Brightline takes over XPress West!

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jis

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What does tph stand for?
Actually what I said in that statement is absurd. What I meant to say is 20 trains per day each way, which really amount to maybe 1.3tph on an average each way, but is really likely to be more like 1tph each way, and about 16 trains per day each way.

I have corrected it in the original.
 

nullptr

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More optimistic statements about the project from Brightline. I don't know how seriously to take them but it at least means they'll probably start trying to get support for a bond sale again.

 

jis

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Most airlines borrow a lot of money without necessarily having proven revenues. All that they have are projections. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don't. Nothing different in case of Brightline West, or East for that matter.
 

George Harris

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Most airlines borrow a lot of money without necessarily having proven revenues. All that they have are projections. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don't. Nothing different in case of Brightline West, or East for that matter.
Major difference, other than maintenance facilities which may even be leased, airlines have virtually no fixed facilities. They are operating from/to publicly funded airports and their main transportation facility is air. Their major investment is in planes which can be used by others if the venture fails.

This may have already have been said, as I have not reread the entire thread, but: Given that Florida is near flat, the major geographic issues faced by any LA to LV route are beyond any current Brightline experience. Following any current route into LA which is probably build to allow a 70 mph speed or less, and for some of the railroad routes, much less, is simply another exercise in fantasy land. Long tunnels into the LA area ? NO!! Building tunnels in seismically active areas is beyond ignorance and well into stupidity. A major consideration is selecting the CAHSR route south of Bakersfield was avoidance of tunnels under fault lines, not tunnels altogether as high speeds through this area would be impossible without tunnels. Unless and until this section of the CAHSR has been built and can be used by a LV rail line to access LA, I would stay far far away from any investment in this thing.
 

jis

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Building tunnels in seismically active areas is beyond ignorance and well into stupidity.
So are the Japanese ignorant or stupid or both? They appear to have impeccable record of running trains through many tunnels through severe earthquake zone and have operated them through many serious earthquakes.
 
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jis

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Do startup airlines raise $8-$12B in bonds? I don't know - just asking.
May or may not be bonds, but they do get billions of dollars of funding from somewhere. And in addition the infrastructure builders of the infrastructure that must be in place for said airlines to operate very often do get funding from binds. It turns out that an outfit like Brightline has to play both roles - that of building the infrastructure and of getting rolling stock and operating the thing eventually, hopefully.
 

VentureForth

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I would venture to say that George has plenty of experience in working with the Japanese HSR to understand the difference between the relative movement between tectonic plates in Japan vs the San Andreas fault. Obviously, rail has been built across the most active faults in California, but none have ever been HSR.

I believe most of Japan lies on one of two major plates. If I understand it anywhere close to right, its a compression fault as opposed to the SA fault which is a shear fault.
 

neroden

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Brightline West's initial plans are to run over Cajon to the Inland Empire. Their second-tier plans are to transfer passengers to the existing (surface) line from Palmdale to LA. If CAHSR ever makes it across Tehachapi, they will also take passengers from the north at Palmdale.

Fast access to downtown LA remains a problem; one best addressed by removing lanes from I-10 to double-track the San Bernadino Line, but apparently the asphalt-worshippers and their religion continue to have such an iron grip on California that this is not currently being considered.
 

Chris I

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I would venture to say that George has plenty of experience in working with the Japanese HSR to understand the difference between the relative movement between tectonic plates in Japan vs the San Andreas fault. Obviously, rail has been built across the most active faults in California, but none have ever been HSR.

I believe most of Japan lies on one of two major plates. If I understand it anywhere close to right, its a compression fault as opposed to the SA fault which is a shear fault.
This is all moot. The safety mitigation regardless of fault line type is the same: earthquake sensors that automatically stop trains when the ground starts shaking. P-waves can be detected and will provide a few critical seconds to stop trains:

 

VentureForth

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I'm really not concerned about the safety requirements for stopping the train in an emergency (I trust they are adequate) - rather, I'm interested in the physical rail creep across fault lines.
 

neroden

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I'm really not concerned about the safety requirements for stopping the train in an emergency (I trust they are adequate) - rather, I'm interested in the physical rail creep across fault lines.
For shear faults crossed underground the plans seem to typically include an oversized cavern; this is so when the land slips side-to-side the tunnel can still connect on both ends (albeit probably with lower speed track than originally due to the added "S" curve).
 

George Harris

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Maybe I did not make myself clear: I was talking about tunnels across faults. Obviously many parts of the world are in earthquake zones and build all types of transportation facilities in earthquake zones and across fault lines. But you absolutely do not want to cross a fault line in a tunnel. BART's Transbay Tube has an earthquake movement joint at each end, and one at least has performed as designed. This movement joint is located at the transition between bored tunnel and sunken tube. The tunnel maintained its integrity, but there was movement. There was a need to redo some of the track in the immediate vicinity of that joint, but that this would be needed in case of earthquake was understood from the get-go. I have seen it.

