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View Poll Results: Should the US build or improve it's HSR network?
Yes 249 89.57%
No 29 10.43%
Voters: 278. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 5th, 2011, 11:22 PM   #2461
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¿Is there any HSR project still on the way?

I always hear about projects but the construction never starts.

You guys should learn about other countries like Spain or Japan. High Speed Lines are great.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 12:01 AM   #2462
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuartango View Post
¿Is there any HSR project still on the way?
I think that the California line is the only real HSR project (V>=250km/h) moving forward. I just wish that they should rethink where they are starting and begin building Los Angeles - Backersfield first, considering that the federal money quell might dry up. Otherwise they will be stuck at least for some years (possibily decades) with a HSR line between sub-million cities, which means operational loss.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 02:33 AM   #2463
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sekelsenmat View Post
I think that the California line is the only real HSR project (V>=250km/h) moving forward. I just wish that they should rethink where they are starting and begin building Los Angeles - Backersfield first, considering that the federal money quell might dry up. Otherwise they will be stuck at least for some years (possibily decades) with a HSR line between sub-million cities, which means operational loss.
LA-Bakersfield doesn't have the necessary EIR work done to start construction till far after the deadline to spend the federal funds California has been awarded. If they did that they would lose all federal funding. Not to mention the fact the LA-Bakersfield is the most expensive part of the system...and they still would have a system that loses money.

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Old May 8th, 2011, 06:20 AM   #2464
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Thanks for the information!
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Old May 8th, 2011, 03:54 PM   #2465
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sekelsenmat View Post
I think that the California line is the only real HSR project (V>=250km/h) moving forward. I just wish that they should rethink where they are starting and begin building Los Angeles - Backersfield first, considering that the federal money quell might dry up. Otherwise they will be stuck at least for some years (possibily decades) with a HSR line between sub-million cities, which means operational loss.
I don't even think Cali's project will get off the ground before 2012. And if the GOP manage to take over the White House and the Senate (which is very likely), then I'm sure that the GOP & the Tea Party will stop at nothing to make sure HSR is killed for the next 100 years.

I also don't doubt that the auto industry is secretly supporting the GOP's effort to kill HSR also. I'm sure that if we get a GOP president, he/she will have some sort of moritoroium passed that effectively bans HSR unless it can surpass auto & air travel times and contibute to ridiculous environmental standards.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 05:45 PM   #2466
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Originally Posted by HARTride 2012 View Post
I don't even think Cali's project will get off the ground before 2012. And if the GOP manage to take over the White House and the Senate (which is very likely), then I'm sure that the GOP & the Tea Party will stop at nothing to make sure HSR is killed for the next 100 years.

I also don't doubt that the auto industry is secretly supporting the GOP's effort to kill HSR also. I'm sure that if we get a GOP president, he/she will have some sort of moritoroium passed that effectively bans HSR unless it can surpass auto & air travel times and contibute to ridiculous environmental standards.
The Northeast would get HSR , but the rest of the country wouldn't...if the GOP was in power..
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Old May 8th, 2011, 09:17 PM   #2467
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Eh, maybe. Just maybe.

But Cali sure won't. I guarantee their project will be effectively cancelled come 2012.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 02:45 AM   #2468
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Old May 9th, 2011, 05:20 PM   #2469
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you're really optimistic there aren't you. probably beacuse you live in florida and are looking at the future led by a dumbass governor. I lived in tampa and know your pain. So much potential in that metro and dreams of rail transit. maybe someday they'll get their act together. it must suck to see florida's rail money being distributed to other regions because of the ineptitude of one man.

i would wager your predictions of republican takeover of the presidency come 2012 are wrong. but i certainly can sympathize with thinking tea party idiots rule. you live in florida and in spite of many well meaning people and plans, the politics there is just awful.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 03:18 AM   #2470
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HARTride 2012 View Post

Eh, maybe. Just maybe.

