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  1. #1066

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    Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    What's going on with the CA High Speed Rail, are things still moving forward, anybody been following this? Because I really love the HSR network in France.

  2. #1067

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    Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    They are still bound and determined to build the first few miles on a totally new alignment in the Central Valley from Nowhere to Noplace - because then they think they can guilt everybody into keeping going and then the Massive Budget Overruns start...

    The new routes that they laid out on paper go through environmentally sensitive areas, and the 'friends of the fauna' can tie up the completion forever if they want to burn billions of tax money on it. And they do.

    I still think they need to spend the money far more wisely - in this shaky economy that means to use the exiting rail Rights Of Ways and double-triple-quadruple track as needed to give a set of Passenger rails that'll do 200 MPH (more than enough) and a separate set of Freight rails 25 feet over that don't always have to pull off at sidings to let the Passenger trains through. And put underpasses and bridges to grade-seperate them all.

    They already have access roads and utilities along the old routes all built, and they already know the geology - just go sideways 25 feet and punch another tunnel, widen the sidehill cuts, put up another trestle. No uncharted territory, just good old "Git Er Done!"

    --<< Bruce >>--
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  3. #1068

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    Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    Remember when America could put a man on the moon? Or lay down rail road tracks, for that matter? What's wrong with our country, China, France and Japan know how to git er done! In fact they are in the process of modernizing thousands of kilometers of track here.

  4. #1069

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    Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    I traveled from Paris to London on a plane, the flight was only 40 minutes, but it took 5 hours. Why? Taking the shuttle to the airport, arriving in time to check in, doing all the security stuff, waiting to board, and then taking the train into central London from Heathrow.

    Eurostar goes from Paris center to central London in 2 hours 10 min. I could have gone to London, had tea, and come back in less time by taking high speed rail.

  5. #1070

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    Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    That sounds great!
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  6. #1071

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    Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    Apparently Gov. Brown is cutting spending in his new budget, but remains committed to the HSR project; I just wish they'd construct the San Diego-LA leg first so at least there'd be ridership - and profits.

  7. #1072

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    Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    Well, ridership, at least. One should hope that the construction costs would be paid out with revenue generated by the passengers and cargo.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  8. #1073

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    Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    The original railroads in this country were built with public dollars. The airports in this country were built with public dollars. The highways in this country were built with public dollars. But, suddenly, as soon as anyone wants to build a transportation system that runs on electricity instead of oil, the mode has to be held to a different standard because certain private interests aren't going to profit from the investment.

    In order to meet the transportation demands of the next 25 years, California will be investing in either high-speed rail or in additional highway and airport capacity. And, the latter option is significantly less cost-effective and more expensive. More importantly, it doesn't protect our economy from oil shocks, and it doesn't address all the other needs the state has to catalyze economic growth, particularly in the inland areas.
    Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 01-25-2012 at 12:49 AM.

  9. #1074

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    Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    The original railroads in this country were built with public dollars.
    Well, kinda sorta. When a railroad got a franchise to develop a line they didn't get public money per se - What they usually got was the right of way for free or for really cheap, and they got to easily apply for Eminent Domain to cross what private land was in the way. And they got deed to a swath of the public land (of variable width) along the ROW for construction and operation - and the part that turned out to be even more lucrative, later they could develop some of it for sale or rental.

    But the railroads still had to pony up the dough to grade the land and lay the rails, and for the trains to run on those tracks. Either through a stock or bond offering, or other investors. It wasn't until the freight railroads started phasing out passenger rail services that the Federal Government got into the railroad business with AMTRAK and buying up ROW and equipment that the railroads were abandoning.

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    The airports in this country were built with public dollars. The highways in this country were built with public dollars. But, suddenly, as soon as anyone wants to build a transportation system that runs on electricity instead of oil, the mode has to be held to a different standard because certain private interests aren't going to profit from the investment.

    In order to meet the transportation demands of the next 25 years, California will be investing in either high-speed rail or in additional highway and airport capacity. And, the latter option is significantly less cost-effective and more expensive. More importantly, it doesn't protect our economy from oil shocks, and it doesn't address all the other needs the state has to catalyze economic growth, particularly in the inland areas.
    The Public didn't subsidize the construction of railroads in the past, they only eased the costs of the private railroads to build them.

    And Passenger service has never been a huge money-maker for railrioads, freight pays the bills. Freight doesn't need fancy sleeper cars and attendants, porters and dining car chefs, etc. Freight gets loaded in, run to it's destination, and unloaded.

