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Thread: California -- High Speed Trains

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by futurecity View Post
    I don't listen to this nay-saying... don't worry, it will get done someday, just have some faith man..
    It may be done in states that continue to grow, have lower taxes, attract new residents and are more business friendly like Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Florida, etc. California's fiscal situation is getting worse every year. It had deficits and highest income taxes during the boom years. Now, in recession, it's really disintegrating.

    http://www.economist.com/world/na/di...ry_id=10962668

  2. #17
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Nothing a good earthquake wouldn't fix ...

    Just think of the economic stimulus package that would be needed -- and the jobs that would be created

  3. #18
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Cool

    You'd make a killing out there.

  4. #19

  5. #20

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    HSRA hopes to build SF-SJ, LA-Anaheim starter lines in a few years

    Published Thursday, November 6, 2008, by the Sacramento Bee

    California bullet train's win is first fiscal step

    By Tony Bizjak

    After a decade stuck in the station, California's bullet train dreams
    got a huge boost this week when voters approved Proposition 1A, the
    $10 billion construction bond measure.

    Supporters hailed the vote as putting California at the forefront
    nationally on alternative transportation.

    Bullet trains, they say, will allow travelers to speed from the
    north state to the south in nearly two hours at 200 miles per hour
    -- bypassing congested airports and freeways.

    "The people of California are smart enough to realize we need to
    invest in our future," High Speed Rail Authority executive Mehdi
    Morshed said. "Despite the economic bad news, they are thinking
    beyond today."

    Not everyone is on board, a vote analysis shows.

    The narrow victory was led by voters in areas where trains are
    expected to arrive first -- San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles,
    and Central Valley areas eager for the economic growth the trains
    are predicted to bring.

    But a majority in Sacramento and San Diego opposed the measure,
    as did voters in El Dorado, Placer and outlying counties.

    Sacramento and San Diego are scheduled to be part of a second-phase
    expansion of high-speed rail, after an initial line is built between
    the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

    Rail advocates acknowledge bullet trains are unlikely to reach
    Sacramento and San Diego for another 15 years, and not unless trains
    on the initial segment earn enough money to finance expansion.

    Morshed said his agency hopes to begin building medium-speed starter
    lines between San Francisco and San Jose, and between Los Angeles and
    Anaheim in the next few years.

    Those lines get first priority, he said, because local agencies --
    Caltrain in the Bay Area and Metrolink in Los Angeles -- signed
    agreements to chip in money.

    Ultimately, Tuesday's $10 billion bond measure is expected to pay
    for less than one-quarter of the 800-mile system's cost. The rest of
    the funds are expected to come from federal grants, local matching
    funds and private-sector investors.

    Morshed said he expects the full system to be done by 2025.

    Opponents, lead by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, argue
    the train plan is ill-conceived and point out the state has yet to
    update its 8-year-old business plan, as required by law.

    "It is mind-boggling, with the budget crisis, that people would vote
    for this without there being a business plan," Jarvis group head
    Jonathan Coupal said.

    Bullet train campaign officials said the plan is due out Friday,
    but it won't contain anything of note that hasn't already been made
    public.

    Train campaign officials ran $1 million worth of radio ads promoting
    the system as more than just a transportation tool.

    "We knew people were concerned about congestion, air pollution, about
    oil dependence, and concerned about jobs," spokesman Greg Larsen
    said. "The high speed train responds to each of those concerns."

    Kevin Powers, 22, a recent UC Davis graduate, said he voted for the
    rail system, citing environmental concerns among other reasons.

    "State population is going to grow to 50 million," he said. "What
    we have isn't going to work."

    Wayne Steving, 65, of Rancho Murieta, voted against the train.

    "It's too high of a cost at this time," he said. "We need it, but
    we just don't have any money. We're broke."

    High-speed rail agency executive Morshed said the state will now
    seek federal funding to help on the initial segments, and will work
    on securing right-of-way.

  6. #21

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    In defense of Acela the track it runs on was layed down over 100 years ago and also hosts regular Amtrak as well as local and freight trains. Acela also has another much less visable handycap, it weighs over twice as much as other high speed trains (35 tons per axle vs. TGV's 17 tons per axle)

    A dedicated high speed line with light-weight trainsets in my opinon, would be a very good idea, not just for California but for many areas of the US.
    Last edited by ZenSteelDude; November 25th, 2008 at 06:46 PM.

  7. #22

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    In order to accomplish such a feat through the NEC, I think a completely different route would be required. There doesn't seem to be room along the existing ROW for a straight track. Otherwise, they could focus on straightening some of the curves.