But Cali sure won't. I guarantee their project will be effectively cancelled come 2012.
Let me offer a baseless internet guarantee: California's high speed rail system *will* be built.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 03:36 AM   #2471
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Originally Posted by HARTride 2012 View Post

Eh, maybe. Just maybe.

But Cali sure won't. I guarantee their project will be effectively cancelled come 2012.
Hmm don't really think so, since with the $300m florida funds, they now have all the money to complete the first 113 mile phase in the central valley. I don't think they can spend that money on anything else.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 05:46 AM   #2472
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The Feds are giving Texas $15 million for preliminary work on a Houston-Dallas HSR Line.

Quote:
Feds give $15 million for DFW-Houston high-speed rail corridor
Dallas Business Journal - by By Matt Joyce, Staff Writer
Date: Monday, May 9, 2011, 5:42pm CDT
http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/ne...el+Industry%29

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Texas $15 million on Monday for preliminary work on a high-speed rail corridor that would link the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Houston.

The government announced that the “Core Express” project was among 22 projects across the country to receive part of $2 billion.

The Federal Railroad Administration said the money will help build a nationwide network that will connect 80 percent of Americans to high-speed rail in 25 years.

The $15 million awarded to Texas is for engineering and environmental work on the proposed line.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 02:29 PM   #2473
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Hmm don't really think so, since with the $300m florida funds, they now have all the money to complete the first 113 mile phase in the central valley. I don't think they can spend that money on anything else.
Wow, we'll let's hope it gets built. I would love to ride that train someday.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 02:40 PM   #2474
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I still do not see the logic in a little money here and a little money there. Why not pool all of this money in one spot and actually build something? Typical frickin Government logic. Spread it around so that all of these House members can crow about it and keep their jobs. Who cares if anything ever actually gets built, lets just make sure we scratch the right backs so they can scratch ours when the time comes. Talk about idiots! They should take the whole amount they conjured out of thin air and spend it either on the NEC or California, prove this concept will work and go from there. To bad this is all about politics and not at all about business or need.

They'll spend 10 billion dollars and all they'll have to show for it are well fed environmental lawyers and engineering firms. Surprisingly, or I guess NOT suprisingly, there will be no trains.....

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Old May 11th, 2011, 03:24 AM   #2475
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High-speed rail funds flow to California

Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

California's planned high-speed-rail system, the target of plenty of recent criticism, got a boost and a vote of confidence Monday when the federal government awarded it another $300 million.

The federal funds, part of the $2 billion returned to the Department of Transportation after Florida decided not to build a high-speed train system, will allow the California High-Speed Rail Authority to construct another 20 miles of track in the San Joaquin Valley - and reach closer to the Bay Area.

Federal officials believe the money should be enough to extend the system north to the "Wye" near Chowchilla, the point where the tracks will split, heading west toward the Pacheco Pass and north to Merced.

"It's the gateway," said Rachel Wall, a spokeswoman for the authority. "It's unlocking that access to the Bay Area for us."

The authority plans to begin construction of an 800-mile statewide system, with trains running up to 220 mph, in fall 2012 in the Central Valley. Tracks will extend about 140 miles from Chowchilla south through Fresno to Bakersfield, at a cost of about $6.3 billion in federal and state funds. The first phase of the system, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, is projected to cost $43 billion.

Last month, after Florida declined the federal funds, California applied for up to $1.8 billion, which would have extended the tracks west toward the San Luis Reservoir and the site of the first tunnel on the connection through the Pacheco Pass to Gilroy. Or it could have been used to take the tracks south of Bakersfield about 15 miles, and build a huge viaduct lifting the train into the Tehachapi Mountains.

Federal officials chose to head toward the Bay Area but allotted only enough money to make it to Chowchilla. Still, authority officials said they were not disappointed.

"This is an additional award that was not expected," Wall said. Over the past 16 months, California has been awarded $3.5 billion in federal funds - more than any other state.

