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Old March 25th, 2011, 02:24 PM   #2381
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
Although off-topic for this thread, I'm wondering if we will soon (if not already) be seeing one or more North American 'Class I' railroads seriously studying wholesale electrification of their systems with the latest crude oil price spike. There was a LOT of chatter in midwestern railfan circles that at least one Class I was doing that during the last spike in 2008.

Advantages:
-Ability to draw tractive energy from whatever source is most economical at any given time and in any given location.
-With far fewer moving parts, locomotives are much simpler and less expensive to maintain and live far longer service lives than diesels.

Disadvantages:
-Startup costs (buying/refitting locomotives to use catenary, cost of stringing wires and building power support facilities, etc).
-Cost of maintaining catenary wires.
-NIMBY along some lines (those *UNSIGHTLY* wires!).

Mike
I read somewhere that electrifying a rail line is just about as expensive as building one from scratch. If this is even close to being true why on earth would American class I roads want to do this? To me that 's the same rationale as borrowing money to buy a brand new $40,000 electric car to replace your fully paid off gas burner just to save money at the pump every week. It makes no fiscal sense whatsoever.

I can see them looking at it for any new lines or line expansions they may be considering but not for a system-wide retro-fit.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 04:09 PM   #2382
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In the UK its costed at about £1million per double-track km, whereas a new line is about ten times that. Costs would be lower in the US (or anywhere else for that matter - there's a lot of criticism about the high cost of construction in the UK from the Office of Rail Regulation). But I would have thought the difference between electrification and new build would be similar unless there are major obstacles in the US for some reason?
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Old March 25th, 2011, 05:02 PM   #2383
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COuld be, I don't remember where I read that or what time period it referred to it just stuck with me. Even at 1/10th cost I would think that construction costs would take a heck of a long time to be re-couped through fuel savings. Frankly, with the cost of fuel oils in the US being lower in comp to Europe there may not be all that much fuel savings.

I did see a new line in Western NM last summer that was electrified. It ran from a coal mine in NM to a coal fired electric generator plant in Page, Arizona.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 05:08 PM   #2384
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COuld be, I don't remember where I read that or what time period it referred to it just stuck with me. Even at 1/10th cost I would think that construction costs would take a heck of a long time to be re-couped through fuel savings. Frankly, with the cost of fuel oils in the US being lower in comp to Europe there may not be all that much fuel savings.

I did see a new line in Western NM last summer that was electrified. It ran from a coal mine in NM to a coal fired electric generator plant in Page, Arizona.
That line isn't new its been there since the 70s , theres also the Metra Electric network , South Shore line both with expansions on the way. The LIRR plans on electrifying all 700 miles of its system. Denver plans on having Electric commuter rail lines , Cal Trans will go electric. NJT plans on electrifying some lines and expanding alot.....Septa of course is all electric plans on expanding....alot hopefully. MBTA is the only NE agency that is not electrifying....but downsizing to DMUs on some lines.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 10:39 PM   #2385
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Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
That line isn't new its been there since the 70s , theres also the Metra Electric network , South Shore line both with expansions on the way. The LIRR plans on electrifying all 700 miles of its system. Denver plans on having Electric commuter rail lines , Cal Trans will go electric. NJT plans on electrifying some lines and expanding alot.....Septa of course is all electric plans on expanding....alot hopefully. MBTA is the only NE agency that is not electrifying....but downsizing to DMUs on some lines.
Interesting in that all mentioned are public transport, am I correct. I just don't see the class 1 frieght carriers doing this.

But, we're off topic. Apologies all.
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Old March 26th, 2011, 07:08 AM   #2386
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Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
Most of the 2020 Projects below are funded by the Feds or the states...or by Revenue....