    A detour of the Metro North tracks is essential in CT. I think going inland would be the best solution.

  8. #23

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    I agree, the NEC has too many twists and turns, the equivalent of 11 compleat circles between New York and Boston. Though straitening out those curves would be costly, both in construction and land aquisition.

  9. #24

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    I noticed that the proposed route takes the Cali high speed over Tehachapi Pass. Never was there a better arguement for dedicated track than mountains. Though high speed trains require large radius curves they also make possible steep grades and extreme superelevated track on purpose built right-of-ways.

    Though it would be a shame to pass through such beautyful country at 180mph.
    Last edited by ZenSteelDude; November 26th, 2008 at 07:24 PM. Reason: sphelling

  10. #25

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    03.30.2011

    Tracking High Speed Rail on the West Coast

    With billions committed from state and federal sources,
    California looks for private funding to make trains a reality.




    Courtesy California High Speed Rail Authority

    In February Vice President Biden announced an additional $53 billion federal investment in National High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail funding in the next six years, helping bring the total amount of funds for California’s High Speed Rail project up to well over $3 billion, with possibly more coming as a result of the $2 billion rejected by states like Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio. Money may be pouring in, but little else about the project is well known.

    First, some overall numbers: There will be 800 miles of track and up to 24 stations, running from San Diego to San Francisco and Sacramento. According to the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), a trip from Los Angeles to San Diego will take one hour and 18 minutes, and a trip to San Francisco will take an astonishing two hours and 38 minutes.

    Consultants, led by major engineering firms like Parsons-Brinkerhoff, Arup, and HNTB, are moving the projects toward construction with preliminary studies, with the scope of their work divided into nine sections across the state, and proceeding independently. A total of nine regional contracts were awarded in 2007, most of them lasting five years.

    The first 120-mile segment of the project is scheduled to begin construction in 2012, linking Fresno to Bakersfield, a strategic decision allowing the Authority to build the 220 mile per hour high-speed section first and then move both northward and southward simultaneously.



    The move from planning into design began with the February 8th publication of an RFEI (Request for Expressions of Interest) in the Design and Construction of the Fresno to Bakersfield section, and the future “design, construction, funding, operations, and maintenance” of any part of High Speed Rail’s Phase 1 program, planned for completion by 2020. Due March 16, this is not a formal Request for Proposals but, according to the Authority, a way for it to refine what it’s looking for, and an opportunity for the professional community to provide input.

    “Anything we can gain from the RFEI is important to us,” CHSRA CEO, Roelof van Ark told an industry group in early March in LA. The formal Request for Proposals will be released by the end of this year, he said, and the first construction contracts should be awarded in the second half of 2012.

    The authority has suggested that it will pursue design/build project delivery, which, considering the scale of the project, suggests the use of the same multi-national engineering firms currently working on alignment and environmental studies. Still, van Ark has affirmed that the CHSRA is making a special effort to include small businesses and will encourage its large contractors to do the same. “We want to deal fairly with our small business partners,” said van Ark.

    In general, station design, according to recently drafted authority guidelines, will support local development standards and goals, privileging transit-oriented development, sustainable infill, and some additional amenities (parks, bike lanes, etc.) around station sites. The first two stations to be unveiled—HOK’s glassy Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center and Pelli Clarke Pelli’s swooping Transbay Transit Center—have been designed as intermodal centers supporting both local and regional rail.

    In early March, the authority announced the development of Visual Design Guidelines, in partnership with the City of San Jose, for the San Jose-Merced project section, governing both “functional and iconic design” in the city. In addition, “Citizen Working Groups” will be part of the Visual Design Guideline process, signaling a transparent methodology for the CHSRA in urban areas.

    Meanwhile on March 3 the authority moved forward with an “alternatives analysis,” further studying station designs, track alignments, and community concerns. So far the CHSRA has conducted over 800 community meetings.

    With nearly $10 billion committed so far by the State of California and at least $3.3 billion coming from the federal government, the CHSRA continues to advocate for private sector funding as well. How that will fall into place is still unknown, but the RFEI is meant to help the authority figure that out. In the meantime, preparations for construction continue, in the hope that funding will be in place as it is needed.

    Noam Maitless

    Copyright © | The Architect's Newspaper

  11. #26

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    Legislature approves high-speed rail spending

    Marisa Lagos
    Updated 11:11 p.m., Friday, July 6, 2012

    Sacramento --

    A divided state Senate approved billions of dollars in funding to start construction on California's ambitious high-speed rail line Friday, handing the controversial project $7.9 billion in state and federal money for the first 130 miles of track and a series of local transit upgrades.