Caltrans also received $68 million for new rail cars and locomotives for the state-subsidized Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin and Pacific Surf-liner lines.

"No other state is as ready and able to lead the way in demonstrating the viability of high-speed rail," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

E-mail Michael Cabanatuan at [email protected].

This article appeared on page C - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...#ixzz1LzyxcLoh
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Old May 11th, 2011, 01:41 PM   #2476
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Is it planned to run dual power (diesel/electric) services on a combination of current Amtrak routes and the new CA high speed line? You could run an Oakland - Bakersfield service and Sacramento - Bakersfield service following existing routes when the initial segment that has funding now gets operational.

Then as SF - LA gets operational by 2020 if we're lucky, use new high speed rail equipment on that route and re-route the high speed dual power equipment for Sacramento - LA and SF - San Diego.

If those extensions are built in true high speed by 2030 there's other connections you can make (Riverside, Pasadena, Santa Barbara, Victorville, etc) all on existing Amtrak routes and using part of the high speed tracks, if you have the dual power equipment.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 09:12 PM   #2477
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Existing tracks are not fit for modern rolling stock. They are limited by FHA at 79 mph, and there are mountains passes in both ends that greatly reduces average speed.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 07:10 AM   #2478
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Quote:
What History Tells Us About High-Speed Rail

By Rachel Stern, May 9, 2011

There are many parallels between North American trains of the late 19th century and those today, according to Stanford University historian Richard White. In writing the upcoming book, Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America, he examines how trains of the U.S., Mexico and Canada went bankrupt or entered into settlements with the government to repay them. Now he’s worried history will repeat itself with the California high-speed rail project.

In a Q&A at his Stanford office, he talked about the corrupt history of the rail, the types of public transit the government should be investing in and where a high-speed rail system can and should work.

Gilroy Patch:
Can you talk a little bit about how the lessons learned from the trancontinentals of the late 1800s can be applied to that of today’s rails being built?

Richard White: Sure. There’s a couple of ways you can approach this. What’s happening in the 1860s is the beginning of a government-corporate partnership, which, with rises and falls, persists to the present day. The transcontinental railroad depends on public subsidies; they depend on powerful lobbies to make sure that they have the political connections that they need; they become corporations that are resurrected over and over again, despite their financial and political failures. And by their very size and their very power, even though they’re not successful businesses, come to shape everything around them.

So, in that way, they’re very similar to a project like the California high-speed rail. At the beginning, the transcontinentals promised Americans everything. They were going to unite the country; they were going to save the West Coast through the Civil War; they were going to develop the interior; they were going to settle the continent. They were going to do all this at no cost to the American people.

Partially, the transcontinentals lied, and partially, these promises were beyond fulfillment by anybody. I think this ties into high-speed rail, because if everything high-speed rail said were true, there would be no reason to oppose it. Supposedly, it’s going to pay off its costs; supposedly, it’s going to deliver us high-speed transportation within California with a much smaller carbon footprint than automobiles and airplanes; supposedly, Californians are going to flock to it in such high numbers that operating costs are going to be taken care of; supposedly, (besides the bonds Californians have floated for it), the rest was going to be paid for by federal subsidies.

The problem is, as with the transcontinentals, there’s very good evidence than none of those things are true.

Patch: Governments such as China, and many companies, have said they want to help fund the high-speed rail project. Do you think that this will pan out?

White: I don’t think China is in a position to fund anything. The Washington Post just did a series on the Chinese high-speed rail, and virtually everything that I’m afraid is going to happen with the California high-speed rail has already happened in China. Their technology is defective; they have to lower the speed of the trains; the building of the roads has been way over costs, and there’s been a huge amount of corruption; they’re deeply in debt; and the ridership is far less than anybody estimated. What they have in China is a huge railroad bubble. So why we would expect to get Chinese advice and help is literally beyond me. Because what they have built is a system that embodies all the failures we fear for California.

