Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Frivolous Lawsuits, Part 2

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

As was expected, Atherton resident Russell Peterson filed his lawsuit against Caltrain and the CHSRA today in San Mateo County Superior Court. The link includes a picture of the happy family filing the suit, taken by proud papa Morris Brown.

There is a good debate going on in the comments to recent post about whether Peterson has standing to file a lawsuit based on a contract between the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board and the Union Pacific Railroad. Although I am not a lawyer, it seems that Peterson has an uphill battle ahead of him.

The conspicuous absence here is, of course, UP itself. It would be a sign of a major decline in power and in fortunes if one of the nation's largest railroads was reduced to letting some NIMBY sue on their behalf. UP would have no trouble going into court if they felt it necessary to protect their interests.

Instead, as Quentin Kopp claims, UP prefers to work with the passenger rail agencies:

Judge Quentin Kopp, a member of the rail authority's board, bristled at that suggestion.

"Mike Brady apparently worries about Union Pacific, which itself manifestly refuses to join in his frivolous suit," Judge Kopp said. "To the contrary, Union Pacific representatives have in the last 30 days met with an authority member and the governor, as well as authority staff, on the subject of right of way use."

In response to a request for an interview, Caltrain said in a statement that "nothing has been done that would violate" Union Pacific's rights.

Now, Kopp's quote is vague, and he doesn't indicate what the content or the outcome of those meetings have been. But it is telling that UP doesn't see a need to go to court. Peterson is making one hell of a longshot bid here, a desperate attempt to try and stop the HSR project dead in its tracks.

The Almanac article doesn't report Clem's insight that the Caltrain/UP agreement language seems to indicate Caltrain, not UP, holds the cards here. But that seems par for the course for the Almanac, which has never really indicated to its readers that there is significant support for HSR in the area, or that the NIMBY claims rest on very weak ground.

The Almanac does speculate about how a tunnel might actually work to UP's advantage:

On the issue that looms largest in the minds of locals — whether the rail system would run underground, or on a berm — Peninsula residents and Union Pacific might find some common ground, Mr. Brady said.

For instance, running Caltrain and high-speed rail tracks through an underground tunnel, with Union Pacific freight running above ground, could be a win-win for both locals and the railroad giant, he said. Union Pacific wouldn't have to share the above-ground tracks, enabling it to run freight trains during the day. And Peninsula cities wouldn't have to confront a 15-foot-high berm bisecting their communities.

Perhaps Union Pacific would make the tunnel option, thought in many quarters to be prohibitively expensive, a condition for its consent to the high-speed rail system.

I would be very skeptical of this. If a tunnel is built, then there will be enormous pressure put on UP by the local governments to stop the freight hauling. The at-grade tracks will become seen as an anachronistic eyesore and the cities will salivate over the possibility of developing that land, given its prime location on the Peninsula. Tunnel proposals in several cities, such as Palo Alto, rely on selling the air rights over a tunnel to developers in order to help pay for the tunnel.

Surely Union Pacific knows this, and that is one reason why they have preferred to confer with the CHSRA and Caltrain on an above-grade solution that would preserve freight trains for quite some time along the Peninsula corridor. Peterson and his pals can try and use UP for their own purposes, but it seems clear to me that this frivolous lawsuit is going to fall on its face even more quickly than the Menlo Park/Atherton/PCL/Tolmach suit over Pacheco.

105 comments:

looking on said...

Robert:

While Peninsula Cities would indeed want the tracks to disappear, but not for the reason you state.

Rather, they would like to replace the tracks with parks or just green space. The exception to this would be Redwood City, which would and has been trying to build as much and as dense as possible. Traffic problems, school crowding and other impacts in Atherton, Menlo Park and Palo Alto, outweigh any desire to just develop the air rights. You just trade one problem for others that are perhaps much worse.

For a guy living in one of the nicer settings in California, or the world for that matter, I would think you might understand at least a bit of this.

Fred Martin said...

Tunneling on the Peninsula is a bad idea, which would completely shatter CHSRA's shaky finances. The Peninsula cities, however, are highly unlikely to build on top of any tunnel. They would leave the strip as green space with maybe a bike path. Just look at the top of the BART-to-Millbrae tunnel. Even with the Big Dig in Boston, they left prime urban real estate above the highway tunnel as a park.

Nicolas said...

@ looking on

Green space = no air rights = no money = no tunnel

K.T. said...

Fred Martin,

Depending on the ground condition of the location and the structural design, tunnels could get vulnerable to earthquake. Area above the tunnel may not be the best place to add excessive load to the ground.