    And what money there is in passenger trains, the vast majority is city to city trafffic - the only times they built a "train to nowhere" in the past they expected that Nowhere would be Somewhere real soon.

    The current HSR project has several fatal flaws - and we're paying way too much for it. Corcoran to Chowchilla is definitely Nowhere to Noplace, and it will never pay back the investment if that's as far as it goes. Can't even be reused for freight rails. And they wildly underestimated the costs - or they wildly underestimated the bill-padding that their partners will do.

    Note that the original set of executives running the High Speed Rail board are all bailing out once they can see that the public sees the massive cost overruns and passenger revenue under-runs. And the ones that stay are all pushing "Let's hurry up and get the first section from Corcoran to Chowchilla open and running! Then the public will see that we have made a good start, and they can't just abandon the initial investment, so we HAVE to keep going and finish the system..."

    No, we don't. And we can't afford to pick a brand new alignment and start from scratch, do it alongside the existing rail ROW where access already exists. You can freight in the materials, you already have access roads alongside for maintenance and power lines are already there - at least enough power for signalling. The power lines would have to be upgraded to run traction supply.

    --<< Bruce >>--
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  10. #1075

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    Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    Might be cool to see it run through tahachapi along the current rails, and have to do a loop as well.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  11. #1076

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    Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Might be cool to see it run through tahachapi along the current rails, and have to do a loop as well.
    Hey, they're adding a Loop!! Wait, what? (Psst psst pssttt...) Oh, a Horizontal loop, not a vertical one, and it's been there for a while... Oh heck, that's no fun at all.

    Sorry, BNSF won't let regular passenger trains run on the Tehachapi Loop, they want the freight trains to have priority. It's a real busy line, and they can't clear it out several times a day just so a passenger train can get through on a schedule.

    Now if they dug another parallel tunnel and triple-tracked the whole district, with a properly superelevated passenger line that could take it at a bit of speed, that could change.
    Last edited by Bruce Bergman; 02-07-2012 at 03:29 PM. Reason: ben =/= been
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  12. #1077

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    Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    Glad to have you guys on board.

  13. #1078

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    Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    HSR news:

    High-speed rail ... or fail? - Los Angeles Times

    A collision of visions on California bullet train - Los Angeles Times

    Divergent views wouldn't be present if the thing cost about a tenth of its current estimate.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  14. #1079

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    Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    Anything that challenges the profitability of the oil industry is going to result in propaganda wars.

  15. #1080

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    Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    Anything that challenges the profitability of the oil industry is going to result in propaganda wars.
    Well, the Oil Industry has to morph into a more generalized Energy Delivery Industry, or they'll get left behind in the dust right next to the Buggy Whip Makers and Harness-Builders - the ones that didn't start to make their own transition from the Horse and Buggy when that upstart Automobile came on the scene.

    The Automobile is going to transition to Electric and other fuels in a Serial Hybrid mode - Electric and Energized Roadway systems (inductive pickup) for short commutes, and Liquified or Compressed Natural Gas are perfect fuels for moderate-range uses and we have plenty on hand.

    Liquified Natural Gas has enough storage density it can be used for long-haul trucking - and you transition as much of that cargo to Freight Trains that you can, and electrify the railroad lines to cut the oil use.

    Electric utilities can transition to more Ecologically friendly sources like Wind, Solar, Hydro and Geothermal, and they have the advantage of being a big stationary plant so they can clean up after burning Coal or Urban Waste Incinerators for a peaking source - you can't stuff those stack scrubbers into trucks or trains.

    Pumped Storage can store Solar or Wind electric power for later use - You pump water from the bottom of the grand canyon to a reservoir at the top with Solar power, then run that water through a generating turbine back to the river at night to get the energy back very efficiently. And the electric utilities can free up the portion of Natural Gas and Oil they use now for peaking generation for automotive and other users.

    Airplane transport and Ocean Shipping are kind of stuck with Oil (Jet Fuel and Bunker Oil), they need the energy density.

    It will take some serious shuffling, but we can use our supplies SO much better. Then we kick into top gear to "Drill, Baby Drill!" and get a few billion barels of proven domestic oil reserves ready to pump, and pipelines to get it to the refineries, and the refined products out to the end users. We can easily supply our own domestic oil and energy needs for thousands of years (especially if we use oil smarter and use less of it over time) and tell OPEC exactly where they can put their oil supplies.

    --<< Bruce >>--
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