California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) System

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Re: California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) System

Post by lensovet » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:25 am

lpetrich wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:14 am
They expect to do so with careful scheduling. But they may add passing tracks later, like double-tracking single-track parts of light-rail systems.
Yeah I read that. Still not going to be able to achieve more than 110 maximum speed on any of these segments, which even if they have a clear shot with no interference on the route and perfect station stops, will not be sufficient to hit the 2h40m time. no way in hell.
David Benton wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:24 am
I thought they were building to Modesto in the Central Valley. That's North of Gilroy, and would suggest a Altamont Pass crossing?.
The wye to Gilroy/SJ is south of Modesto, so trains coming from the south would go directly to Gilroy and not go up to Modesto at all.
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Re: California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) System

Post by David Benton » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:27 am

Thanks .
Doing a google flyover of the route , at least the San Jose end is quite grade separated from roadways. What speed would full grade separation allow ? 125 to 160 mph ?
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Re: California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) System

Post by electricron » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:04 am

David Benton wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:27 am
Thanks .
Doing a google flyover of the route , at least the San Jose end is quite grade separated from roadways. What speed would full grade separation allow ? 125 to 160 mph ?
As a general rule of thumb besides specific track and train specifications and keeping it simple;
going faster than 60 mph requires track side signaling,
going faster than 80 mph requires cab signaling and auto controls,
going faster than 90 mph requires operating crossing gates at “all” grade crossings both public and private,
going faster than 110 mph usually requires grade separations,
and going faster than 125 mph requires special design trains and tracks.

If I read and understood the DEIS prefer route correctly, the fastest the HSR trains will go the 79 miles between SF and Gilroy will be 110 mph. Considering there will be at least two intermediate stations, there will be stops on average every 25 miles or so. At an acceleration and deceleration rate of 2 mph per second, it should take 55 seconds to accelerate and decelerate to and from maximum speeds and a full stop, basically a minute four times during this trip. Therefore, assuming 110 mph is allowed along the entire route, it should take 47 minutes to travel those 79 miles.
Math again keeping it simple = (79 miles / 110 mph) + 4 minutes = 43 minutes + 4 minutes = 47 minutes.
That is before adding “?”minutes to alight and board passengers at those two stations.

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Re: California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) System

Post by John_Perkowski » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:01 pm

As a long ago departed Californian, I have to ask a simple question

Who has the dollars to buy all these improvements?
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Re: California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) System

Post by David Benton » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:15 pm

Turn it around, who has the dollars to pay for the alternatives ?? Assuming there is room to build more freeways and airports, before even going near future Carbon costs etc.
I would have a hard time believing California's population is not going to keep on increasing.
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Re: California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) System

Post by electricron » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:57 am

David Benton wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:15 pm
Turn it around, who has the dollars to pay for the alternatives ?? Assuming there is room to build more freeways and airports, before even going near future Carbon costs etc.
I would have a hard time believing California's population is not going to keep on increasing.
Alternatives, even rail alternatives, do not have to be so poorly managed. Shucks, they do not have to be publicly funded either. They should also be built where there are gaps in the present rail system first - like Bakersfield to LA - instead of last.

Additionally - Uncles Sam has far more money available for highways than they do for railways.
Please do not suggest there isn't room for more lanes in their highways, because just about all the proposed rail expansions are within highway right-of-ways, or closely paralleling them. Land that could be used for highways just as easily as they can for railways.

Let's reflect on the number of passengers a HSR train can carry. Acela seats 304 passengers, a train running every half hour can carry 608 passengers per hour. Double that to 1216 passengers for a train every quarter hour. Sounds impressive doesn't it. A single lane of traffic on a freeway, with a car every 2 seconds, has a capacity of 1800 vehicles per hour. There would have to be six trains an hour to match a single traffic lane. And that's before adding a second or more passenger to the vehicle. Of course, they could run longer trains with higher capacity than Acela as well.

And before an argument is made about induce demand on freeway capacity, that same scenario also works on trains. Eventually, third and fourth tracks will be needed within the same corridor, or an entirely second HSR line will be needed to be built. HSR2 is being proposed in England not because the trains will be that much faster, it is being proposed because the existing rail lines are approaching capacity, where they can not squeeze more trains onto the lines. So induced demand affects trains as well.