FYI, this is what happened at the Kobe Earthquake (see image below). There is a subway station that collapsed underneath where the image is taken.

http://www.lib.kobe-u.ac.jp/directory/eqb/photo/oogimoto/jpeg/0001/00010027.jpg

http://www.lib.kobe-u.ac.jp/directory/eqb/photo/oogimoto/jpeg/0001/00010025.jpg

NONIMBYS said...

Morris Browns "boyfriend" how much did you pay him Morris? AND your cohort whinning his "The Nazis are attacking us"Engle crying that CAHSR is killing our "town" can you be any more pathetic old sissiy pants babies.?? NO dont think so..

Alon Levy said...

NONIMBYS, cut down on the homophobia. If you want to hate gays, move to Provo and leave California alone.

NONIMBYS said...

I live in SF..DUHHHH and Morris is a queen..get it???

lyqwyd said...

The lawsuit is going to fail.

But say by some miracle that it doesn't get thrown out immediately, and then by some other miracle it somehow manages to win. What does it matter. Construction is not scheduled to start for quite a while, probably at least a year. The lawsuit itself would probably take over a year, as CHSRA has no reason to want to get it resolved early if it doesn't get thrown out immediately. Negotiations with UP would be accelerated and probably resolved well before any construction would need to be started.

So worst case, and the lawsuit somehow wins, there's really no harm to the project, perhaps a little money wasted on defending against the suit, but still peanuts in the grand scheme. It might even have the advantage of accelerating the UP negotiations.

As far as the tunnel in the peninsula goes, it's just not going to happen. If CHSRA caved they would have to build tunnels everywhere. The only way a tunnel would happen is if the communities paid for it themselves, and that's not going to happen either, it would be way too expensive.

Here's my final prediction:

Lawsuit will be thrown out
HSR will be built
No tunnel

flowmotion said...

(NONIMBYS appears to be a troll tactic that takes an exaggerated version of the positive argument in order to make the proponents look immature/unreasonable.)

Aside from the lack of merits of this lawsuit, eventually the Right-Of-Way issues will be decided. Either CAHSR has the ability to build in their selected ROWs, or they will have to amend the EIR, causing a delay.

So, given concern for the schedule, I would worry less about NIMBY action and more about what's going on behind closed doors. Without a deal with UPRR, the EIS is up in the air.

jim said...

everyone seems to have their panties in a twist these days...

and over a train. wow. this country is doomed. doomed I tell you...

send the nimbys to the death panel.

matt said...

I am dissapointed. I know there are only so many things to talk about, but this lawsuit is worth two posts? Even if the fool wins, who cares? UP can just give their consent, which they will, since it is not like they are in the dark on the whole HSR thing. I would pretty surprised if a judge doesn't just throw this out before anything else happens. When it does, don't devote a whole post about it.

Anonymous said...

@Nocolas

No tunnel == no HSR on CalTrain corridor.

Either CHSRA pays for the tunnel or they don't build the project on the CalTrain corridor.

Andrew said...

They aren't stupid enough to think they have standing, they know the lawsuit will get thrown out. Their game is to poke UP with a stick and hope that it's the grizzly bear that will wipe CAHSR off the peninsula.

Alon Levy said...

I live in SF..DUHHHH and Morris is a queen..get it???

Ah, yet another reincarnation of Dan White.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:13,
Says who? You!? I'll remember to give my best one-finger salute when I take HSR AT-GRADE through the peninsula.

Rafael said...

Ladies and Gents -

let's strike a more civil tone here please.

Observer said...

The more interesting thing here is not the merit of this particular lawsuit, but the act of filing lawsuit (upon exisitng lawsuit), which is as predicted by many. If this one doesn't have merit, what about the next one? or the next one? or the next one? or the next one? or the next one? or the next one? Or... well you get the point. The opportunities to sue for an endless parade of injured parties, with motivation and a way to find attorney's (if not pay for them), is well, endless here. You'll see lawsuits for trees, for watershed, for wildlife, for schools, for tax payers, for homeowners, for business owners, for noise, for a million process issues, for earthquake safety, for low income neighborhoods... You name it, they'll sue. So is a lawsuit here of any surprise? As has been said before, I believe choice of this particular route (resulting in extreme disturbance of this particular brand of NIMBY), was a significant political miscalculation on the part of CHSRA. And here we see it begin.

CHSRA will be fighting lawsuits on this route for the next 50 years. One at a time.

Clem said...

let's strike a more civil tone here please.

You know you have a delete button, right? You ought to use it more.

Peter said...

Here's a question, does CHSRA even have to pay for defending the suits out of its own funds? Or does the state pay for it out of some other fund, given that the Attorney General's office represents them?

