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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 November 16th, 2016, 05:18 PM   #6561
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kokomo View Post
Would Trump's arrival to power somehow impact this project?
Most likely not. Atleast not in the positive. The problem is not so much the presidency. It is the congress which controls the purse strings and passes legislation. Without a sea change in the outlook of the congress or the appearance of a private/foreign financier progress on CaHSR will be slow.
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Old November 16th, 2016, 06:21 PM   #6562
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Quote:
Would Trump's arrival to power somehow impact this project?
Tough to say...Many in Congress seemed to be against HSR because Obama was for it. My understanding is that Trump is actually positive inclined towards infrastructure, including HSR (but maybe not necessarily the CA HSR project specifically). Will depend on if Trump can position it as something critical to America and not necessarily linked with a rival political party.
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Old November 16th, 2016, 06:37 PM   #6563
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Trump was constantly hyping infrastructure, but he never made anything clear about who would pay for it, given that he wants to slash all the taxes. Of course, he doesn't make anything clear about anything.
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Old November 16th, 2016, 07:52 PM   #6564
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Originally Posted by 00Zy99 View Post
Trump was constantly hyping infrastructure, but he never made anything clear about who would pay for it, given that he wants to slash all the taxes. Of course, he doesn't make anything clear about anything.
I think he want to private sector to do it and use tax credit as incentive.

That means old roads/bridges fix probably will take a back seat since they don't generate cash flows....
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Old November 17th, 2016, 11:11 AM   #6565
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Originally Posted by tjrgx View Post
I think he want to private sector to do it and use tax credit as incentive.

That means old roads/bridges fix probably will take a back seat since they don't generate cash flows....

True of almost all gig infrastructure to be honest. No country I know of has had HSR built by a purely private enterprise. HSR can turn an operational profit and be contracted out for operation if you want - or even have it built under a BOOT contract - but there's no way private money will build a real HSR network for profit, the huge capital costs just make the payback period far too long for any private body to accept.

If trump wants big infrastructure he'll have to give up on tax cuts, and persuade a GOP dominated legislature to either approve tax rises or major cuts to defense spending (not much else left to cut that could generate the required sums). All of this is unthinkable to Republicans.
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Old November 17th, 2016, 07:06 PM   #6566
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Originally Posted by tjrgx View Post
I think he want to private sector to do it and use tax credit as incentive.

That means old roads/bridges fix probably will take a back seat since they don't generate cash flows....
Toll roads and bridges are very good cash generators.
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Old November 17th, 2016, 08:26 PM   #6567
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Which will meet the same opposition. Tolls are the same as taxes in that the people pay for it. There will need to be massive investment in upgrading or new construction to justify tolls.
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Old November 20th, 2016, 01:17 AM   #6568
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Could anybody tell me if there are technical standard for high-speed rolling stock in US? As my understanding is, there are FRA standarts only to tier I and tier II trainsets, but there are only safety standarts in CFR (title 49). So where are technical standarts like axle load, length, service speed or another (like there are in Europe's TSI or Japan's Technical regulatory standarts for Shinkansen)?
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Old November 22nd, 2016, 08:11 PM   #6569
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergey Olenin View Post
Could anybody tell me if there are technical standard for high-speed rolling stock in US? As my understanding is, there are FRA standarts only to tier I and tier II trainsets, but there are only safety standarts in CFR (title 49). So where are technical standarts like axle load, length, service speed or another (like there are in Europe's TSI or Japan's Technical regulatory standarts for Shinkansen)?
FRA Press Release
Quote:
"Although Tier III trains will be required to have exclusive track to operate at speeds above 125 mph, the new standards will allow Tier III trains to safely share track with current Tier I and Tier II commuter, intercity, and Acela trains. Compatibility between equipment types is a key strategy to allow trains to share existing corridors to reach downtown stations."
We've been waiting to hear what the new safety rules for HSR services will be (Tier III) - turns out the new draft has been released, today.

