California high speed rail

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leemell

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Nothing too surprising here. I've been involved in a number of big projects and this kind to thing has happened to every one of them. Budget, time, risks, design all collide and trade-offs are made.
 

leemell

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Here is a nice explanation and rebuttal to an LA Times article on this from the CAHSRBLOG:

The argument Vartabedian, Ibbs, and other critics are making is that shorter stations make it harder to operate a “double” train set, as systems like Japan’s Shinkansen often do. But you could just as easily operate two single-sets with shorter headways. That would maintain your capacity.

Here’s an example. Sometimes the Shinkansen operates a single trainset:



And sometimes it operates a double set:



(Both gifs come from this video.)

Many European systems commonly operate single sets, such as Eurostar, the TGV, the AVE, and so on. So the CHSRA isn’t doing anything significant here in terms of capacity. But the savings is significant and welcome.

The same is true of tunneling. Lowering the tunnel speed from 220 to 200 mph provides a big cost savings on the cost of tunneling, but at a minor time penalty – that will likely be made up by other time savings elsewhere, including going almost directly from Palmdale to Burbank under the mountains rather than going via Santa Clarita.

So the CHSRA’s decision is sensible, as is often the case. But HSR critics will find something to criticize no matter what they do.
 

Carolina Special

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Yesterday's election results likely mean no more federal funding for the California HSR, based on the Republican platform. If it is to proceed, it will need to do so using state funding only.
 

MikefromCrete

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Funny, I just read an article that said California High Speed Rail might benefit from Trump's plan to improve infrastructure. The platform means nothing. Trump is certainly not a party faithful Republican.
 

leemell

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I agree, during the campaign Trump specifically mentioned High Speed Rail as a thing to do. There may be some hope.
 

Bob Dylan

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DOA!

Conservatives Hate California and the Rich Nimbys around the Bay Area don't want it either!
 
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Green Maned Lion

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I believe that we have no idea what Trump plans to do, so don't do a victory dance, or commit sepuku, over the victory. Wait until he starts doing stuff to deduce how good a president he will be.
 

MattW

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Here is a nice explanation and rebuttal to an LA Times article on this from the CAHSRBLOG:

The argument Vartabedian, Ibbs, and other critics are making is that shorter stations make it harder to operate a “double” train set, as systems like Japan’s Shinkansen often do. But you could just as easily operate two single-sets with shorter headways. That would maintain your capacity.

Here’s an example. Sometimes the Shinkansen operates a single trainset:



And sometimes it operates a double set:



(Both gifs come from this video.)

Many European systems commonly operate single sets, such as Eurostar, the TGV, the AVE, and so on. So the CHSRA isn’t doing anything significant here in terms of capacity. But the savings is significant and welcome.

The same is true of tunneling. Lowering the tunnel speed from 220 to 200 mph provides a big cost savings on the cost of tunneling, but at a minor time penalty – that will likely be made up by other time savings elsewhere, including going almost directly from Palmdale to Burbank under the mountains rather than going via Santa Clarita.

So the CHSRA’s decision is sensible, as is often the case. But HSR critics will find something to criticize no matter what they do.
I would hope that even if platform length is limited to one trainset now, that provisions are kept to allow doubled trainsets later. I wouldn't imagine much would be required, just making sure there's enough space off each end of the platform kept clear to allow future extension.
 

west point

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As well as leaving space for future platform extension provision must be made for utility connections. Duct work for each kind of utility is capped at the end of each platform. For drains they must be low enough for future extensions.
 

cirdan

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I would hope that even if platform length is limited to one trainset now, that provisions are kept to allow doubled trainsets later. I wouldn't imagine much would be required, just making sure there's enough space off each end of the platform kept clear to allow future extension.
Actually, platforms themselves are not that expensive to build. In Spain I was once at a station where the platforms were much longer than actually required, but the extra section was fenced off and there were no lights or seats. I've also seen something similar on the metro in Brussels.

Building something like a platform edge alongside an operational and heavily used main line track causes all sorts of extra costs due to the provisions for safe working that may require work to stop as trains pass or trains to be suspended as work proceeds. It may actualkly work out cheaper in the long run to just build for the maximum length, fence it off and forget all about it until such a time as you may need it..
 