Amtrak Northeastern Division

Projects to be completed by 2020

Gateway Tunnel / Moynihan Station
New Haven - Springfield Corridor
Lackawanna line
Lehigh line
Norfolk line
Concord line
DMU trains > Downeaster , Vermonter
Electrification of the Empire line & Lackawanna line
Re-routed Vermont trains
Cape Cod service
New Shops
Overhaul of the Northeast Corridor
Newer Amfleet Cars
City Sprinter locos
Overhaul of Bridgeport , Stamford , Baltimore , Philly , Newark Stations
Added Capacity to South Station , DC Union , NY Penn station , Springfield station , Hartford , Providence , Harrisburg
Overhaul and Replacement of NEC wires , Bridges , Tunnels
LED Signal Bulbs
Concrete Ties on all lines
LED Departure Boards @ All stations
Connecticut River Bridge replacements
Baltimore Tunnel Replacements
Added Capacity along the NEC in NJ , CT , RI , MA
Grade Separations @ Raritan Valley line , Jersey Avenue ,New Rochelle / New Haven line , Waterbury merge , Danbury line merge


Large Scale Rail Projects

Project : Lackawanna line (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Number of lines : 1
Stations : 5/6 (Intercity)
Projected Ridership : 12,000
Status : Under Construction in NJ

Project : Lehigh line (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Number of lines : 1
Stations : 7 (Intercity)
Projected Ridership : 15,000
Status : Awaiting Funding

Project : Concord line (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Number of lines : 1
Stations : 3
Projected Ridership : 2,000
Status : Awaiting Funding

Project : Cape Cod line (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Number of lines : 1
Stations : 7
Projected Ridership : 14,000 (seasonal)
Status : Awaiting Funding

Project : Norfolk line
Number of lines : 1
Stations : 8
Projected Ridership : 5,000
Status : Under Construction

Project : New Haven - Springfield line (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Number of lines : 1
Stations : 3 (Intercity)
Projected Ridership : 9,000
Status : Under Construction


Current Amtrak NE System

Line : Northeast Regional (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Length : 664 mi
Stations : 42
Ridership : 25,000 > Projected 2020 Ridership : 45,000

Line : Acela Express (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Length : 456 mi
Stations : 14
Ridership : 9,400 > Projected 2020 Ridership : 16,000

Line : Downeaster (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Length : 116 mi
Stations : 10
Ridership : 1,300 > Projected 2020 Ridership : 6,300

Line : Vermonter
Length : 611 mi
Stations : 27
Ridership : 240 > Projected 2020 Ridership : 3,000

Line : Keystone (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Length : 195 mi
Stations : 19
Ridership : 3,500 > Projected 2020 Ridership : 8,000

Line : Pennsylvanian
Length : 444 mi
Stations : 17
Ridership : 557 > Projected 2020 Ridership : 5,000

Line : Empire
Length : 460 mi
Stations : 15
Ridership : 2,500 > Projected 2020 Ridership : 5,800

Hey thanks for summing this up. Are there any figures as to what the projected speed for each of them is going to be?
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Old March 26th, 2011, 09:08 AM   #2387
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Hey thanks for summing this up. Are there any figures as to what the projected speed for each of them is going to be?
I could guess , alot of lines below share with Regional Rail. Freight runs at night along those lines to minimize conflict. Regional Rail congestion is an issue on the NEC , Downeaster and Empire have Congestion issues which slow trains and cause them to be rerouted. Addition tracks and restored lines will help this. The Lackawanna line feeds into a system of 3 (6 lines by 2020) , with 480 trains a day and over 150,000 people daily....which is expected to grow by 220,000 by 2025. Once the full line is completed in 2025 , 30 trains per day for Intercity and local will ride on the Lackawanna. And a Estimated 6 rerouted Lehigh Intercity Trains per day. The good thing about the Lackawanna and Lehigh lines is there are alt routes they can use , the bad news is it adds 20-30 mins to the trip. The NEC trains cannot be rerouted most of the length , except in New England future plans call for 3 new ways to Boston.

NEC > 165mph Max
Empire > 120mph max
Pennsylvanian / Keystone > 110mph max
Downeaster > 90mph max
Lackawanna > 110mph max
Norfolk line > 120mph max
Vermonter > 120mph max
Lehigh > 110mph max
New Haven - Springfield > 110-130mph max
Cape Cod > 90-110mph max
Concord > 110mph max
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Old March 29th, 2011, 12:09 AM   #2388
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High-speed rail: First phase could run to Merced after all
Authority plan to apply for money Florida rejected would expand construction project's 'backbone.'
By KEITH A. JONES
[email protected]

High-speed rail may come to Merced sooner than expected, as the California High Speed Rail Authority will announce today it's asking for $1.2 billion in funding that was rejected by Florida.

