Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

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  by eolesen
 
Yep, I said pretty much the same on the 'Let's recycle the Acela' thread. Save all the expensive substation and catenary work until the ROW to LA and SF is under way. Run with Sprinters and new coaches from the corridor pool.

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  by lensovet
 
Um there's no diesel trainset in the world that could ever meet the requirements outlined by the bond sales to fund this project so no, they cannot ditch electrification for the time being.
  by eolesen
 
Seems to me they've blown just about every condition of the original bond agreements between timelines, costs, and now scope if they single-track.

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  by lensovet
 
eolesen wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:12 pm Seems to me they've blown just about every condition of the original bond agreements between timelines, costs, and now scope if they single-track.

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do tell, where exactly does the original bond agreement say anything about the number of tracks laid? or the timing of when the service would go live?
  by electricron
 
lensovet wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:25 am do tell, where exactly does the original bond agreement say anything about the number of tracks laid? or the timing of when the service would go live?
Proposition 1A only authorizes California to sell almost $10 Billion in additional General Obligations Bonds. The only limitation was that 90% of those funds must be spent on the railroad itself; limiting management, planning, designing, and oversight costs to 10% or less.

Here's a link to the California Secretary of State official election guide, interesting to see 12 years later what has come to fruition. :-D
https://vig.cdn.sos.ca.gov/2008/general ... pdf#prop1a

Amusing to me was the anti bullet point that the entire project could costs up to $90 Billion is very close to being correct, as of now. :wink:

Which brings my thoughts up I have made several times, CHSR is a project that has been over promising and under delivering since day 1.

They promised an 800 mile HSR system from just an expenditure of $10 Billion from the State's General Funds. That's suggesting they could build HST for an average of $12.5 Million/mile. Light rail systems cost an average of $50-60 Million/mile today. That's a huge over promise, and why they are under delivering so greatly.
  by NRGeep
 
The sidings on this one track cyst um could be dicey?
  by Alphaboi
 
You could run multiple night trains for a fraction of the cost of this project.

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  by west point
 
Repeat my question. How much of this $90B is going to projects that are gold plating highways, waterways, power lines, telephone lines, extra road bridges, relocating some roads, etc ? Why isn't some money coming from the agencies involved ?
  by eolesen
 
lensovet wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:25 am do tell, where exactly does the original bond agreement say anything about the number of tracks laid? or the timing of when the service would go live?
The only real language available publicly is what's in Prop 1A, which guides the process for issuing bonds, but doesn't define the individual bond agreements. Those are typically not available publicly.

And you're right -- Prop 1A doesn't specify the number of tracks. Nor does it mandate that it operates via electricity on Day 1 of operations, but only that it's constructed to eventually achieve electrified travel at up to 220 mph.

What is mandated in the 2010 agreement with the Feds is 120 miles of track completed by Dec 31, 2022. That's now 19 months away.

We all know that isn't going to happen. We've known that before the Trump Admin did the initial withholding on the $928B in remaining Federal funding, and teased trying to claw-back the original $2.5B from ARRA. As hashed out two years ago, the Feds were within the letter of the law to hold back funds and possibly claw back what had already been squandered because of repeated missed milestones and project checkpoints.

With Biden and Pothole Pete restoring the remaining $928B, they're choosing to look the other way on the missed checkpoints, but the settlement announced this week doesn't change the project end dates. Those are still in effect.

2021 Settlement: https://www.railwayage.com/wp-content/u ... May-26.pdf

2017 Amended 2010 Agreement : https://railroads.dot.gov/sites/fra.dot ... ment_1.pdf

And yes, I'm sure the current administration will eventually cut them slack on the 2022 completion date, but that agreement only covers the $3.5B that came from the Feds.