Anthony V

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After the HSR from LA to SF is built, and the San Joaquins are moved to it, the latter trains could be extended to LA, as they would now have an alternative to the congested Tehachapi Pass.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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After the HSR from LA to SF is built, and the San Joaquins are moved to it, the latter trains could be extended to LA, as they would now have an alternative to the congested Tehachapi Pass.
The San Joaquin will be too slow for a dedicated high-speed rail line. It will utilize it on the segment as far south as Bakersfield for a period of time but once the line is completed from San Francisco to Los Angeles the San Joaquin will likely no longer use the line. In fact, it will actually likely be shortened to another stop, potentially Madera, where passengers could transfer to a high-speed train to reach Bakersfield and Los Angeles.
 

Paulus

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After the HSR from LA to SF is built, and the San Joaquins are moved to it, the latter trains could be extended to LA, as they would now have an alternative to the congested Tehachapi Pass.
In addition to the above post, the San Joaquins diesel locomotives will in no way be suitable for the extensive tunneling involved in the Bakersfield to LA section.
 

VentureForth

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I know it's not HSR, but Dallas' DART Light Rail ridership was woefully underestimated and they are stuck with a max of three car units. I hate to see this sort of limitation in new designs.

FWIW, Leemill, the two gifs you show don't really tell the whole story. The unit in the top GIF is the Tokaido line, and it runs three different levels of express trains at nearly 20 minute headways with upwards around 1,000 people per train. EVERY Tokaido Shinkansen is 16 cars. It's always a single train. They do have the capacity to use double deckers on this train, but they've actually taken them off since the 100-series. The 2nd gif is the combination of two trains that go together for a while then go their separate ways. I can't remember which two, but they head out West towards Nagano or North. I think they are two 8-car trains.

Regardless, they shouldn't limit themselves to short stations. Plan for expansion.
 
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jis

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A consortium led by German Rail (DB) has emerged as the frontrunner in a tender to select an “early train operator” for the California high-speed rail network.
DB Engineering & Consulting USA, a consortium of DB International US, DB, Alternate Concepts, and HDR will be recommended to the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) board of directors for contract award on at their next meeting on October 19.
http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/north-america/db-recommended-for-caifornia-high-speed-early-operator-contract.html?channel=523
 

cirdan

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After the HSR from LA to SF is built, and the San Joaquins are moved to it, the latter trains could be extended to LA, as they would now have an alternative to the congested Tehachapi Pass.
In addition to the above post, the San Joaquins diesel locomotives will in no way be suitable for the extensive tunneling involved in the Bakersfield to LA section.
Surely this is the smallest of problems. If the present diesel locomotives are still active when the tunnel is completed they can easily be tranferred to another service.
 

Green Maned Lion

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I doubt there will be any Chargers in service when such a tunnel is built; heck I doubt Ill be in service.
 

Anderson

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The problem is that the LA area probably needs an insane amount of investment into its transit systems. What they have is nice, and the medium-term plans for more cross-connecting lines and the like are useful, but the area is so spread out that getting reasonable-frequency two-seat or three-seat rides between various locations is a very real problem (while having more than two transfers in a trip is going to weigh against using transit). The Bay Area is a bit better off (if only because development is awkwardly jammed into various corridors) but in the long run there's going to need to be much more expansion of the feeder networks in the LA area to really make CAHSR useful.
 

cirdan

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The problem is that the LA area probably needs an insane amount of investment into its transit systems. What they have is nice, and the medium-term plans for more cross-connecting lines and the like are useful, but the area is so spread out that getting reasonable-frequency two-seat or three-seat rides between various locations is a very real problem (while having more than two transfers in a trip is going to weigh against using transit). The Bay Area is a bit better off (if only because development is awkwardly jammed into various corridors) but in the long run there's going to need to be much more expansion of the feeder networks in the LA area to really make CAHSR useful.
I think the thinking is that if you put in fast and frequent high capacity corridors, that those corridors will atract development and high denisty residential and commercial developments will estbalish themsleves around the stations. Thus in addition to serving structures that are already there (which is very difficult iof they are spread out) you are also catalyzing future development which will be more transit frienldy.

You can observe in places as diverse as New Orleans or Houston how a lot of stuff is being built or refurbished near light rail stops but a couple of block further away all is much more static. If you project a continuation of this develoment into the future, the percentage of people served by light rail will grow organically, even if you don't add further lines. But the adding of lines becomes necessary as the existing corridors run out of usable plots.
 
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