    The funding measure, which was easily approved in the Assembly Thursday, will now head to Gov. Jerry Brown, who pushed lawmakers to approve it. In all, the Legislature this week authorized the issuance of $4.6 billion in state bond funds - about half of the $9.9 billion approved by voters in 2008 - and opened the door for California to obtain $3.3 billion in federal grants, for a total of $7.9 billion.

    It was a key vote: Federal transportation officials had warned that if the money were not made available this summer, they would yank the $3.3 billion in stimulus funds and give it to other states.

    And it was a tough win for Democratic leaders, who weren't sure by midday if they had the votes to pass the measure, which got the bare minimum of 21 votes, all of them Democrats. But some in the party refused to support the plan.

    One of those lawmakers, Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, spoke for 15 minutes about the project's strengths and weaknesses before ultimately saying he could not support the details being weighed Friday.

    "I think high-speed rail makes sense in California ... but we're not being asked to vote on a vision today, we're being asked to vote on a particular plan," he said, critiquing the cost and placement of the initial stretch of track in the Central Valley and noting that the $3.3 billion in federal funds is about 5 percent of the project's total cost.

    "We will be expected to put up 20 times that amount over the course of how many years. ... Regrettably, the only conclusion I can come to today is that this is the wrong plan in the wrong place in the wrong time," Simitian added.

    Look to the future

    During the two-hour debate, supporters countered that they had a responsibility to look beyond today's fiscal challenges and vote yes for what they said would be a short-term boost to jobs and local transit systems, and a long-term investment in the state. Some referenced bold public works projects of the past; Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Bakersfield, compared it to President Abraham Lincoln's pursuit of the Transcontinental Railroad.

    "In the era of term limits, how many chances do we have to vote on something this important and long lasting? How many chances do we have to vote on something that will inject a colossal stimulus into today's economy while looking into the future far beyond our days in this house?" said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. "Do we have the ability to see beyond the challenges, the political point-scoring and controversies of today? Are we willing to take some short-term risk, knowing that the benefit to this great state will be, for centuries, enormous?"

    The cost of the high-speed rail line - now estimated at $68 billion - has ballooned since voters approved the bonds four years ago, and public support for the bullet train has fallen as projected costs rose. The high-speed system would connect San Francisco to Los Angeles with trains expected to run as fast as 220 mph.

    1st stretch of railway

    Most of the money approved this week - about $5.9 billion - is for construction of the first 130-mile stretch of railway in the Central Valley from Bakersfield to Madera. An additional $250 million is for environmental and design work.

    But a large chunk, $1.9 billion, is earmarked for transit system improvements in Northern and Southern California, including $140 million for new BART cars, $600 million for Caltrain electrification and $61 million for Muni's Central Subway. An additional $500 million is for improvements to Los Angeles area transit systems.

    On Friday, critics questioned whether those projects are truly connected to the statewide rail system.

    Build it where?

    But it was the location, demanded by the federal government, of the first phase of construction that proved the most controversial. Critics have derided it as a "train to nowhere," and many farmers in the Central Valley are angry about plans to seize some farmland and homes to make way for the bullet train.

    "We are getting an upgraded Amtrak line in the Central Valley for $6 billion," said Simitian. "And oh, by the way, it's in a low ridership area ... a million potential riders as opposed to 28 million in the north and southern ends of the state."

    Republicans also attacked the project's escalating costs - it was estimated at $40 billion when voters authorized the project in 2008. It's still not clear how the state will pay for later phases of construction.

    Several speakers cited a Field Poll released this week that showed support potentially slipping for the tax plan Brown has placed on the November ballot if lawmakers authorize the rail funding. Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks (Ventura County), asked why Democrats would make a bullet train more important than saving a health care program for poor kids, or putting more funding toward education.

    "I do believe Californians will remember in November - they will remember how out of touch you are in your spending priorities when you ask them to dig deeper," he said. "They will see you spent money we simply don't have."

    San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Wyatt Buchanan contributed to this report. Marisa Lagos is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: mlagossfchronicle.com

    © 2012 Hearst Communications Inc.


    Conceptual view of high speed rail over the Altamont Pass west of Tracy, Calif.
    Photo: Nc3d, Courtesy To The Chronicle / SF

  12. #27

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    Boondoggle. It would be even if they had the had the money. It's even more so since they don't.

  13. #28

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    Echoes of the Party of No.

  14. #29
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Did we have the money to build Hoover Dam? Or the Golden Gate Bridge?

  15. #30
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post


    Conceptual view of high speed rail over the Altamont Pass west of Tracy, Calif.
    That little road down below was where thousands of us hiked to get to this:


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