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Old October 27th, 2017, 08:56 PM   #6941
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerone.Au View Post
A question which may be silly... but are Renfe/SNCF/DB/Trenitalia allowed or even do these services for the Californian HST for a profit? I mean they are not only state enterprises but they are not meant to run for a profit at all, their sole purpose is to guarantee a fast, seamless and reliable connection for the citizens. So am I correctly speaking if I say (in the case that DB wins for example) that the German state is directly or indirectly subsidising a portion of this HST ? I mean if DB does turn profit with it.. what will it do with? help minimise its losses at home? because I don't see it reinvesting it in a infrastructure that isn't theirs, right??... I'd like a thorough clarification please
Basically what these companies want is to make money, can be directly in providing the service (little, at least in the initial phase, which is what it is), and get contracts for companies from their countries.
The operator who wins the next contract to operate in the long run does expect to earn money. In Saudi Arabia they wanted high speed, so a Spanish consortium (similar to the one that has been presented in California) will operate and maintenance of the line and rolling stock for 12 years, expandable to 17. The operation includes all the management of the line: marketing, security, management of stations, etc.

In the United Kingdom, for example, 40% of its passengers travel in German, French or Dutch public companies.
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Old October 28th, 2017, 01:18 AM   #6942
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On the contrary. Deutsche Bahn makes a profit almost every year. The company made a profit of approx. 700 million euro (after tax) in 2016. DB is legally obliged to make a profit.
Thanks for correcting, it's just like in the case of SNCB for example, they always make a loss after taxes and debt, and the governments (!) of the country don't really mind
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Old October 28th, 2017, 11:27 AM   #6943
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DB is a private for-profit company. Even at home, long distance travels run without subsidy. Regional services are more complicated but even there, the word "subsidy" doesn't really describe how the system works. DB owns and manages numerous subsidiary companies around the world, all of which have no involvement from the german government.
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Old October 29th, 2017, 03:40 PM   #6944
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Originally Posted by Nerone.Au View Post
A question which may be silly... but are Renfe/SNCF/DB allowed or even do these services for the Californian HST for a profit? I mean they are not only state enterprises but they are not meant to run for a profit at all, their sole purpose is to guarantee a fast, seamless and reliable connection for the citizens. So am I correctly speaking if I say (in the case that DB wins for example) that the German state is directly or indirectly subsidising a portion of this HST ? I mean if DB does turn profit with it.. what will it do with? help minimise its losses at home? because I don't see it reinvesting it in a infrastructure that isn't theirs, right??... I'd like a thorough clarification please
The simplest way to think of this is that the Authority/California will own almost all of the infrastructure (it remains to be seen just what will end up happening with rolling stock, but they are currently planning to acquire that, as well), while the operator will be responsible solely for providing service.

This essentially means that the Authority can solicit bids for which an operator only needs to consider what ridership (and thus, profits) they can generate without considering life-cycle costs and other maintenance fees - regardless of how the cost-sharing structure of these costs may be born out between the Authority and operator; that is, it should all be factored into the franchise agreement.

The Authority gets a guaranteed sum of money over the life of the contract - and probably some increment of profits beyond a certain threshold - which allows them to perform maintenance, service debt, and plan for expansions.

Eurostar, Thalys, etc services in Europe are really good examples of such a franchise system. When we talk about CAHSR not being allowed public subsidy, I believe we mean that the government cannot, by law, pay to run any services. I don't know that it means the government will never pay for any expansion or infrastructure costs, in the future. That, I'm still murky on.

In any case, as I understand from the business plan, this current contract is just one in which DB will act as a consultant in helping the Authority establish a fare system, marketing, station designs, etc for a fee, while also having the first right to operate the initial Madera-Fresno-Bakersfield portion of the IOS. Once the Authority begins finishes the connection from Merced-Madera-Gilroy to San Jose-San Francisco (e.g. the northern IOS), the bid will go out for a full competitive round.