All these companies are coming to high-speed rail, because they’re looking to make money off of huge public investments. The financial help is inconsistent. They want contracts. They’re not going to give money unless it's a rebate, but rebates aren’t really contracts, because you take federal money and you give a portion back.

Patch: You mentioned in a recent New York Times editorial that these trains can be successful in some parts of the country. What accounts for the contrast?

White: In places they’ve been successful, they’ve literally been able to pay their construction costs. Not necessarily their operating costs. That’s been in Tokyo, and then Paris and Lyon. Those routes are places where several things happen that don’t happen in California. First of all, they connect to an existing rail system in which you get off the train and get on another train. They connect cities where people can take public transit to get to the trains. If you’ve ever been on French trains, you know how integrated the whole system is. Even in France, there’s only one line that meets its operating costs.

I’m all for subsidizing urban infrastructure, and even rail infrastructure, in California. But we don’t ride subways; we don’t ride light rail. What we’re betting on is that we’re going to ride this railroad even when we’ve refused to ride all other local railroads, especially on the Peninsula.

The reason it will probably work for the Northeast corridor—and even there it will be expensive—is that people already ride trains. We simply don’t have any evidence that Californians are going to get on trains.

Let’s say in a city like Palo Alto, we wanted to ride high-speed rail. First we get in our cars. Then we’re going to drive up to San Francisco. And then we’re going to park our cars. We’re going to get on a high-speed rail. There’s going to be a limited number of stops if they ever get the thing into Los Angeles. You get off in Anaheim. You get off in downtown LA. You rent another car, and you go around. Basically, you’re still going to be driving a lot the whole trip.


Recent studies out of Cal-Berkeley show very little carbon savings—under 1 percent, compared to if we simply left our cars and planes intact.

Patch: Do you think many people will switch over?

White: What they’re talking about is simply more people taking high-speed rail than currently take rails back and forth on the East Coast. You’re talking about every man, woman and child in California taking high-speed rail twice a year. When you haven’t built something, you can claim anything you want for it, and that’s what they do. There’s absolutely no evidence.

In almost every case I know of, their projections [of ridership] have been far higher than the number of people who actually switch over. So I’m just very skeptical, and I think everyone should be skeptical when a project is going to cost this much. And the cost is constantly rising.

Patch: Is there any form of public transit in California that you feel could be successful?

White: If you want to get people out of cars, if you want to lower the carbon footprint, what you have to do is concentrate on most of the trips taken in California. Most are not between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Most are quite local. Anybody who’s lived in Los Angeles or lived in the Bay Area realizes we have some of the worst mass transit in the country. We should be working on local things that get people out of cars and make a far greater difference. This is more difficult to do. It’s also far less expensive. It’s also far less glamorous.

Patch: Historically speaking, what accounts for the East Coast having such a successful rail infrastructure, while the West Coast is lacking?

White: First, there’s a higher population density. There’s a strong correlation between the success of the high-speed rail and the population density.

The other one you have to go to quite specific historical developments. Los Angeles, for example, for awhile did have light rail within Los Angeles. But Henry Huntington’s lines were badly maintained, dangerous, angered many citizens and were very corrupt.

What you need is a public system where people will have confidence that it works all of the time. The places I’ve lived where they have good mass transit, you shouldn’t even have to look at a schedule; they just come. So you both need the density and a system which is reliably run. The private systems that have existed in Los Angeles and even San Francisco were not reliably run.

Patch: Unlike other countries, the U.S. doesn’t have much of an infrastructure for high-speed rail. So I’ve heard many cite it as an example of what we could be capable of.

White: Part of it is political. I’m a Democrat, but it’s no surprise to me that these things are located in places where Democrats hope to gain votes. But, in fact, as an economic stimulus measure, this is not doing anybody any good. And many of the jobs will be overseas. The reason the Japanese and the Chinese and the French are so interested is they’re going to build the trains. We’re not.