New freeways do not have to be funded publicly, there are plenty of investors willing to invest into turnpikes and more toll bridges. HSR can be funded privately too.

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Re: California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) System

Post by David Benton » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:45 am

A double track railway can Potentially carry more people than a 8 lane highway .
However , that is not the issue , they probably could build more highways .
The question is , where do the cars go once they leave the highway ?
There is no more room to get more cars into San Francisco, downtown L.A etc . Unless they continue to sprawl , population density must intensify, and that is where the HSR comes in.Along with commuter rail .
I don't think anyone would suggest dropping a new highway into Manhattan for e.g.Well , actually they probably would, but i doubt it would be taken seriously.
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Re: California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) System

Post by electricron » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:30 am

David Benton wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:45 am
A double track railway can Potentially carry more people than a 8 lane highway .
However , that is not the issue , they probably could build more highways .
The question is , where do the cars go once they leave the highway ?
There is no more room to get more cars into San Francisco, downtown L.A etc . Unless they continue to sprawl , population density must intensify, and that is where the HSR comes in.Along with commuter rail .
I don't think anyone would suggest dropping a new highway into Manhattan for e.g.Well , actually they probably would, but i doubt it would be taken seriously.
When proponents suggest trains can carry far more passengers than vehicles on highways, they include passengers standing in the trains, squeezed into as small a space possible. They are not using the seated capacity of the trains as their capacity. Intercity HSR trains are not going to sell more tickets than seats on the train. My earlier example used the capacity of a real Acela train, Amtrak’s new Acela train will have more capacity, but not 50% more.
CHSR is not a commuting railroad service, it is an intercity railroad service for passengers usually traveling a hundred miles and more. Urban and commuter railroads can exist at grade, above and below grade, in dedicated or undedicated paths, HSR is rarely at grade, always in a dedicated path, with much longer, straighter, less curvy, and more expensive to build and maintain tracks than commuting and urban railroads.
There is plenty of land available in California to build new freeways between Northern and Southern California. Where there may be difficulties is accessing the central business districts in the most urban of neighborhoods. Most intercity travelers destinations are not within the central business districts. Most intercity travelers rarely use the same mode of transport within a metro that is used between metros. Few planes land and takeoff from the central business districts, that usually occurs miles away. Then they use local transport within the metro to reach their ultimate destinations - which even in China, Japan, and Europe is not a HSR train. Intercity travelers are as likely to stay at a train station hotel as they are ant an airport hotel. The chances intercity travelers using HSR being within walking distance of their final destination maybe higher than at an airport, it still will not be a plurality. How many intercity travelers today walk to their destinations today after alighting from their intercity trains in LA, Chicago, New York, or any other city in the entire world?

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Re: California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) System

Post by Backshophoss » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:11 pm

CaSHR is DEAD IN THE WATER,The feds have clawed back the $$$$$$$(per "sir Trump's" order)
At least there're more cars coming to Amtrak-Ca services,while they are based off the Brightline design,that should allow for more service on the existing routes.
Work with what's available,LAND COST is TOO HIGH to build new ROW.
Easier to deal with UP/BNSF then land owners and farmers.
The last earthquake shows why tunneling is a BIG RISK in CA.
This was a case of TOO BIG a DREAM vs the LAND OWNERS,the state LOST!
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Re: California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) System

Post by lensovet » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:50 pm

electricron wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:57 am
David Benton wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:15 pm
Turn it around, who has the dollars to pay for the alternatives ?? Assuming there is room to build more freeways and airports, before even going near future Carbon costs etc.
I would have a hard time believing California's population is not going to keep on increasing.
Alternatives, even rail alternatives, do not have to be so poorly managed. Shucks, they do not have to be publicly funded either. They should also be built where there are gaps in the present rail system first - like Bakersfield to LA - instead of last.
Funny, that's exactly what they are doing right now — connecting the central valley to SJ/SV — and people are saying they are building a train to nowhere.

