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Old August 1st, 2014, 11:23 PM   #4781
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LA Bullet Train Could Run in Tunnel Under the San Gabriels



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The California High-Speed Rail Authority recently decided it wants to get moving ahead of schedule on the portion of the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco line that will run through LA County and now it's looking at a tunnel connecting Palmdale to a Burbank Airport station as a possible alternative to a route that would run along the 14 Freeway through Acton and Santa Clarita, reports the Daily News. The tunnel would go under the San Gabriel Mountains and shorten the travel time along the stretch, though it's not yet known by how much. Also not known yet: how much more it's going to cost. The new route, plus one that runs from Burbank to Union Station will be discussed at an upcoming series of public scoping meetings over the first few weeks in August.

The potential tunnel for the $67.6-billion projec is already more popular with at least one LA County supe and the locals along the 14 Freeway, who worried about the homes and structures that would have to be cleared in order to have the 220-mile-an-hour train running through their neighborhoods (and also about the values of those homes that remain).

http://la.streetsblog.org/
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Old August 2nd, 2014, 01:20 AM   #4782
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Looks like at least part of it will be built after all.

Therefore I've started to look a bit closer at the route of the initial section. I have few questions. Might have been already discussed in this thread earlier but 200+ pages is a bit too much to go through…

I've seen the map: http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/Programs/...5_May_2014.pdf

However the situation with stations is not entirely clear from it. Will the new line use the same stations in Fresno and Bakersfield as the current Amtrak service? If so will it not slow down the train significantly? I've read that before the connection to LA is built the initial section will be used by Amtrak Oakland-Bakersfield service. Is it likely then that the old route is abandoned and the new one is initially not electrified? Has it been announced what travel times could be expected between these two stations initially and eventually? Also what about the lone intermediate station - it doesn't seem to serve anyone sizeable community. Was it perhaps included to appease the local opposition?
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Old August 2nd, 2014, 04:45 AM   #4783
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Looks like at least part of it will be built after all.

Therefore I've started to look a bit closer at the route of the initial section. I have few questions. Might have been already discussed in this thread earlier but 200+ pages is a bit too much to go through…

I've seen the map: http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/Programs/...5_May_2014.pdf

However the situation with stations is not entirely clear from it. Will the new line use the same stations in Fresno and Bakersfield as the current Amtrak service? If so will it not slow down the train significantly? I've read that before the connection to LA is built the initial section will be used by Amtrak Oakland-Bakersfield service. Is it likely then that the old route is abandoned and the new one is initially not electrified? Has it been announced what travel times could be expected between these two stations initially and eventually? Also what about the lone intermediate station - it doesn't seem to serve anyone sizeable community. Was it perhaps included to appease the local opposition?
The IOS through the central valley is completely grade separated, so far as the documents have said. The only shared tracks will be with Metrolink (in LA County) and CalTrain (in the Bay Area).

Amtrak will then be able to connect their service from the Bay Area down to LA County using this PDL (*as a side note, I'm wondering if they won't shift some of their Acela Rolling Stock here once they get their new trains for the NEC?).

I've heard the Tulare station mentioned in passing, but don't know much about that station...

However, do keep in mind that there will be local and express service on the system. This is something I wish the general public was made to understand, because many clearly don't.
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Old August 2nd, 2014, 05:38 PM   #4784
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Will they use Metrolink tracks? I don't think so. California doesn't own Metrolink network, does it?

I also think the shared traffic with CAltrain is the biggest mistake of the project. It will limit the ability to run non-stop trains from SF to LAX that wouldn't stop in San Jose. And if Caltrain increases traffic of its own trains, it would force most high-speed trains to also speed in Palo Alto
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Old August 2nd, 2014, 05:58 PM   #4785
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Will they use Metrolink tracks? I don't think so. California doesn't own Metrolink network, does it?

I also think the shared traffic with CAltrain is the biggest mistake of the project. It will limit the ability to run non-stop trains from SF to LAX that wouldn't stop in San Jose. And if Caltrain increases traffic of its own trains, it would force most high-speed trains to also speed in Palo Alto
Yes, they have been indicating in all of their planning documents that they are planning to coordinate with MetroLink and CalTrain. This is why both agencies are getting some of the funds distributed to them to upgrade (electrify) their systems.

I think MetroLink is a consortium of various public agencies...

Someone else would have to speak to what frequencies could be achieved, but a direct SF-LA service sounds like a bit much?
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Old August 2nd, 2014, 06:25 PM   #4786
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High speed rail in the central valley - Improvements along the alignment

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This narrated educational video is part of high-speed rail's ongoing education and community outreach efforts that help explain how the program will impact and improve communities along the alignment. The video provides a conceptual overview of how the high-speed rail program will be built and revitalize downtown Fresno. It also highlights how the high-speed rail system will complement major attractions in the Fresno area, stimulate development and help lead to the reduction in blight along the system.