Patch: Especially in places such as Gilroy, where the train will make a stop, I’ve heard the argument made that local jobs will be created and more of a downtown area will be formed.

White: Well, think about this: Who’s gonna get on the train in Gilroy? [laughs] People in Gilroy might take a train to San Francisco, they might take it to Los Angeles, but as I understand it, you have to go at least 200 miles to make this really efficient, more efficient than cars.

Developers will develop around the train station, and they will certainly make money. That’s where you have a key constituency for this, and all the contractors who are going to build it. A lot of people—contractors, developers—see this as a gravy train.

Patch: What do you feel could be done to improve public transit specifically in Palo Alto and its surrounding communities?

White: Well, if you’re going to spend this much money, there’s a couple of things that you could do. You could improve Caltrain and extend BART. The reason BART is so expensive is because of land and other things. But if you really want effective public transit around the Bay Area, you’d use BART.

I would invest that money in light rail by the Caltrain station so you can get to other places in Palo Alto, or Mountain View or San Jose. But getting people to use light rail isn’t easy. San Jose has light rail but virtually nobody uses it. BART, people do ride. BART is also seen as a hopelessly expensive enterprise, but it’s pennies compared to this stuff.

Patch: It looks like Caltrain isn’t doing so well right now with talks about cutting a station and eliminating weekend service.

White: What you’ll do is strangle it, make it less convenient. There will be less people who ride it, more people in cars.

It’s not clear they have any viable route in Los Angeles, or certainly the Peninsula opposes it so much, it won’t go through here at all. It will just go into the Central Valley. How they’re going to get it into San Francisco is completely unclear.

The transcontinentals, the Chinese rail—all these things, I’m afraid, are examples of what’s going to happen.

Patch: There’s no learning from history, and people trying to redo their errors?

White: Well, it’s not so much you learn from history. It’s that transcontinentals set up a structure, a kind of federal subsidizing of corporations, which remains intact. Once you have that structure, you can apply it to all kinds of things. Even though here there will be a high-speed rail authority that will run it, money will run into private hands for private property. I’m not against infrastructure spending, I’m not against even public spending, but you have to look at these things very closely, and I’m afraid this would be a 21st century version of the transcontinental railroads.

Patch: And those railroads, I’m assuming, didn’t get the ridership they projected?

White: They were actually going to be freight railroads, and they had to end up subsidizing steamship companies to raise their rates and get things shipped to the East Coast so the railroads could compete with them.

Initially you didn’t need transcontinental railroads, but you needed them about 30 years after you built them. It’s perfectly conceivable to me that in 25 or 30 years, California might need high-speed rail. By that time, there will be new technology. You won’t have this massive debt that you’ll have trouble paying off. You build it when you need it, probably more cheaply and with a more efficient technology.

So why build it before you need it, with a technology that will almost certainly be replaced in 25 or 30 years? The railroads that really could compete in the late 19th century were those that waited, not those that built first.
http://gilroy.patch.com/articles/wha...h-speed-rail-2
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Old May 13th, 2011, 10:11 AM   #2479
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White is completely out of touch.

1) Not going to run on the Penninsula? Nobody wants it? Then why did 60% of voters voted yes for it then?

2) Does he know of the Buy America provisions and the fact that it is probably good to use some foreign expertise?

3) Isn't this the core of trying to get people out of their cars and onto mass-transit by providing a hub for mass transit in the cities served?

4) Doesn't he know that an ariel BART alignment costs more per mile? How does economic stimulus do anybody no good? It is sure a great thing for the construction and real estate sectors.

Either way, he uses reports and cited an op-ed with a negative opinion toward HSR. He also falsified information about operations profits. The two examples he cited paid back their capital costs! At least they did it in thirty years!
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Old May 13th, 2011, 03:26 PM   #2480
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That entire text is truckload of garbage. He mixes plain lies and rants without providing a single serious source to back his statements. And we wouldn't find any anyway, because he is just saying crap.
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