WIRED also has some more in-depth coverage.
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Old November 22nd, 2016, 11:28 PM   #6570
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The Feds Finally Make Safety Rules for High Speed Rail

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Advocating for HIGH SPEED RAIL in the US is a brutal business, continually raising and dashing one’s hopes. Six years ago, President Obama dedicated some $8 billion in stimulus funds to high speed rail projects. Then the governors of Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin spurned the cash. California took the money, only to see its plan to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles hamstrung by bureaucracy, crippling land use issues, and the Golden State’s vicious brand of NIMBYism.

Today, it’s back to good news: The Federal Railroad Administration is releasing new draft regulations that could make it a lot easier to build the speedier transport option right here in the US of A. They lay out clear safety standards for the trains, the product of 10 years of back-and-forth with industry.

Yes, these projects will still face capacious bureaucratic rigmarole and construction will take years. But if the Federal Railroad Administration can finalize the rules by next year, as it expects, the age of the true American high-speed system is nigh. Well, nigh-er.
https://www.wired.com/2016/11/feds-f...gh-speed-rail/
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Old November 22nd, 2016, 11:30 PM   #6571
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California's bullet train authority decides to buy American after all



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The California High Speed Rail Authority has reversed its plans to buy foreign parts for its trains, saying in a letter to federal regulators that it was withdrawing a request for a waiver from the Buy American Act.

The change on Thursday came after Rep. John Garamendi (D-Fairfield) and other Democratic lawmakers became outraged over the plan, disclosed last week, to import the most important parts of future rail cars, including motors, brakes, wheels, axles, the aluminum shells and undercarriages.

http://www.latimes.com/local/califor...118-story.html
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 12:35 AM   #6572
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And which American company is making trains, or does that mean just that GE will buy some foreign company like Bombardier and that means "American"?
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 03:37 AM   #6573
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Did you read the article?
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 04:03 AM   #6574
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Basically the main HSR fabricators will be able to bid since they all have a knock down factory in the US.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 05:02 AM   #6575
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I'd give Siemens the lead. Siemens could assemble a variant of the Velaro trainset at an expanded version of their Sacramento, CA plant.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 05:58 AM   #6576
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I would not count out Hitachi and Kawasaki just yet. They also have US factories, and the technical requirements are more closely aligned with the N700.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 01:33 PM   #6577
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenkey View Post
And which American company is making trains, or does that mean just that GE will buy some foreign company like Bombardier and that means "American"?
That's not really the point....
Buy America doesn't really work that way. In practice it's akin to the way that China gives certain trade incentives (e.g. lower tariffs, access to certain funding and financing, etc) for producers to locate production, domestically. That's kind of the point of these provisions, in the US: if the RFP process is essentially a point-based system, then the rules require that any project receiving federal funding allocate a high score to domestic producers and suppliers. It doesn't require them, as the waiver exists, but since it's included in the RFP another bid can simply use that as a means to undercut another - or not.

The contention here is that the media - and subsequently, the State Legislature - are holding the Authority's toes to the fire over the request to source the car body [shell], braking system, and some other components outside of the American supply chain...even though this is the case because no suppliers currently exist, domestically.

This is really another instance of journalists and certain legislators being idiots. Given how antagonistic the public has been to objectively necessary expenses (e.g. upgrading existing ROW on the Peninsula), it's strange that they expect the Authority to then add unnecessary expenses in order to get suppliers in the US California, right off the bat.

If the Authority didn't request and receive this waver, and the bids came in on the expensive end (because it includes expansions of facilities and establishing/sourcing suppliers), the same journalists, legislators and members of the public would have complained and yelled that the Authority is "wasting money!" and the costs were out of line, internationally, while completely missing the added value (see: Alstom Avelia order for Amtrak).

I suppose the Authority felt it would be better to have a faster, cheaper procurement than to strong arm technology transfer, on balance, considering the scrutiny they're under.