This should happen again, once the southern IOS (Bakersfield-Palmdale to Burbank-LA-Anaheim) is completed.
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Old October 29th, 2017, 11:08 PM   #6945
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 View Post
...
Eurostar, Thalys, etc services in Europe are really good examples of such a franchise system...
I disagree, Eurostar (SNCF: 55%, Caisse du Quebec: 30%, Hermes Infra: 10% and SNCB: 5%) and Thalys (SNCF: 60% y SNCB: 40%; before it was: SNCF: 62%, SNCB-NMBS: 28%, DB-FV: 10%) are not franchises, they are operators that transport passengers between certain countries under agreements between operators from those countries, just like these others: Allegro, Alleo, Artesia, Cisalpino, City Night Line, Elipsos, Eurostar, Fyra, HSA, Lyria, NS Speed, Railteam, Reinalp, Rhealys, Tee Rail Alliance, Thalys and Thello.

Eurostar trains run on the line owned by Eurotunnel (Groupe Eurotunnel SE), on French and Belgian lines, and on HS1 owned by Channel Tunnel Rail Link, a semi-public consortium.
Through the Channel Tunnel, freight trains (Eurotunnel Shuttle, Europorte and DB Schenker) also circulate, and the same freight trains and high-speed passenger trains (225 km/h) from Southeastern Railway run on HS1. On the French and Belgian lines there is even more variety.

Since 2010, international passenger traffic in the European Union has been liberalized. If you have a company with safety certificates A and B, homologate your trains and pay the access charges, you can travel through the Channel Tunnel. DB wanted to do it, although he ended up giving up his plans.
That can not be done in California.
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Old October 30th, 2017, 06:26 AM   #6946
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TM_Germany View Post
DB is a private for-profit company. Even at home, long distance travels run without subsidy. Regional services are more complicated but even there, the word "subsidy" doesn't really describe how the system works. DB owns and manages numerous subsidiary companies around the world, all of which have no involvement from the german government.
It's private, but its sole share-holder is the Federal Republic, which is worthy of note.
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Old October 30th, 2017, 02:33 PM   #6947
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gusiluz View Post
I disagree, Eurostar (SNCF: 55%, Caisse du Quebec: 30%, Hermes Infra: 10% and SNCB: 5%) and Thalys (SNCF: 60% y SNCB: 40%; before it was: SNCF: 62%, SNCB-NMBS: 28%, DB-FV: 10%) are not franchises, they are operators that transport passengers between certain countries under agreements between operators from those countries, just like these others: Allegro, Alleo, Artesia, Cisalpino, City Night Line, Elipsos, Eurostar, Fyra, HSA, Lyria, NS Speed, Railteam, Reinalp, Rhealys, Tee Rail Alliance, Thalys and Thello.
Well then, seems the ownership is messier than I’d presumed.

But whether the correct term to apply is franchise or concession...I digress. Eurostar services are run under an agreement between the holding company (formerly [UK] government owned, since spun off/‘privatized’) of the HS1 assets (tunnel, ROW, stations, etc) and the operator of the trains, no? Regardless of whether other operators can access these facilities, this concession (the terms of which I don’t know) to Eurostar does exist?

All I meant to say (and didn’t say well, I suppose) is that the capital costs of maintaining the infrastructure will be separate from the costs of operating the service in CA, as they are in many places around the world. That is, they’re on different balance sheets.

I don’t think one necessarily needs to say that Thalys, Eurostar, et al resemble monopolized, single-operator contracts to demonstrate where the CA system is headed: There are parallels.

Whatever we’d call it to draw parallels to these services in Europe, it’s far more similar than recent examples in the US (All Aboard Florida, TX Central, Xpress West, etc) — and existing paradigms in Japan (JR) — in which both assets and passenger services are wholly owned/operated by one private entity, which is a guaranteed monopoly absent government regulations on the use of the ROWs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gusiluz View Post
That can not be done in California.
It can be done however the Authority decides to run the system...Initially, it will be a single operator, but it doesn’t need to remain such and likely won’t, given some recent developments.

XpressWest is a private consortium that plans to link with the California system to provide service between LA-Las Vegas. The Authority can move to a framework in which capacity is filled on a provisional basis (eg how other EU operators access the Chunnel, as you describe it, or how Amtrak leases access to facilities in the NEC).

All indications point to there inevitably being several competing operators (Amtrak, the CA franchisee/concessionaire, and other private operators), in what is effectively to be a statewide system.
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Old October 30th, 2017, 06:15 PM   #6948
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There is no concession. Eurotunnel is a private company that built the Channel Tunnel and charges anyone who wants to go there. Channel Tunnel Rail Link is a semi-public company that built the HS1 and charges anyone who wants to go there.

