Sunday, April 27, 2008

UC Davis High Speed Rail Forum, 4/30

NOTE: We've moved! Visit us at the California High Speed Rail Blog.

Wednesday night the California Student Sustainability Coalition and our own Ryan Loney will be hosting a forum on the high speed rail project at UC Davis. Full information can be found the Facebook event page but for those of you not into the whole social networking thing, here are the details:

7-9pm
1001 Giedt Hall

UC Davis map

A representative from the California High Speed Rail Authority will be there, as well as some professors from the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy. It is open to the public. The goal is to hold similar forums at campuses around the state in the coming weeks and months, and we'll announce those here as the plans are finalized.

9 comments:

davisgrad said...

I'd go, but I have a midterm the next day.....

Robert Cruickshank said...

Ehhh. You'll be fine. Show up anyway. Two hours of studying is not going to make or break your exam grade. I say that as a college instructor.

Anonymous said...

All students should be sure to go. The CHSRA or one of its sponsors might offer you one of the full time summer jobs going up and down the state promoting this boondoogle.

One of the lies being promoted is that HSR has a perfect safety record. They killed over 100 passengers a few years ago in Germany and just today in China killed many more.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080428/ap_on_re_as/china_train_crash

get the full story

Anonymous said...

So will this be a general introduction to HSR or something with a particular focus - e.g. where the electricity is going to come from? Note that Professor Ruihong Zhang at UC Davis is very active in biogas process engineering, which could supplement solar and wind power to deliver the required reliability.

Also, while HSR will sharply reduce demand for flights within California, it is also supposed to help divert future population growth into a string of increasingly transit-oriented medium-sized cities in the Central Valley between Merced and Stockton. That isn't going to happen unless and until those counties get a long-haul airport that is fully integrated with HSR.

Castle Airport is the obvious choice to relieve congestion at both Fresno and Bay Area airports and, to provide nighttime cargo flights. The tarmac is already there, fulfilling HSR's premise of avoiding the construction of expensive new runways - something that is planned for SMF.

To implement this idea, the HSR route would need to depart from the UPRR alignment between south of Livingston and north of Merced, bypassing Atwater to the east. An aerial structure would be required to cross the BNSF line twice and maintain grade separation with automotive traffic to the new terminal building. The station would be on the upper floor. Any given HSR train between Sacramento and LA or SF would stop either in downtown Merced or at Castle Airport - but not both.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous -

CHSRA never claimed that all HSR systems had operated without fatalities, just those in Japan and France. Marketing is the art of being economical with the truth without actually lying.

Robert Cruickshank said...

Nobody has ever claimed HSR has a "perfect" safety record - but its record is extremely good, and the Japanese, French, and Spanish systems - which ours would be most closely modeled on - have never had major accidents.

Further, the Chinese train accident yesterday did NOT involve a high-speed rail system.

Of course, it's kind of funny arguing about whether HSR systems have had one serious crash or two; whereas driving an automobile is one of the most dangerous forms of transportation by quite some distance. Yet somehow I doubt anonymous is suggesting we stop driving because of it...

As to the content of the UC Davis talk, I'm not certain of the agenda. I believe it's intended to be a more general introduction. The CHSRA study on sustainable energy sources is not due until June, so any thoughts at this point on where the electricity would come from would be speculative.

Tony D. said...

Robert,
When I first started reading this blog I read something about a visual presentation being up soon at the main HSR web site; one that would show how developments would look around future train stations. When could we expect this to happen? Being a long time resident of San Jose and now Gilroy, it would be interesting to see/visualize how the area around HP Pavilion/Diridon Station will be developed when HSR is fully implemented. Hopefull Downtown San Jose will get something in the likes of St. Pancras/Kings Cross Eurostar station in London...awesome transportation synergy! anon 8:32, remote airports served by HSR; I like it!

davisgrad said...

Unfortunately, highways are a much bigger killer, anonymous.

In 2006, 4,195 people died and 277,373 people were injured in California traffic collisions.

http://www.ots.ca.gov/OTS_and_Traffic_Safety/Program_Summary.asp

Robert Cruickshank said...

Ask and ye shall receive, tony.

I'd be interested to see what the plans are for the Gilroy station. I'm hoping they'll use the current Caltrain station at 8th and Monterey. There is some available land around that area that could be turned into some excellent TOD - although there's a great carniceria across the street from the station that I'd love to see remain in business.

And great job on those stats, davisgrad. If we apply the logic of the HSR deniers to roads, then we should not have any freeways at all, given the massive subsidies they require and the huge death toll.