CA HSR Really is Under Construction

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beautifulplanet

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Thank you for posting this.

Dragados/Flatiron/Shimmick selected to build 65 mile segment from Fresno to north of Bakersfield. Bid amounted to $1,234,567,890, fully $500 million below the next lowest bid and below the $1.5-2 billion anticipated expense.
James Fallows seems to have a possibility to get a reply from Dan Richard, chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, within a very short amount of time - this time, about the Dragados bid and how it can be so low:

That Winning Bid for California's High-Speed Rail: Is It Suspiciously Low?

December 13, 2014

By James Fallows

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/12/that-winning-bid-for-californias-high-speed-rail-is-it-too-low/383737/
 
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Devil's Advocate

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Enterprise estimating software will happily process your costs and expenses down to fractions of pennies. That being said it's exceedingly rare to see a large commercial bid submitted as a string of sequential numbers that contain significant digits all the way down to tens of dollars. If that's the actual bid as submitted then I think we can safely assume it is no mere coincidence. That figure may have been a placeholder or a mistake but it would be unbelievably unlikely to end up with such a result organically.

Why do I get a feeling that they were landing in that general range and someone in accounting decided to have some fun?
Large commercial bids are not a appropriate target for casual number games. If there is future legal or financial dispute then submitting a bid which risks looking careless or haphazard might come back to haunt you.
 
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CHamilton

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Surface Transportation Board Says It Preempts CEQA


Late last Friday the federal Surface Transportation Board voted 2-1 that its approval of the high speed rail project between Fresno and Bakersfield “categorically preempts” lawsuits filed against the project based on the California Environmental Quality Act:

Applying the well-established preemption principles here, the Board concludes that CEQA is categorically preempted by § 10501(b) in connection with the Line. As the Board has previously found, CEQA is a state preclearance requirement that, by its very nature, could be used to deny or significantly delay an entity’s right to construct a line that the Board has specifically authorized, thus impinging upon the Board’s exclusive jurisdiction over rail transportation.

...The STB’s ruling is that third parties cannot sue using CEQA to block HSR, because that would represent a use of state law to trump federal authority. The Fresno Bee’s Tim Sheehan reports that at least seven lawsuits against HSR are likely to be affected by this, including suits brought by Kings County, Kern County, Shafter, Bakersfield, and others. All those lawsuits that rely on CEQA are, presumably, going to be thrown out of court.
 

leemell

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The Fresno Bee estimates that it will result in at least 7 lawsuits being thrown out of court. Notable the ones brought by Kings Count, Shaftter, and Bakersfield.
 
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beautifulplanet

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Shawn Ryu

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Who has California chosen for its rolling stock?

www.jchighspeedrail.com
God I hope they don't pick shinkansen style trainsets. The tiny windows make them feel like an airplane on the inside. I'm hoping for siemens velaro trains, nice big windows, bright open interiors, plus being able to see through the front windshield in the lead cars.
They would bring some unconventional design to America though, and god knows when it comes to trains America needs different.
 

Blackwolf

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I have to suspect that one of the things CAHSRA would want in the final design is large windows. Historically speaking, larger windows for public transit projects within California have been a specified contract item. I imagine the high speed rail project will be no different. If a Shinkansen trainset is selected, big windows will probably be ordered as a must have item. Just my suspicion on the matter.
 

Tokkyu40

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Window design is important. The last time I flew on one of the newer Boeings I had a great view of the wall above the window.
 
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