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

  by pdtrains
 
As a rail advocate and california resident, I am just so sick of this whole HSR thing. Building a train to nowhere that duplicates tracks and a train that already exists. Wasting tons of money, taking ppls property, all to REALLY provide construction jobs.

If they were serious about this whole thing, they would have tried to do the most necessary part 1st....BFL to palmdale or to Castaic. Then we could at least have a train that runs thru..up the valley.

And with much wider use of Zoom and other visual communications, the need for speed and even getting from LA to SFO is lessened,

But rather than do what needs to be done, we are wasting money on a train to nowhere.

IMHO.
  by electricron
 
frequentflyer wrote: Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:06 pm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rrji7nc_sjg

Its not built to nowhere, see the video it will be linked to enhanced ACE and Amtrak SJ service.
Linked is not the same as the high speed, fast train actually going to San Francisco.
Note: Neither Amtrak nor ACE trains actually go to San Francisco. They are linked again with CalTrain trains.
Two transfers are in nobody's definition of being fast. Sorry!
  by ExCon90
 
I think this startup is an interim stage to full completion, giving the public a taste of what HSR actually is and how the whole system will be when complete (the target date for completion being subject to change :wink:). In Sacramento and Dallas they built what light rail they could with the money available, and when that initial phase was up and running there was an immediate demand to complete the whole system. Once people see what real HSR is like there may be a strong increase in public support.
  by lensovet
 
electricron wrote: Thu Oct 06, 2022 12:12 am Linked is not the same as the high speed, fast train actually going to San Francisco.
Note: Neither Amtrak nor ACE trains actually go to San Francisco. They are linked again with CalTrain trains.
Two transfers are in nobody's definition of being fast. Sorry!
No one takes ACE to SF. That route serves commuters to San Jose and the surrounding towns.

Amtrak indeed does not go to SF, because the cost of building rail across the bay to connect to downtown would cost astronomical sums of money with minimal benefit.

That said, I'm not sure I understand the relevance of either to the HSR project, which is indeed slated to go to downtown SF once funding is secured. As far as "train to nowhere" is concerned, the first segments being built are those that require minimal earthwork and no tunneling, which is why it was chosen, to keep costs "down" and build as quickly as possible. It will also provide the first proper rail service within the Central Valley, which has been historically underserved by transit.
  by eolesen
 
That's an example of keeping costs down?... If this was the simple section, good luck with the complex stuff.

The $40B total system and $5B initial segment will soon be an actual $15B and projected $120B... and that's without inflation.
  by lensovet
 
I mean, if you think that California is "broke" when it's running a surplus, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that you think it's not cheaper to build on flat land rather than through mountains.
  by eolesen
 
California -is- broke whether you want to admit it or not.

They had a surplus the past 2 years largely driven by capital gains taxes from the stock market. California also got lots of money through the American Rescue Plan plus other Covid stimulus related pork from the Feds.

Between Covid being over (or at least the appetite for massive stimulus being gone) and the stock market crashing, most of that extra money everyone has been eyeing is likely gone entirely.

Put otherwise, California has been riding a wave that's about to hit the beach....

Just the loss of capital gains taxes, which I've seen is up by somewhere around $100 billion dollars, is now going to turn the Surplus from the last year into maybe a $40 billion dollar deficit for this coming year. And that also doesn't include loss of taxes from companies and individuals who've left over the last two years, primarily because of tax policies

Had Newsome and the legislature put most of that money into a rainy day fund, perhaps it wouldn't be so bad in the upcoming couple of years, but they didn't. They chose to spend just about all of it minus some token rebates back to lower income familes.

Illinois and New York are in for similar rude awakenings, but California's will probably be the worst.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Haven't gotten into this New York Times reporting yet, but here it is for your review:

Fair Use:
Building the nation’s first bullet train, which would connect Los Angeles and San Francisco, was always going to be a formidable technical challenge, pushing through the steep mountains and treacherous seismic faults of Southern California with a series of long tunnels and towering viaducts.

But the design for the nation’s most ambitious infrastructure project was never based on the easiest or most direct route. Instead, the train’s path out of Los Angeles was diverted across a second mountain range to the rapidly growing suburbs of the Mojave Desert — a route whose most salient advantage appeared to be that it ran through the district of a powerful Los Angeles county supervisor.

The dogleg through the desert was only one of several times over the years when the project fell victim to political forces that have added billions of dollars in costs and called into question whether the project can ever be finished.

Now, as the nation embarks on a historic, $1 trillion infrastructure building spree, the tortured effort to build the country’s first high-speed rail system is a case study in how ambitious public works projects can become perilously encumbered by political compromise, unrealistic cost estimates, flawed engineering and a determination to persist on projects that have become, like the crippled financial institutions of 2008, too big to fail.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Mon Oct 10, 2022 6:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Vincent
 
If anyone knows how to build HSR, it's SNCF. They came to CA in the 2000s to get in on the action, but they left in 2011.

from the New York Times article:
“SNCF was very angry. They told the state they were leaving for North Africa, which was less politically dysfunctional. They went to Morocco and helped them build a rail system.”

Morocco’s bullet train started service in 2018.
  by eolesen
 
The dogleg thru the desert may prove to be visionary if the San Andreas gives way... it could be the new Coastliner.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by lensovet
 
Vincent wrote: Sun Oct 09, 2022 8:47 am If anyone knows how to build HSR, it's SNCF. They came to CA in the 2000s to get in on the action, but they left in 2011.

from the New York Times article:
“SNCF was very angry. They told the state they were leaving for North Africa, which was less politically dysfunctional. They went to Morocco and helped them build a rail system.”

Morocco’s bullet train started service in 2018.
That’s hilarious.

Of course they built a train in Morocco, where a francophone absolute monarchy could build whatever project they wanted wherever they wanted, irrespective of the environmental impacts and utility of the actual project.

A detour to supposedly please a supervisor? That’s nothing compared to an entire route built to satisfy the whims of a single monarch.
  by lensovet
 
eolesen wrote: Fri Oct 07, 2022 2:59 pm Had Newsome and the legislature put most of that money into a rainy day fund, perhaps it wouldn't be so bad in the upcoming couple of years, but they didn't. They chose to spend just about all of it minus some token rebates back to lower income familes.

Illinois and New York are in for similar rude awakenings, but California's will probably be the worst.
It’s always amusing when people who live on another planet keep doubling down on that alternate reality. First off, his name is Newsom. Second, did you even bother to run a quick Google search before posting this?
The Budget reflects $34.6 billion in budgetary reserves … The Rainy Day Fund is now at its constitutional maximum (10 percent of General Fund revenues) requiring $2.4 billion to be dedicated for infrastructure investments in 2022-23.
https://www.ebudget.ca.gov/2022-23/pdf/ ... uction.pdf

But yeah, that damn Newsom and his legislature.
  by lensovet
 
David Benton wrote: Sun Oct 09, 2022 1:53 pm While Morrocco does have a ruling monarchy, with a royal train, it also has a very functional and relatively modern rail system.
I'm not sure where I said that the rail system was either nonfunctional or ancient.
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