If the request is approved, it would mean the first phase of track will run from Merced to Bakersfield. Also, instead of building a station just in downtown Fresno, stations will be built in Merced and Bakersfield. The authority is also looking at building a station in Tulare County.

"This is very good news for Merced," said Mayor Bill Spriggs on Sunday afternoon. "The City Council has always supported high-speed rail. We were disappointed when the Corcoran-to-Borden route was announced."


"If we get a portion of Florida's money, we'll able to complete the entire backbone of the project," Jeff Barker, deputy director of the rail authority, told the Sun-Star Friday.

In December, after receiving federal money from canceled high-speed rail projects in Wisconsin and Ohio, the authority announced it was building the first leg from Shafter to Borden. That was quickly dubbed "the train to nowhere" by some critics and disappointed advocates.

The application deadline is April 4 for the $2.43 billion that Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott turned down. Barker said the state will provide a 30 percent match from state Proposition 1A funds that will bring the total to more than $1.7 billion.

"We already have $5.5 billion to start construction from Borden to Shafter," he said.

Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani, D-Livingston, who wrote Proposition 1A, which voters approved in November 2008, said "It's not a question of whether were going to get the money, but how much."

The staff will make its recommendation to the authority's board Wednesday.

"With the extra money we think we can do one of two things," Barker said: Extend the track to south of Bakersfield to at least Te-hachapi or build the track 39 miles beyond the triangle at Chowchilla toward Los Banos and San Jose.

Laying the "keel" of the high-speed rail in the Valley, Galgiani said, "gets us closer to getting private money on the table. It signals to the private investment community that we are serious."

Barker said, "We've gotten nearly 1,000 responses from business that they are interested in investing. Lots of the interest comes from small business in California. We were shocked to see that kind of response."

The first phase of high-speed rail will be just 220 miles of track. Construction will start in September 2012 and finish by 2017. The 800-mile system is scheduled to be completed by 2020. The trains will run at 220 mph.

The money for the first phase is only for construction. There will be no electrification or trains until later. Until the entire system is complete, Amtrak will be able to run at 120 mph between Bakersfield and Merced, Galgiani said. "That's an immediate benefit," she added.

Running on Burlington Northern Santa Fe track in the Valley, Amtrack can travel at just 79 mph and often has to pull onto sidings to wait for freight trains to pass.

"You have to keep in mind we are trying to build a statewide system," Barker said. "We haven't settled on the alignment of the tracks in the Valley. It depends on which one we choose if the route will be a little longer or a little shorter."

This development will bring about 38,000 jobs to Merced and Kern counties, Galgiani said. The government says every $1 billion spent on infrastructure means 20,000 jobs.

"These are going to be American jobs. We're not importing labor from overseas," Galgiani said. "Approximately 94 to 96 percent of the labor will be California workers. Our global partners will be sharing high-speed rail technology. California workers will lay track, build viaducts, bridges and do the tunneling."

A decision on the maintenance facility is still a ways off, Galgiani said. Merced County has offered the Castle Commerce Center as the site. Madera, Fresno, Kern and Orange counties have offered sites as well.

"This will put California economy on a fast track to recovery," she said. "We are in the process of developing the contracting policy for the High Speed Rail Authority."