Bakersfield to LA, as I'm sure you are aware, is one of the most expensive segments of the route given the seismic activity and mountainous terrain. Should they have really closed that gap first? They would have spent 50% of the money building 10% of the track and people would be asking where their money is going.
Additionally - Uncles Sam has far more money available for highways than they do for railways.
Please do not suggest there isn't room for more lanes in their highways, because just about all the proposed rail expansions are within highway right-of-ways, or closely paralleling them. Land that could be used for highways just as easily as they can for railways.
I have no idea which segments you are talking about, because most of them are getting built within existing RR ROW, not highway ones. Maybe you can provide some examples?

I would love to hear how you would add lanes to US-101 or I-405 in the urban cores though.
Let's reflect on the number of passengers a HSR train can carry. Acela seats 304 passengers, a train running every half hour can carry 608 passengers per hour. Double that to 1216 passengers for a train every quarter hour. Sounds impressive doesn't it. A single lane of traffic on a freeway, with a car every 2 seconds, has a capacity of 1800 vehicles per hour. There would have to be six trains an hour to match a single traffic lane. And that's before adding a second or more passenger to the vehicle. Of course, they could run longer trains with higher capacity than Acela as well.
Interesting numbers. I wonder you got them from? I'm looking at https://www4.uwm.edu/cuts/ce490/freeway.pdf, and I'm seeing that LOS A service with free-flowing speeds of 65 mph (the speed limit on most roads here) implies a maximum of 710 passenger vehicles/lane/hour. Of course the highways here are not restricted to passenger vehicles, so once you add some trucks and buses to the mix, that capacity drops even further. So to get your hypothetical 1800 vehicles/hour would require three lanes of highway each way. Keep in mind this assumes 12 ft wide lanes and 6 ft wide shoulders. Narrow those down (as happens on pretty much the entirety of US-101 and I-405) and the capacities drop even further.
And before an argument is made about induce demand on freeway capacity, that same scenario also works on trains. Eventually, third and fourth tracks will be needed within the same corridor, or an entirely second HSR line will be needed to be built. HSR2 is being proposed in England not because the trains will be that much faster, it is being proposed because the existing rail lines are approaching capacity, where they can not squeeze more trains onto the lines. So induced demand affects trains as well.
Hilarious. So we shouldn't build HSR because it might get too popular. Is this railroad.net or interstates.net?
New freeways do not have to be funded publicly, there are plenty of investors willing to invest into turnpikes and more toll bridges. HSR can be funded privately too.
Ah yes, of course. I'm curious, have you ever been to California? Do you know how many "turnpikes" exist in the entire state, or perhaps the cost to cross our bridges?
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Re: California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) System

Post by electricron » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:49 pm

lensovet wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:50 pm
Interesting numbers. I wonder you got them from? I'm looking at https://www4.uwm.edu/cuts/ce490/freeway.pdf, and I'm seeing that LOS A service with free-flowing speeds of 65 mph (the speed limit on most roads here) implies a maximum of 710 passenger vehicles/lane/hour. Of course the highways here are not restricted to passenger vehicles, so once you add some trucks and buses to the mix, that capacity drops even further. So to get your hypothetical 1800 vehicles/hour would require three lanes of highway each way. Keep in mind this assumes 12 ft wide lanes and 6 ft wide shoulders. Narrow those down (as happens on pretty much the entirety of US-101 and I-405) and the capacities drop even further.
I used simple algebra any high school student could solve. The safe recommended clearance every driver is taught in driving school is to follow the vehicle in front of you by 2 seconds. Using that 2 second rule, it does not matter how fast the vehicles are going, because every 2 seconds a vehicle passes by any particular point in any individual lane.
Here's the algebra coming right at you, no so called experts and wasted engineering studies required to explain it.
3600 seconds/hour x 1 vehicle/2 seconds/lane = 1800 vehicles /hour/lane

I'll admit that every time a vehicle changes lane affects the flow of traffic, as some cars will slow down to maintain that 2 second clearance - but at the same time other vehicles will speed up. Congestion can be caused by too many lane changers as much as having too many vehicles. That's why just about every highway safety advisor recommends picking a lane and sticking to it as much as possible, changing lanes only when entering and exiting the highway.
But really, we all know the major causes of delays along freeways are accidents and road repairs taking lanes out of service. Trains are also not immune to accidents and corridor repairs.