Rafael said...

@ Clem -

as a matter of policy, Robert and I use the delete button very sparingly, essentially to weed out mindless blogspammers etc. Otherwise, I'd rather the commentariat learn to use the Preview button, often discretion is the better part of valor.

Rafael said...

@ Observer -

you grossly overestimate the significance of lawsuits like Mr. Peterson's to anyone but the Menlo Park Almanac. They're a nuisance and will continue to be for some time but here are the facts: CHSRA selected the Caltrain corridor donkey's years ago and advertised that fact.

It also advertised that the corridor would be fully grade separated. Indeed, the information on exactly what it was proposing was available on its web site for anyone willing to take the time to do some research (or pay someone to do it for them).

In addition, it was clear that the program-level EIR/EIS process would be followed by a project-level stage during which the details of how grade separation is to be implemented would be hammered out. Therefore, the initial proposal is subject to negotiation.

And lo and behold, except for Atherton, a majority of voters in every SF peninsula city approved prop 1A(2008) last November. The silent majority understands that there are trade-offs and it was willing to make them.

Forgive me, but your feeble attempts at saber-rattling do not exactly leave any of us quaking in our boots. Sound and fury, not signifying a whole lot, actually.

jim said...

No one is paying any attention to these lawsuites except here on this blog anyway. Meanwhile, real life goes and the hsr moves ahead with its plans. I haven't heard one single mention of it on the local bay area news.

jim said...

by the way, Ive lost track of where we are on this now... cuz first they wanted a tunnel or tranch, then they wanted 101 or 280, then it was altamont/dumbarton, then it was stop the entire project, now we're back to a tunnel. They've thrown everything and the kitchen sink at this and made zero progress.

jim said...

I spoke with some frenchies last night. they said that france is working on 400mph next. (no not 400kph- but mph. Those guys firmly believe in being superior to the germans. and so far. they have proven to be at the top of their game.

these lawsuit posts are boring. can we go back to discussing curve radii .

Anonymous said...

Observer is correct. There is profound dissatisfaction on the Peninsula with the hsr scheme. The reason is simple - they have little to gain and a lot to lose. Freeways are a monstrosity - worse by far than the hsr - but there are local interchanges. They are not impressed with the promise of Caltrain upgrade because they were more or less content with the traditional SP line. Otherwise they would have opted for BART 50 years ago.

San Francisco, on the other hand, has much to gain and nothing to lose.

Overall I wonder if the hsr is close to the tipping point of failure. I see the whole project wafting on a cloud of wishful thinking and overconfidence, in a word, hubris. Maybe the mistakes are a function of government involvement. Politically I tend toward socialism but in this particular instance perhaps a little Reaganism is appropriate.

If this thing were conceived and executed by an uber-wealthy entrpreneur, such as a Richard Branson I suggest it would look quite different. One look on the map and one look on the ground and the die would have been cast: Grapevine, I-5, San Jose to LA. If not doable forget it.

Projections are being pulled out of the air, just as with the BART SFO debacle. There is no way to know for sure what the future will bring. That is why it is best to go for the simplest and most direct system. Every compromise, every lazy and premature decision, renders it more creaky and dubious.

Anonymous said...

Rafael:

You can state time and time again that all the cities along the peninsula cast majority votes, except for Atherton, and approved Prop 1A.

But times are achanging. PA council voted to approve prop 1A unanimously -- now they vote to oppose the project as currently defined.

The same can be said for other cities -- Belmont, Burlingame -- now San Mateo wants a tunnel.

Take a poll today, you wouldn't get the same results.

Orange Co. voted very negatively against Prop 1A. Why don't you talk about why the project should be allowed to proceed down there? The voters there don't want it do they?

The State is in dire financial trouble. Within in 6 months, we are gong to have another release from the State Treasurer, that the budget is again out of balance --- more cuts or more taxes.

Yet we need this toy train. I don't think so.

jim said...

@ anon.. One look on the map and one look on the ground and the die would have been cast: Grapevine, I-5, San Jose to LA.


why would you build an hsr system that left the majority of the state out of the system?

Anonymous said...

jim writes:

I spoke with some frenchies last night. they said that france is working on 400mph next ---

WOW wonderful --- this is a green project isn't it.

As discussed earlier energy consumption goes up as the cube.

Comparing 400 MPH to 100 MPH = 4 cubed = 4 x 4 x4 = 64.

So in 1 hour you go 400 miles instead of 100 miles --- 4 times as far but consume 64 times the energy. The same distance traveled you takes 16 times the energy as would be required at the slower speed.

Can the wires supply that much energy?

Anonymous said...