Galgiani says she has legislation to implement the small business enterprise program that will put Valley businesses in the pipeline to compete for contracts.

http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/03...ase-could.html





Populations of counties in the line:

Merced County - 255.000
Madera County - 155.000 (no station)
Fresno County - 800.000
Kings County - 150.000 // Tulare County - 370.000 (potential station, the line passes on the border of both counties)
Kern County - 840.000 (Bakersfield station)

To the south, the next county would be:

Los Angeles County - 10 million (many stations)

Northwards, from Madera in the direction of São Francisco it would be:

San Francisco County - 800.000 or 3 millions if you county the whole urban connurbated area
San Mateo County - 700.000
Santa Clara County - 1.700.000

Norwards to Sacramento it would be:

Sacramento County - 1.400.000
San Joaquin County - 700.000 (Stockton station)
Stanislaus County - 500.000 (Modesto station)

And here go the existing Amtrak lines:

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Old March 29th, 2011, 12:38 AM   #2389
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It seams to me that their chosen place to start is Sacramento-Bakersfield, correct? To me it seams a very wierd choice ... I would surely have started with Los Angeles-Bakersfield.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 06:36 AM   #2390
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In LA it looks more like a metro.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 05:47 PM   #2391
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It seams to me that their chosen place to start is Sacramento-Bakersfield, correct? To me it seams a very wierd choice ... I would surely have started with Los Angeles-Bakersfield.
Its flat , between 2 large cities that could use the benefits of HSR and its the cheapest segment...
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Old March 29th, 2011, 07:11 PM   #2392
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Its flat , between 2 large cities that could use the benefits of HSR and its the cheapest segment...
Well, it connects Backersfield with 800.000 people to Sacramento, with a county population of 1,4 million, which IMHO is not really a lot. But, if it went to the opposite direction it would connect Backersfield 800.000 with Los Angeles 10 million.

Plus there already exists a train line which makes the route Sacramento-Backersfield while there is no train line between Backersfield and Los Angeles. I think that a new line there would already allow to put trains between Los Angeles and Sacramento and San Francisco, even if they are fast only in part of the line and then use the collected money to expand northwards. I seriously doubt Sacramento-Backersfield will be as profitable. The airport connection in Los Angeles would also be a major attraction of demand.

About costs I read that Sacramento-Backersfield will cost $11,4 billions, it would be unlikely for Los Angeles-Backersfield to cost more. Source: http://www.cahsrblog.com/2010/09/bui...-valley-first/

And in general, my biggest worry is building first a segment with no connection to either San Francisco nor Los Angeles.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 07:30 PM   #2393
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http://www.chicagobusiness.com/secti...entId=blogDest


Group pushes Chicago/New York high-speed rail linePosted by Greg H. at 3/28/2011 1:44 PM CDT on Chicago Business

An upstart advocacy group is trying to build support for a high-speed railroad line between Chicago and a destination that might attract some real business: New York City.

NYChicagoRR.org argues that, while Illinois and federal authorities are in the process of spending what may turn out to be more than $2 billion on 110 m.p.h. service to St. Louis, heading east is what really makes sense.

"This Midwest thing is just not sustainable. It doesn't work," says group founder Mike Lehman, who has worked in the transportation logistics business. "The only thing that makes sense is Chicago to New York."

Mr. Lehman notes that a Windy City/Big Apple line would travel through a geographic area that is home to well over 100 million people. It quite conceivably would hit such big cities as Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and would connect to the East Coast metroliner service, which has been extended as far west as Harrisburg, in central Pennsylvania.

Mr. Lehman's group is looking for corporate and foundation backing, as well as help from private individuals.

It's new and small, and not well connected to other rail groups here. It has only a dream -- service to New York City at, perhaps, five hours, assuming rates hit by truly high-speed lines in Europe and Asia -- and the vaguest cost estimate: $10 billion to $25 billion, which strikes me as pretty low.

But in terms of concept, he's absolutely right. Chicago/St. Louis has only limited potential -- at any speed. Population density between here and there is too low.

Chicago/New York could be completely different -- if someone wants to put real muscle and money behind it.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 07:49 PM   #2394
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Well, it connects Backersfield with 800.000 people to Sacramento, with a county population of 1,4 million, which IMHO is not really a lot. But, if it went to the opposite direction it would connect Backersfield 800.000 with Los Angeles 10 million.

Plus there already exists a train line which makes the route Sacramento-Backersfield while there is no train line between Backersfield and Los Angeles. I think that a new line there would already allow to put trains between Los Angeles and Sacramento and San Francisco, even if they are fast only in part of the line and then use the collected money to expand northwards. I seriously doubt Sacramento-Backersfield will be as profitable. The airport connection in Los Angeles would also be a major attraction of demand.