It's less clear what covenants exists in bonds issued by the Agency. If there are similar project milestones, it will be quite interesting to see what those bondholders do in about 19 months.
  by frequentflyer
 
lensovet wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:56 am Um there's no diesel trainset in the world that could ever meet the requirements outlined by the bond sales to fund this project so no, they cannot ditch electrification for the time being.
There was a push for Fuel Cell powertrain, is that still true? Cheaper than catenary. Do we even know what equipment will be used on this line yet?
  by Jeff Smith
 
https://cal.streetsblog.org/2021/08/12/ ... alifornia/
President Joe Biden and Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer underscored their support for funding California’s bullet train project out of the $1 trillion federal infrastructure bill on Wednesday. “Fresno is ground zero for California’s high-speed rail efforts,” said Dyer in a Zoom call with the President. “Federal assistance is vital. And I’m hopeful this infrastructure bill will provide that support to us here in Fresno.”

“I’m a big rail guy. We have more money in this area, for high-speed rail, than all the money we’ve spent on Amtrak–this is a gigantic investment,” responded the President. “We’re talking about electric. We’re not talking about diesel. And we’re talking about being able to transform and impact on the air quality in your area.”
...
  by lpetrich
 
Bakersfield to Palmdale Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) - YouTube : highspeedrail

User Brandino144 asserts without sources some dates for completion of the various environmental impact reports. I went to California High Speed Rail and while I could verify the statuses of some of the segments, I could not verify the claimed dates. Here they are:
  • Merced - Fresno - Bakersfield: Complete (under construction)
  • Bakersfield - Palmdale: Complete
  • Burbank - Los Angeles: Draft Complete, ROD Q4 2021
  • San Jose - Merced: Draft Complete, ROD Q1 2022
  • San Francisco - San Jose: Draft Complete, ROD Q2 2022
  • Palmdale - Burbank: Draft Q3 2021, ROD Q4 2022
  • Los Angeles - Anaheim: Draft Q1 2022, ROD Q2 2023
This means that Bakersfield - Palmdale should be ready to start construction, and that San Jose - Merced soon will be. This should mean a start on the most difficult parts of the line; the tunneling necessary at Pacheco Pass and the Tehachapi Mountains. These segments will fill in gaps in California's existing passenger-rail lines.
  by lpetrich
 
I'll estimate bus travel times, using Amtrak buses as a baseline.

From Amtrak's San Joaquin schedule: Bfld - LA: 2.5 hours (intmd stops: Santa Clarita, Burbank, Glendale)
Distance: 112 mi (Google Maps hwy dist), giving avg. speed of 45 mph.

The currently under-construction part is Merced - Bakersfield. Using a typical HSR average speed of 250 km/h or 150 mph (estimate from some TGV schedules), and a hwy dist of 163.5 mi, one gets a travel time of 1.09 hr.

Buses from the ends of that line: Merced - SJ: 115 mi, 2.56 hr, Merced - SF: 131.5 mi, 2.92 hr (separate bus), Bfld - LA: 112 mi, 2.5 hr

That's a total travel time of about 6.5 hours, not much less than the San Joaquin SF-LA travel time of 9.75 hr.
  by lpetrich
 
I'll now consider building out at both ends. I will assess San Jose - Los Angeles, because between San Francisco and San Jose, the trains will use the Caltrain line, likely making their travel time around an hour.

Baseline time: 6.15 hr.

North end: Merced - ...
  • Gilroy - 85.35 mi - 1.33 hr less
  • SJ - 115 mi - 1.79 hr less
South end: Bakersfield - ...
  • Palmdale - 95.4 mi - 1.48 hr less
  • Burbank - 145.5 mi - 2.26 hr less
  • LA - 157 mi - 2.44 hr less
I'll combine them:
  • Bfld -- Mcd 6.15 -- Glr 4.82 -- SJ 4.36
  • Pmdl -- Mcd 4.67 -- Glr 3.34 -- SJ 2.88
  • Brbk -- Mcd 3.89 -- Glr 2.56 -- SJ 2.10
  • LA -- Mcd 3.71 -- Glr 2.38 -- SJ 1.92
So if one builds Gilroy - Palmdale, one gets a SJ-LA time of 3h 20m.

I'm asssuming express-bus service, but for SJ - Glry and Pmdl - LA, express commuter-train service may also be possible. For SJ - Glry, all-stops Caltrain takes 50 minutes, and for Pmdl - LA, all-stops Metrolink takes 2 hours.
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