Japan has obviously had numerous quakes that damaged transportation facilities. The Shinkansen trainsets have fixtures to reduce tilting and lateral movement of derailed trains. The concrete based track form in use on most of the newer lines also helps trains stay generally in line with the track and not overturn. Being single level and fairly wide also helps prevent overturning. There have been two derailments of Shinkansen trainsets in earthquakes. One in Japan was a complete trainset moving at a fairly high rate of speed, I don't know the speed precisely, but all people on the train literally walked off. Somewhat shaken, and probably some scrapes and bruises, but none the less all were ambulatory. The last car of a trainset bounced off the track during a quake in Taiwan, with the train going near the 300 kph limit, but again, stayed upright and after an exciting quick stop with no reported injuries. In one case where the Taiwan HSR crossed an active fault, an extra wide fill was used instead of a structure. There are other numerous features in the design and construction of the trains and fixed facilities to mitigate the effects of a quake. It is not possible to completely prevent damage or derailments but what is reasonably doable to reduce damage and danger is done.

In the major 1999 earthquake in Taiwan there was an approximate 2 meter vertical movement at the fault line. This vertical movement went for several kilometers. It was east side up primarily as there was an increase in elevation of the major mountains on the island. We lived there at the time, and got a good shaking even though some 150 km from the epicenter. Around 2400 people were killed and there was billions of dollars in damage. If it had not been in the middle of the night the death toll would have been much higher. I spent a week involved in preliminary inspection of damaged structures. Many buildings "pancaked", particularly lower floors of 3 to 4 story buildings. Some were simply tilted. There was at least one fully pancaked school building.

The Taiwan HSR does not cross this particular fault. That you can have large vertical and horizontal movements at faults is why you do not tunnel across faults. If surface or elevated, the damage can ultimately be "buffed out" even though it may leave you with alignment jogs that result in permanent speed restrictions.
Earthquake sensors are close to being a political "hey look, we are doing something" than of being of real benefit. The warning time is normally in seconds, particularly if close to the point of origin. In other words, less than the time it would take for a train to stop or for you to get outside the building you are in. This is not a hurricane warning where you get hours or days, or even a tsunami warning which may be down to several minutes or more.

Neoroden is correct about using an oversize bore in case you do cross a fault, but again, the best is not to cross it underground at all. The question becomes, how oversize, how long a taper, how much collapse of surrounding ground into the tunnel, etc. It is one thing to go bouncing off the rails if on ground or on structure. It is quite another to hit a mound of rubble and/or offset tunnel wall, ceiling, or floor underground.
 

cirdan

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Most airlines borrow a lot of money without necessarily having proven revenues. All that they have are projections. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don't. Nothing different in case of Brightline West, or East for that matter.

But the market knows that airlines do sometimes make a profit . And given a good business case they may indeed make a profit .

Nobody has run a profitable inter city train service in decades , let alone made huge profits doing so . It’s a much more difficult concept to sell .
 

cirdan

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I'm really not concerned about the safety requirements for stopping the train in an emergency (I trust they are adequate) - rather, I'm interested in the physical rail creep across fault lines.
I assume that the structure and rails get inspected after an earthquake, even if there is no obvious damage . And that repairs are made as appropriate . In Japan structures are designed to be easy to repair . So maybe rather than casting everything in one piece a tunnel may be made of interlocking segments
 

George Harris

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I assume that the structure and rails get inspected after an earthquake, even if there is no obvious damage . And that repairs are made as appropriate . In Japan structures are designed to be easy to repair . So maybe rather than casting everything in one piece a tunnel may be made of interlocking segments.
Yes, structures and track get thorough inspection after any earthquake when there is the slightest possibility of there being an issue. I am certain the Japanese have a thorough detailed program for this sort of thing. Again, dealing with fault movement when you are on earthworks or structure is completely different from when you are underground. Mitigation, or more anticipation of movement by having a larger cross section in the vicinity that allows for adjustment of the alignment without digging a new tunnel, at least if your guess is not exceeded, but whether the lining is in segments or not is near insignificant. It will be destroyed in the vicinity of the fault. This is not the same as movement of the BART sunken tube across the bay, which by the way best I recall does not cross a fault line, but did move some in a quake. Going off the rail or even off the structure or trackbed in total if you are outside is far less a disaster than doing so in a tunnel.
 
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Amtrak doesn't stop in Las Vegas, even though the tracks are in place. Amtrak's Desert Wind route ran from 1978 to 1997 between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City with several stops, including a station at 100 S. Main St., behind the Plaza downtown. Now their is a Route called Brightline Vegas.




This is their offers page!




Anyone have more info or want to talk about Amtrak.


or trains in General, let me know.

-Petur
 

VentureForth

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Amtrak doesn't stop in Las Vegas, even though the tracks are in place. Amtrak's Desert Wind route ran from 1978 to 1997 between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City with several stops, including a station at 100 S. Main St., behind the Plaza downtown. Now their is a Route called Brightline Vegas.
Hi Peter. Welcome to Amtrak Unlimited. Please feel free to take a look at all the posts on this thread. You will find that there is a lot of great information here that we've been talking about for the last three years. Most folks here are very much in tune with what is happening on Brightline and Brightline West, as well as Amtrak's sad history in allowing the Desert Wind to be discontinued.

You are in good company. We all can't wait to see what the future has in store for privately funded rail services as well as Amtrak's future.
 
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