About costs I read that Sacramento-Backersfield will cost $11,4 billions, it would be unlikely for Los Angeles-Backersfield to cost more. Source: http://www.cahsrblog.com/2010/09/bui...-valley-first/

And in general, my biggest worry is building first a segment with no connection to either San Francisco nor Los Angeles.
But to get to LA you need to Tunnel and go through Densely populated areas....unlike linking these 2 cities which is Easy. The Plan is to build outwards form here...
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Old March 29th, 2011, 07:59 PM   #2395
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Well, it connects Backersfield with 800.000 people to Sacramento, with a county population of 1,4 million, which IMHO is not really a lot. But, if it went to the opposite direction it would connect Backersfield 800.000 with Los Angeles 10 million.

Plus there already exists a train line which makes the route Sacramento-Backersfield while there is no train line between Backersfield and Los Angeles. I think that a new line there would already allow to put trains between Los Angeles and Sacramento and San Francisco, even if they are fast only in part of the line and then use the collected money to expand northwards. I seriously doubt Sacramento-Backersfield will be as profitable. The airport connection in Los Angeles would also be a major attraction of demand.

About costs I read that Sacramento-Backersfield will cost $11,4 billions, it would be unlikely for Los Angeles-Backersfield to cost more. Source: http://www.cahsrblog.com/2010/09/bui...-valley-first/

And in general, my biggest worry is building first a segment with no connection to either San Francisco nor Los Angeles.
Have to agree. They should start building the CA HSR in the place with the most people.....LA. You don't hear alot about the unholy traffic congestion between Bakersfield and Sacramento. Why? Because there isn't any. Just look ast Nexis' map up there. Build the first segment from LA and out in three directions. To Irvine one way, to Palmdale in another and to Riverside in the other. You've now tackled the most congested areas of the entire project, guaranteed full trains once it is running and shown everyone looking on that this thing can work, guaranteeing mooolah to keep buiilding. I know the first segments are easy to build but if those trains end up 30% full this won't be looked at as a success outside of the "we love HSR" community. It will be an easy target for a Congress or new President who will undoubtedly be running in 2012 on a platform to eliminate "wasteful" Government spending, which as we know, is all in the eye of the beholder.

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Old March 29th, 2011, 08:54 PM   #2396
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I'm trying to find the renderings of proposed Bakersfield station online... I can't find anywhere. Only one rendering I found in Bakersfield: cool suspension bridge over Kern River. Anyone has the rendering of proposed Bakersfield station?
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Old March 30th, 2011, 01:32 AM   #2397
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I'm trying to find the renderings of proposed Bakersfield station online... I can't find anywhere. Only one rendering I found in Bakersfield: cool suspension bridge over Kern River. Anyone has the rendering of proposed Bakersfield station?
I have not seen any posted ever. You could check the Library on the Authority's website at cahighspeedrail.ca.gov it sounds though like station designs through the Central Valley are in the conceptual phase more than anything.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 09:31 AM   #2398
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This brings an interresting question: Do they plan to use the existing stations like is done in Europe or are they planning to build new stations in a different part of town? (aka, no easy interconection between the local Amtrak service and HSR)
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Old March 30th, 2011, 09:37 AM   #2399
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This brings an interresting question: Do they plan to use the existing stations like is done in Europe or are they planning to build new stations in a different part of town? (aka, no easy interconection between the local Amtrak service and HSR)
AFAIK, the stations along the line would be separated from other rails for FRA compliance but would be located right at current train stations. Notable exceptions would be Caltrain at Transbay Terminal and maybe tracksharing from Burbank to LA and Anahiem. Easy interconnection is built in but it will require going down or up to get to one or the other.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 09:52 AM   #2400
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AFAIK, the stations along the line would be separated from other rails for FRA compliance but would be located right at current train stations. Notable exceptions would be Caltrain at Transbay Terminal and maybe tracksharing from Burbank to LA and Anahiem. Easy interconnection is built in but it will require going down or up to get to one or the other.
Ok, quite good then! Having to take a bus to change stations would definetively be a big minus.
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