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Old August 3rd, 2014, 01:20 AM   #4787
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They are talking about under 3 h from SF to LA. I find it hard to believe given the length of the route and several sections shared with commuter trains. 4 h with 2-3 intermediate stops would already be pretty fast.
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Old August 3rd, 2014, 04:31 AM   #4788
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
They are talking about under 3 h from SF to LA. I find it hard to believe given the length of the route and several sections shared with commuter trains. 4 h with 2-3 intermediate stops would already be pretty fast.
It would be 4 tracked in the areas shared with commuter trains...
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Old August 3rd, 2014, 12:12 PM   #4789
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Eventually it will be four tracked. NIMBY's in Palo Alto have forced them to use shared tracks at least initially because they don't want any property takes to widen the right of way. It will ultimately be pointless because once the trains start running it will be obvious they need to expand and it will happen regardless. The shared track option was only pushed by the NIMBY's in the hope it would lead to the entire project being canceled (which is what they really want).

And there will be a Tulare station just east of Hanford. It will be an elevated station out in what is now an open field. The station will serve the roughly 300,000 residents of the area. The Fresno station will not be where the Amtrak station is located. It is instead where the abandoned Southern Pacific station was located. The Bakersfield station is elevated so it can be right next to the existing Amtrak station.
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Old August 3rd, 2014, 02:10 PM   #4790
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What do you mean by elevated? On a viaduct? Why would that be necessary in the open fields near Hanford?
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Old August 3rd, 2014, 02:59 PM   #4791
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It is elevated to avoid having to grade separate numerous cross streets in the area. It is only the station location that is an open field.
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Old August 3rd, 2014, 05:28 PM   #4792
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Basincreek View Post
Eventually it will be four tracked. NIMBY's in Palo Alto have forced them to use shared tracks at least initially because they don't want any property takes to widen the right of way. It will ultimately be pointless because once the trains start running it will be obvious they need to expand and it will happen regardless. The shared track option was only pushed by the NIMBY's in the hope it would lead to the entire project being canceled (which is what they really want).

And there will be a Tulare station just east of Hanford. It will be an elevated station out in what is now an open field. The station will serve the roughly 300,000 residents of the area. The Fresno station will not be where the Amtrak station is located. It is instead where the abandoned Southern Pacific station was located. The Bakersfield station is elevated so it can be right next to the existing Amtrak station.
Is quadrupling, upgradation and electrification of existing ROWs a more practical way to improve passenger rail and specifically high speed passenger rail in the USA? Space is often available in the US especially in the Midwest, Pacific coast Southeast and Texas. The NEC is 4 track in areas. Won't it be reasonable to 4 track it all the way from DC to Boston with some realignments to avoid sharp curves?
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Old August 3rd, 2014, 10:24 PM   #4793
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Ya easier said than done, a lot of those areas are in the poor/richer parts of southern New York and Connecticut so that is the first problem the PR fiasco. the Second problem is the price of doing business in those parts is insane. Also The track is quite literally next to I-95 in some parts, and Connecticut doesn't have the money to repair the tracks.
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Old August 4th, 2014, 12:58 AM   #4794
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When it comes to California, there has been no agreements on route choices.

1) Altamont or Pacheco has been a debate that still goes on today. Pacheco simply doesn't serve Central Valley cities north of Merced as well. The only real purpose is to prevent a train split to San Jose. Otherwise, a bridge would be built over Dumbarton for HSR, trenched and a 220 mph route over Altamont would be built and provide commuter benefits and get to Sacramento easier and faster.
2) Some have said to go via Palmdale vs Tejon Pass. Would it be better to go via Antelope Valley and connect Palmdale to a line or would it be better to skip 500k people to save time on the express trip? I don't know.

San Francisco-San Jose: Great growth for Caltrain but NIMBYs don't want ROW takes
Los Angeles-Burbank and beyond, well haven't seen much yet. I'd put some more effort there now with Union Station run through and improve the existing service for future HSR. Speed ups would help the Surfliner and commuter trains and if they could be electrified but that is a big wish list.
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Old August 4th, 2014, 12:37 PM   #4795
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Regarding the whole 4-track argument, and listening carefully from both sides; I think it can work in the short-medium term. The Blended Approach could renovate the existing Caltran corridor by straightening curves, eliminating grade crossings, electrification etc so that the trains can approach semi-HSR speeds (around 110-125mph). Conflict with the faster and fewer-stopping CHSR trains can be solved with a limited four-track configuration at suburban "overtaking" stations where Caltran services wait on platform sidings while CHSR trains pass by them at speed. It is a system that is widely implemented around the world, and can be found on almost all French, Japanese, Chinese, and Taiwanese HSR networks.

Under these conditions, the only consequence that the Blended Approach will have is slightly reduced train frequency. Limiting factors of the system will be the acceleration of the rolling stock, and the speed disparity between local and express services. However, if the Blended Approach is executed properly, these limitations should only surface if CHSR and Caltran intend to offer more than 4 services per hour per direction.

