CA HSR Really is Under Construction

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leemell

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In this article, Dan Richard, board chairman of the Project admits that it really is under construction even though the start of construction has not been announced. Massive test pilings are being build on the Fresno River, 400+ properties are in acquisition, geologic and utility surveys are being made, etc.
 
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Bob Dylan

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If they keep it low key maybe the Nimbys and their ambulance chasing lawyers won't be able to file frivolous lawsuits and run up costs while delaying the project!
 

leemell

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Fallows is a widely respected journalist who has a specialty in the hard side --- defense, engineering, infrastructure. He has been an editor of national journals as well and he is a California native.
 
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grover5995

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One of the main hangups concerning this HSR project has been the overall cost and the possiblity of running out of money to finish. The revised plan calls for using shared track to reach downtown LA or SF which also greatly benefits commuter service.

Considerable savings could also be realized if the proposed Sacramento leg was replaced by double-tracking and electrifying the Capital Corridor from San Jose to Oakland to Sacramento. There would still be thru service from Sacramento to Southern CA at considerably lower cost.

The route proposal for LA to San Diego via Riverside could be replaced with a project to double-track and electrify the existing LOSSAN Corridor from LA-Fullerton-San Diego. This would also allow for operation of electric-powered equipment on Metrolink and Sounder service using the same route.

If primary emphasis is placed on SFO-LAX, this project could proceed more quickly. The route from Bakerfield-Southern CA is likely to be the most difficult and expensive link, but is crucial to the entire project. Has there been a serious look at highway right-of-way on state route 99 and Interstate 5 south of Bakersfield? This would allow faster schedules and involve less congestion on the Metrolink Antelope Valley line.
 

Green Maned Lion

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Oh no! California wants to spend money on a better system when they could cheap out and get a shitty one instead! That's unAmerican, unChrsitian, unRepublican and unDemocrat.

Pfui.
 

leemell

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I agree with GML. As far a the Tehatchapi pass it concerned, the cost would be more --- the nearly 5000' elevation is one problem and it has been researched by the planners extensively twice. That route would also cut out the Antelope Valley a large and rapidly growing population and preclude a Las Vegas connection should HSR be funded for that. As far as fully funding the CAHSR in advance, it would be the first and only infrastructure project of this scope to be fully funded at the outset. Too much time and too many varibles to do that even if you could. And for an argument not mentioned but goes along with this, there are a number of lawsuits attempting at their core to stop construction. Not a large infrastructure project has not had this to deal with this. Just for an example, the Golden Gate Bridge before it was completed, had over 2,500 lawsuit filed against it.
 

George Harris

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the Golden Gate Bridge before it was completed, had over 2,500 lawsuits against it.
And don't forget that this was in the 1930's before the country was overwhelmed with lawyers and multiple regulations that had their primary purpose stopping anything being built anywhere.
The I-5 route has been studied multiple times with essentially the same conclusions: Significant political oppositions from groups that are well connected enough to make the line DOA. Fault lines across the route located such that the logical alignment would cross them in tunnel, which is something YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO. There is significant population in the Antelope valley that wants service.

When it comes to the supposedly shorter and better line along I-5, it has been studied to death. Quit beating a dead horse.

By the way, there was a study done years ago concerning electrification of Los Angeles to San Diego. There were loud screams from those along the way about how ugly the overhead wires would be, among other things. Regardless of what is done or not done on the true HSR route to San Diego, the current route should be double tracked, some of the slow areas straightened, a good medium speed south entrance built to LAUS, and with all the above 15 plus minutes could be cut off the existing times even with continued diesel operation.
 

leemell

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the Golden Gate Bridge before it was completed, had over 2,500 lawsuits against it.
By the way, there was a study done years ago concerning electrification of Los Angeles to San Diego. There were loud screams from those along the way about how ugly the overhead wires would be, among other things. Regardless of what is done or not done on the true HSR route to San Diego, the current route should be double tracked, some of the slow areas straightened, a good medium speed south entrance built to LAUS, and with all the above 15 plus minutes could be cut off the existing times even with continued diesel operation.
A lot of that is already under way or in the pipe.
 

CHamilton

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New House majority leader promises to block Calif. railway funding

Newly installed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) promised on Monday that he would "do all that I can to ensure not one dollar of federal funding goes to boondoggles like [California's] high-speed rail."
This is remarkable, since Rep. McCarthy was elected from California's 23rd District, an area that will see many jobs and benefits from the CAHSR project.

California's 23rd congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of California. The current district is centered in areas of the southern San Joaquin Valley and southern Sierra Nevada, the Tehachapi Mountains, and the northwestern Mojave Desert. It includes the cities of Mojave and Ridgecrest, as well as most of Bakersfield.
Is Rep. McCarthy so attuned to national politics that he is working against the best interests of his own district? Maybe he should look at what happened to Eric Cantor (or Tom Foley). All politics is still local.
 

Tokkyu40

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Number 7 in the Fallows series.
Very cool.

I was honored to see that he included my letter on the advantages of the Highway 99 corridor, although my mom will be surprised to know that my name is now "a reader in Southern California."

This is a very interesting series.
 

leemell

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From this article in the Fresno Bee"

"The State Public Works Board on Wednesday approved the selection of nearly 160 parcels in Fresno and Kings counties for eventual acquisition for California's controversial high-speed train project.

Meeting in Sacramento at the state Capitol, the panel comprised of the heads of the state's Finance, General Services and Transportation departments, also adopted resolutions declaring a public necessity to condemn four pieces of property in Fresno and Madera counties for the rail line."

With the acquisition of these properties, the project will have a clear shot through Fresno.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/08/13/4068668/state-board-approves-high-speed.html#storylink=cpy
 
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Blackwolf

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This project has corruption all over it.
Oy, and there is likely corruption in the operation of your local gas station too. Yes, any major project will have selfish interests involved, especially the largest transportarion infrastructure development in North America this century. The rebuttals are very well written IMHO and really silence the majority of the common complaints about the project with solid research-backed responses.

Even with the organization pitfalls, this can (and quite possibly will) not be just a Big Dig West but actually become one if the pinnacle examples of modern accomplishment done right.
 
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