy subways, the aging rail cattle cars, the entire system is just second-rate. Spend more or watch the rest of the world reign over us for eons. I'm waiting for the US to step it up, but it prefers to piss around.

Last edited by doglover99; Jul 10, 2020 at 7:36 AM.
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  #1515  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2020, 3:32 PM
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Am I the only one that can't fathom the LA-Vegas high speed line? I understand the limitations in terms of cost, etc., but what is the point of building it to Victorville? Do they really think people from LA are going to trek all the way up to Victorville just to get on a train? At that point you might as well stick to driving all the way or just take one of the dozens of 45min flights to Vegas from any of the LA airports.
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  #1516  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2020, 5:52 PM
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Originally Posted by wchicity View Post
Am I the only one that can't fathom the LA-Vegas high speed line? I understand the limitations in terms of cost, etc., but what is the point of building it to Victorville? Do they really think people from LA are going to trek all the way up to Victorville just to get on a train? At that point you might as well stick to driving all the way or just take one of the dozens of 45min flights to Vegas from any of the LA airports.
Yes, there is some skepticism with terminating the line in Victorville. However:

*There are plans to eventually extend the line to Palmdale, where it would connect with both Metrolink and the San Francisco - LA high-speed rail.
*As much as anything, Brightline is interested in developing properties around stations. There are plans for significant development around the Victorville station.
*As mentioned above, there are discussions for extending a spur to Rancho Cucamonga, where it would connect to the San Bernardino Metrolink line and, possibly, the Redlands - San Bernardino light-rail.
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  #1517  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2020, 1:33 AM
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Am I the only one that can't fathom the LA-Vegas high speed line? I understand the limitations in terms of cost, etc., but what is the point of building it to Victorville? Do they really think people from LA are going to trek all the way up to Victorville just to get on a train? At that point you might as well stick to driving all the way or just take one of the dozens of 45min flights to Vegas from any of the LA airports.
I suppose you're not the only one. There is room for skeptics, but if this isn't a "build it and they will come" project I don't know what is.
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  #1518  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2020, 5:36 AM
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I suppose you're not the only one. There is room for skeptics, but if this isn't a "build it and they will come" project I don't know what is.
The one major advantage the HSR train to Las Vegas will have is that it will be visible to all those driving their own vehicles being within the freeways right-of-way. When the train passes you like you are standing still, drivers will take notice.
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  #1519  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2020, 4:52 AM
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The one major advantage the HSR train to Las Vegas will have is that it will be visible to all those driving their own vehicles being within the freeways right-of-way. When the train passes you like you are standing still, drivers will take notice.
Perth did this with it's urban freeways and it seems to work ok. I would think however that the worst part of getting from LA to Vegas while driving is the section through the basin and up Cajon pass, not the open highway through the Mojave?
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  #1520  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2020, 5:31 AM
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Originally Posted by wchicity View Post
Am I the only one that can't fathom the LA-Vegas high speed line? I understand the limitations in terms of cost, etc., but what is the point of building it to Victorville? Do they really think people from LA are going to trek all the way up to Victorville just to get on a train? At that point you might as well stick to driving all the way or just take one of the dozens of 45min flights to Vegas from any of the LA airports.

Yeah I don't understand it either. It makes just as much sense as Musk's hyperloop that terminated in Sylmar.
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