We can argue until we turn blue, but you will never change my mind that the Bakersfield to LA section should have been built first with the ~$3.5 Billion the FRA provided CHSR with Obama's stimulus program. It is the one section of the future CHSR system that presently isn't served by Amtrak California with a train. The Central Valley is going to see max speed increases for the foreseeable future a speed bump of ~50%, from ~80 mph to ~125 mph, at best. And when Central Valley passengers wishing to travel to Southern California, they will be riding in buses going 60-65 mph based upon the speed limit on the highways.

I call that poor managing of available resources mainly because CHSR should be encouraging travel by train - not travel by bus. Can you imagine any passenger airline in the world claiming a successful business outcome when substituting a bus for a plane? Why does CHSR do so? Do they think we are dummies?

Switzerland decided to speed up their passenger rail services to Milan and Italy in general. The first section they started construction on was the section that took the longest and was the most expensive to build, the Gotthard Base Tunnel. Work begun 4 Nov 1999, the line opened 1 June 2016, taking ~16.5 years to build. The double track line is 94 miles in length with the tunnels being over 35 miles in length - over 33% of the route. Projected costs was CHF 6.3 Billion, Final costs was CHF 9.5 Billion, ~50% increase. We can argue if that was well managed or not, but anyone suggesting CHSR is well managed with costs projections rising 200-300% needs to rethink what they consider being well managed project.
And it took Switzerland using modern drilling rigs 16.5 years to build their long tunnels, how long do you think it will take CHSR to do so once the drilling rigs start, and they have to do so both up north and south?

Some interesting reading and data from the horse's mouth:
https://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/fundi ... n_2011.pdf
https://www.hsr.ca.gov/about/capital_costs_funding/
Keeping it simple, in 2011 they proposed the following costs of capital:
ICS $5.2 Billion
IOS North $24.6 Billion
IOS South $26.6 Billion
Total $56.4 Billion
In 2019 they proposed the following costs of capital:
ICS $10.6 Billion (Construction underway) Costs rising an additional 100%; 200% the initial estimate once real contractors submitted their bids.
IOS North $29.5 Billion (Scope reduced with DEIS release - max speeds SF to Gilroy now 110 mph) Costs estimates rising an additional 20%, now 120% the initial estimate while still in planning stages.
IOS South $37.2 Billion (Still in planning, DEIS still underway) Costs estimates rising an additional 40%, now 140% the initial estimate, not one blade of grass turned over yet.
Total $77.3 Billion, which will continue to rise as further studies and routing choices are made.
Once construction costs are set by real bids to these projects, not by estimates from consultants, expect 200-300% actual costs to estimates as was seen with the ICS segment.

Note, the $77 Billion figure listed this year does not include the HSR sections to Sacramento, Inland Empire, and San Diego.

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Re: California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) System

Post by lensovet » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:18 pm

we live in the real world, not in the simple world of algebra. being dismissive of engineering studies backed up by real data, as opposed to imaginary math, is not exactly helping your case.

nor is completely ignoring the other points raised — like the lack of space to build freeways or the fact that california does not love toll roads as much as you think it does. trains have accidents? lol ok…let's compare the frequency of accidents on well-maintained sections of the NEC vs. newly built highways.

the Gotthard base tunnel is a great example. it took over 15 years to build in a country that has a punctual and far-reaching rail system, so here in the US, this would probably take closer to 30 years. and you're saying this was the segment they should have built first? lol. It's also worth noting that the Lötschberg Base Tunnel had to be left unfinished so that the cost overruns on the Gotthard could be covered. Over a decade later, that tunnel is at capacity since they still haven't found the funding to finish it. Not exactly a shining example of project management either.

btw the reasons for cost escalations in CAHSR have been covered above; doing tunneling doesn't require huge purchases for ROW purposes so i'm not sure how the comparison is super relevant. again, it's unclear how familiar you are with california, but property prices have gone up 3x in some places here in the past decade alone. and there is no direct amtrak service that goes from SV to the central valley other than buses, the same buses that you seem to think must be replaced at all costs to cover the bakersfield to LA market (which, i'm going to hazard a guess, is significantly smaller than the central valley to SV market).
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