CHSRA commissioned the construction, commission the trains and delegate the operation to another company because it lacks experience.
I insist: at high speed the only thing similar is the Haramain HSR in Saudi Arabia.
In Japan, private companies were distributed territorially to JR Japan, and pay fees for access to JRTT that is public; there is no competition.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 08:48 AM   #6949
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New construction photos on the CAHSR flickr page.
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Old November 20th, 2017, 11:14 AM   #6950
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The EIR for the new Bakersfield route was also just released. http://www.hsr.ca.gov/Programs/Envir...kersfield.html

An interestingly reasonable route.
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 08:29 AM   #6951
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Washington state governor calls for high-speed rail to Vancouver

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Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee says it’s time to seriously consider a high-speed rail link between Seattle and Vancouver.

Inslee told MLAs at the B.C. legislature Tuesday his state will soon release the results of a $1-million study into a rail line that would cut transportation time between the two cities from three hours to one. Inslee’s office began the cost-benefit analysis earlier this year of the “ultra high-speed” rail line with trains at speeds of up to 400 km/h.
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 11:52 PM   #6952
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Portland-Seattle-Vancouver could work. The problem is border controls though. It's very strict between Canada and the US.
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Old November 24th, 2017, 12:11 AM   #6953
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Portland-Seattle-Vancouver could work. The problem is border controls though. It's very strict between Canada and the US.
And extremely low demand which would never make it profitable.
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Old November 24th, 2017, 06:40 AM   #6954
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I'd settle for Portland-Seattle and to keep costs down go for 200 km/h line. Would be sufficient for a highly competitive 2 h journey time.
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Old November 24th, 2017, 02:54 PM   #6955
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It is possible to integrate both regional and HS on the same rail to bring the usage up if needed. The other thing is that the road interstate 5 is making a big loss anyway and using rail would be more cost/benefit.
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Old November 24th, 2017, 03:31 PM   #6956
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Electrifying the line and bringing it to 250kph between Vancouver and Portland: most trains running between Seattle's northern outskirts (Bellingham/Everett) and Portland and some continuing to Vancouver. And when time's ready for a democrat president+house, hoping for less strict checks between the borders so more than a few trains per day can cross. Stretching the tightest curves on the line. Travel time: 90 minutes for Portland-Seattle would be awesome.

This would also fit into the strategy of typical European organizations to reduce the load of CO2-emissions in the air:

https://www.nu.nl/reizen/5009375/int...uchtvaart.html

What I see, however, is much more capacity for other flights on the Portland and Seattle/Tacoma airports by introducing frequent trains on this line.

Update: outlawing these flights and connecting both airports by the same fast train can result in 600-700K passengers/year just being taken away from airlines, not counting any car trips. The Vancouver-Seattle ones have 600K and Vancouver-Portland 200K. If these would be the number of passengers on the train there would be 800K passengers/year, plus take the current Cascades Amtrak service, there would be 1.6M passengers/year, /365=4383/day. About nine trains (or just make it ten for extra demand) can be filled completely providing they are not too long. This is of course very hypothetical as routes by air cannot be outlawed and some people with a car might think: hey, this is interesting!

And since anything below 12 trains would be a downgrade for parts of the line, that's a minimum.
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Old November 26th, 2017, 06:51 AM   #6957
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Basincreek View Post
New construction photos on the CAHSR flickr page.
Thanks Basincreek! Here are some of the best ones from the link, showing high speed rail is in fact under construction in the US!

DSC_0153 by California High-Speed Rail, on Flickr

DSC_0138 by California High-Speed Rail, on Flickr

DSC_0255 by California High-Speed Rail, on Flickr

DSC_0239 by California High-Speed Rail, on Flickr

DSC_0234 by California High-Speed Rail, on Flickr


And for a little context for the above, here are videos of the two projects:

San Joaquin Viaduct:




Cedar Viaduct:

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Old November 26th, 2017, 07:00 AM   #6958
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The EIR for the new Bakersfield route was also just released. http://www.hsr.ca.gov/Programs/Envir...kersfield.html

An interestingly reasonable route.