My guess is that they will adjust and resubmit the waiver request: they planned to use the procurement to transfer some technology in waves, by having finally assembly of the bogies in US facilities (which, is what typically happens - again, refer to the recent Avelia order. Hopefully so, as it might have been preferable given the potential for lower procurement costs, timelier and more reliable/efficient production, and stronger momentum to incrementally build up an American Californian supply chain for HSTs.

The chances they'll resubmit are particularly high since their chances might be higher during the current administration...Ironically, I could see there being some cognitive dissonance that sees the next administration actually push to have the rules overturned.
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Old November 25th, 2016, 06:42 AM   #6578
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HSR will build trains in US after all

Quote:
The California High Speed Rail Authority has reversed their plan to buy foreign parts for the California bullet train after pressure from Democratic law makers.
In a letter to the Federal Railroad Administration, the Authority recently asked their September waiver request from the Buy America Act be dropped. The trains could cost some $3.4 billion. The agency now says it “ has agreed to allow the formal procurement process to determine what components are available or could be built in the American marketplace.
“Our hope is that this approach will encourage the United States manufacturing industry to rise to the challenge of producing what is needed to build high-speed trains in America.”
Their statement continues: “The Authority is committed to work with the manufacturing community, suppliers and Congress to ensure that all investments and products made in rail infrastructure, including high-speed trains, are made in America.”
California-based members of congress, John Garamendi and Doris Matsui, praised the authority’s reversal and thanked authority Chairman Dan Richard.
“Following my conversation with the authority, they made the right decision to withdraw the Buy America waiver request and renew their commitment to maximum American-made content in all their projects, including the high-speed trainsets,” Garamendi said.


New request soon

•The Authority is initially looking to order 2 prototype and 14 high-speed trainsets (approximately 8 cars per trainset), which will have a minimum of 450 seats.
•Trainsets built for the Authority will need to meet speeds of a minimum of 200 mph to meet its planned trip-time requirements for service from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles on what will be largely brand new infrastructure.
•The Authority anticipates issuing a Request for Proposal for a high-speed train manufacturer in winter 2016/2017 or spring 2017. The high-speed train procurement will be a competitive and open process and what any bidder chooses to include will be up to them and will be evaluated as part of the open and transparent process.
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Old November 26th, 2016, 07:33 AM   #6579
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Black Friday NEC fanning compilation (Princeton Junction, Metropark, & Elizabeth):
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Old November 28th, 2016, 06:35 PM   #6580
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READ FIRST:
Recorded November 27th, 2016 (11/27/16). Welcome aboard Amtrak Thanksgiving Holiday Extra Northeast Regional train 1099, originating out of New York Penn Station & bound for Washington DC with leased commuter equipment (NJT GE Arrow III EMU). Along the way, we make the following station stops:

Newark Penn Station - 14:20
Metropark - 31:08
Trenton Transit Center - 1:02:55
30th Street Station, Philadelphia - 1:34:15
Wilmington, DE - 2:07:30
Baltimore Penn Station - 3:04:51
BWI Airport Railway Station - 3:21:02
New Carrollton - 3:38:25
Union Station, Washington DC - 3:47:05

Due to the equipment, we are limited to 80 MPH the entire way down, but despite that, the ride was still pretty decent. We start off in the first car (1361), but end up moving to the second car (1362), so that I can position myself over a motor truck as opposed to a trailer truck. Additionally, the horn on 1361 was crap, so I didn't have a compelling reason to stay in the first car. I apologize for the sun sliding into and out of the shot, as I did not anticipate the winding nature of the Corridor to be an issue with the lighting this time of year. At the very least, the audio is well captured, and the conductor is quite cheerful. Along the way, we play leapfrog with Northeast Regional train 145 @ Hamilton, Trenton, and 30th Street, a pair of guys coming from Philly bound for NYC get on at Trenton after getting off SEPTA only to find out they've gotten on the wrong train and are headed back to Philly, and we see lots and lots of railfans @ various stations. Thanks for watching and enjoy the ride =)

Image thumbnail credits to Rob Sartain​. Many thanks to him for allowing me to use his photo.
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