Under these circumstances, the physical limitations of the Blended Approach can easily be remediated by intensive crew training and rigorous service punctuality (within 5 min). I personally think a 4-track system in a dense urban region is excessive and unnecessary, but so long as it is implemented carefully, I think it can actually work pretty well.
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Old August 4th, 2014, 03:18 PM   #4796
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Tokaido Shinkansen (busiest high speed train line in the world) only has 2 tracks, so I'm sure it will work just fine in California. There are 3 classes of service - Kodama (the slowest, stops at every station), Hikari (middle) and Nozomi (fastest). So at some stations the Kodama trains wait while the Hikari and Nozomi trains pass. Of course, being Japan, this is timed so well that you don't even notice it.
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Old August 4th, 2014, 04:32 PM   #4797
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[QUOTE=NicSA;116255249Of course, being Japan, this is timed so well that you don't even notice it.[/QUOTE]

And certainly better than the 5 minutes that the previous poster equates with rigorous service punctuality. If this is the mentality that prevails on
American rails, there is no wonder why Amtrak punctuality sucks.
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Old August 4th, 2014, 06:49 PM   #4798
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Tokaido Shinkansen (busiest high speed train line in the world) only has 2 tracks, so I'm sure it will work just fine in California. There are 3 classes of service - Kodama (the slowest, stops at every station), Hikari (middle) and Nozomi (fastest). So at some stations the Kodama trains wait while the Hikari and Nozomi trains pass. Of course, being Japan, this is timed so well that you don't even notice it.
Wait, I thought the Shinkansen was a separate PDL line? Or, do you simply mean that they operate the same general type of rolling stock (that is, HSR), but with different service patterns.

I think we can see that on this system. I like this model a bit more: one agency owning the infrastructure and leasing it out to the (lowest) bidder to provide service. At least, I hope the bidding process operates this way (similarly to the way TfL handles their services).
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Old August 4th, 2014, 11:27 PM   #4799
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Swordsman View Post
Regarding the whole 4-track argument, and listening carefully from both sides; I think it can work in the short-medium term. The Blended Approach could renovate the existing Caltran corridor by straightening curves, eliminating grade crossings, electrification etc so that the trains can approach semi-HSR speeds (around 110-125mph). Conflict with the faster and fewer-stopping CHSR trains can be solved with a limited four-track configuration at suburban "overtaking" stations where Caltran services wait on platform sidings while CHSR trains pass by them at speed. It is a system that is widely implemented around the world, and can be found on almost all French, Japanese, Chinese, and Taiwanese HSR networks.

Under these conditions, the only consequence that the Blended Approach will have is slightly reduced train frequency. Limiting factors of the system will be the acceleration of the rolling stock, and the speed disparity between local and express services. However, if the Blended Approach is executed properly, these limitations should only surface if CHSR and Caltran intend to offer more than 4 services per hour per direction.

Under these circumstances, the physical limitations of the Blended Approach can easily be remediated by intensive crew training and rigorous service punctuality (within 5 min). I personally think a 4-track system in a dense urban region is excessive and unnecessary, but so long as it is implemented carefully, I think it can actually work pretty well.
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Originally Posted by Tower Dude View Post
Ya easier said than done, a lot of those areas are in the poor/richer parts of southern New York and Connecticut so that is the first problem the PR fiasco. the Second problem is the price of doing business in those parts is insane. Also The track is quite literally next to I-95 in some parts, and Connecticut doesn't have the money to repair the tracks.
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Tokaido Shinkansen (busiest high speed train line in the world) only has 2 tracks, so I'm sure it will work just fine in California. There are 3 classes of service - Kodama (the slowest, stops at every station), Hikari (middle) and Nozomi (fastest). So at some stations the Kodama trains wait while the Hikari and Nozomi trains pass. Of course, being Japan, this is timed so well that you don't even notice it.
let me clear things. When I mean quadruple it one pair of tracks catering to commuter, regional and freight trains. The other pair AKA express/HSR tracks cater to high speed trains and some faster rapid regional trains like Kodoma express of Japan/Javelin trains go UK. The express lines can run between the slow lines as in NEC or alongside the slow lines (as seen in some CAHSR renderings). If a particular section is too curvy then the express tracks can bypass this alignment and rejoin further OR the entire new straighter aligment of 4 tracks can be made to bypass that section. Exchange of trains from express tracks to slow tracks can happen at specific points along the route in a manner not to interrupt the running on the express/HSR tracks. So during down time (night time/weekends when maintenance is carried out the HSR trains can be diverted to slow tracks allowing for late night or red-eye services if needed
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Old August 6th, 2014, 10:23 PM   #4800
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Will they use Metrolink tracks? I don't think so. California doesn't own Metrolink network, does it?

I also think the shared traffic with CAltrain is the biggest mistake of the project. It will limit the ability to run non-stop trains from SF to LAX that wouldn't stop in San Jose. And if Caltrain increases traffic of its own trains, it would force most high-speed trains to also speed in Palo Alto
San Jose, strictly speaking, has more population than SF. Why wouldn't they want to stop there? Anyway, the plan will create enough sidings and other mechanisms for high speed trains to pass slower commuter trains. I see no reason an HSR train couldn't pass right through San Jose while a CalTrain is in the station.

By the way, you do know that CalTrain goes all the way to Gilroy and SJ isn't the end of the line, right?
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