Thanks again! I agree I like the route, perhaps this is a sign that the DB arrangement is starting to pay dividends? Also, I know the IOS currently stops just outside of Bakersfield, but my big hope is that this EIR is a sign they will find the funds not only to get the IOS to Bakersfield but (now that Caltrain will be electrified by 2022) even perhaps up to San Francisco, if only to 4th/King station if the Transbay Center is not up and running at the time. A Bakersfield to SF IOS in 2025 would be a monumental game changer for the whole project, and make the inevitable slog through SoCal and the as of now vaporware of Phase 2 far more manageable as the HSR becomes an integral part of the mobility portfolio of California. Again that may be wishful thinking on my part, but even if it is an IOS from the central valley to San Jose will still be fantastic. I don't know how many people would ACTUALLY commute from Fresno to Silicon Valley in 40 minutes, but even the possibility of doing so will change the living patterns of Californians in ways we can't fully see yet!
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Old November 26th, 2017, 03:53 PM   #6959
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Thanks again! I agree I like the route, perhaps this is a sign that the DB arrangement is starting to pay dividends?
Wait, what does the DB consultant contract have to do with anything? They've only barely just awarded the contract...Did I miss something?

AFAIK, DB's role is more about maximizing use of the system by informing desired fare management systems, station design, the location of facilities, etc.

I think it's been clear the Authority prefers ustilizing the existing station in Bakersfield - or building a new one adjacent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquamaroon View Post
Also, I know the IOS currently stops just outside of Bakersfield, but my big hope is that this EIR is a sign they will find the funds not only to get the IOS to Bakersfield but (now that Caltrain will be electrified by 2022) even perhaps up to San Francisco, if only to 4th/King station if the Transbay Center is not up and running at the time.
Yah. The IOS is planned to get to Bakersfield - if possible - with a contingency for an interim station just outside the city in Shafter. The uncertainty mostly stems from Bakersfield seeming insistent that the Authority choose an alignment that will allow the station to be placed in a greenfield site, rather than in/alongside the existing station, downtown.

The sooner they decide on the alignment, the better: It means it can be tacked-on to one of the existing Construction Packages.

The same goes for San Jose: The trouble is the Pachecho Pass alignment (i.e. tunneling under the Diablos now seems to mean one, long tunnel instead of multiple shorter ones). Ultimately, the final alignment and mix of tunnels/viaducts/at-grade segments will determine how soon they make it to SJ.

I mean, this was behind the confusion that the Authority was somehow back peddling - or incompetent - by 're-orienting' work to the Bay Area rather than LA. In reality, it was due to vocal opposition to the desired alignment through Santa Clarita (e.g. the [refined] SR14 alignments, which were preferred by the Authority, were not favored by the public) and insistence that a tunnel under the Angeles National Forest be studied: This means delays and thus meant attention went to the north segment since it would thus be finished, first.

This is something the public needs to be informed about, but the LATimes consistently misrepresents these decisions as signs that the Authority just doesn't know what it's doing. Hell, most people seem to think the environmental review process is solely about saving [insert endagered, rare species here], but is more about minimizing impacts to residents; hence, why they consistently solicit public feedback and why they must demonstrate good faith efforts to attempt to ameliorate them.

This often means lengthy studies to demonstrate why the public's favored alternative is sub-optimal to what the Authority favors. Sometimes, it means the opposite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquamaroon View Post
A Bakersfield to SF IOS in 2025 would be a monumental game changer for the whole project, and make the inevitable slog through SoCal and the as of now vaporware of Phase 2 far more manageable as the HSR becomes an integral part of the mobility portfolio of California. Again that may be wishful thinking on my part, but even if it is an IOS from the central valley to San Jose will still be fantastic. I don't know how many people would ACTUALLY commute from Fresno to Silicon Valley in 40 minutes, but even the possibility of doing so will change the living patterns of Californians in ways we can't fully see yet!
I'd encourage you read through the 2016 Business Plan...I actually find their thinking about this rather sound. It's obviously optimal to end in SF/SJ-Bakersfield, but even an interim IOS that stops in Merced-Fresno/Bakersfield is enough to generate the needed revenue against which they can finance the last bit of construction to get to SJ/SF (even under their most pessimistic projections).
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Old November 26th, 2017, 04:16 PM   #6960
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What is Bakersfield's interest in having a greenfield site? They must know that that's a surefire way to reduce ridership and thwart downtown revival.
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