A private entrepreneur, bent on a successful operation, would have been immune to Palmdale corruption or intimidation, unlike political hacks.

The primary market is Bay Area to LA. The travel times have to be be shaved to optimal for the concept to work. Passengers will find their way to the terminals, just as they do to airports, to enjoy a phenomenal and revolutionary service. The periphery will clamor for service extensions in short order.

jim said...

@ anon, the french have plenty of clean electricity.

@anon - the primary market is not La to Sf.

Andrew said...

@Anon 10:36:

I think he meant they were working on it for a speed record. You can't transport passengers with any sort of comfort or safety in a conventional train at that speed.

jim said...

it would be kinda white knuckle...

Rafael said...

@ anon @ 10:02am -

and you can state time and again that public support has evaportated. So far, your evidence for that is entirely anecdotal and/or wishful thinking.

In any case, it doesn't matter as much as you think. Elections have consequences. SF peninsula towns do not have a veto on the HSR project, whatever they may think. Railroad grade separation projects are exempt from CEQA.

Rafael said...

@ jim -

I'd be a lot more impressed if the Frenchies actually starting running some trains in commercial service at 360km/h (224mph) rather than 320km/h (205mph).

What would be even more newsworthy? An EMU bi-level train design with a top speed in commercial operations well north of 300km/h (186mph).

Speed record attempts are strictly for gearheads and marketing departments, they have very little significance for real-world operations.

jim said...

@ rafael.

well yes. but I just like them. and they do things best and we should buy their trains.

jim said...

annonce de télévision de sncf hot and love their tag music

Clem said...

So in 1 hour you go 400 miles instead of 100 miles --- 4 times as far but consume 64 times the energy.

It follows that the total energy consumed to go a given distance (say, between two cities) only goes up as the square of speed, 16 times in your example, since you only take 1/4 of the time to go that given distance.

Not that a 400 mph train makes sense from an environmental standpoint. This is actually one of the strongest arguments against the faster maglev trains, which are unfortunately not immune to aerodynamic drag.

The 357 mph record achieved a couple of years ago (with about 100 people on board including California state assemblywoman Fiona Ma) was a one-off research & publicity stunt.

jim said...

for real though they are good... look at this ad... ca hsr needs to pay attention.

video

Anonymous said...

from Rafael:

Railroad grade separation projects are exempt from CEQA.

But it takes more than grade separations to build a project. the project taken as a whole on the project level is subject to CEQA.

gabe said...

"Overall I wonder if the hsr is close to the tipping point of failure."
Wrong

"I see the whole project wafting on a cloud of wishful thinking and overconfidence, in a word, hubris."
Wow. Pot, meet kettle.

"If this thing were conceived and executed by an uber-wealthy entrpreneur, such as a Richard Branson I suggest it would look quite different."
Great, but it's not gonna happen. Wealthy entrepreneurs will run the trains on the current alignment.

"One look on the map and one look on the ground and the die would have been cast: Grapevine, I-5, San Jose to LA. If not doable forget it." I-5 is not near anything. Read up on the blog. This has been debunked thoroughly.

"Projections are being pulled out of the air"
Yes, just ask Morris Brown

"There is no way to know for sure what the future will bring."
The sky is also blue. So let's not do anything.

"That is why it is best to go for the simplest and most direct system."
Yes, that is HSR

"Every compromise, ..., renders it more creaky and dubious."
Ok, we won't compromise with NIMBYs. Happy?

AndyDuncan said...

Speaking of trains, have any of the manufacturers announced trains that can run revenue service at 360kph? From what I can find it seems like only the AGV is listed as being capable of running at that speed. The Velaros are close, I'm guessing they could be improved, the Japanese don't seem to have anything on the radar since the Fastech 360 didn't work out. I realize we've got a while before trainset procurement, just curious if there's something I missed.

jim said...

the frenchies told me that even the japanese are buying their trains from france now. ... rice burners aren't fast enough anymore... lets face it. we will have tgv or agv. Ill be we get tgv. watch. you'll see. i feel it in my bones.

jim said...

what id like to know is why there aren't any brochures or posters or pamphlets on cahsr. id put a stack in the racks.

Bianca said...

@looking on:

If the cities that want a tunnel were flush with money, so that they could put the rails underground and have money to spare, then a green belt above the tunnel would indeed be a charming idea.

In the reality-based world, however, that's just not realistic. There's no such thing as a free lunch.

Observer said:

If this one doesn't have merit, what about the next one? or the next one? or the next one? or the next one? or the next one? or the next one? Or... well you get the point. The opportunities to sue for an endless parade of injured parties, with motivation and a way to find attorney's [sic](if not pay for them), is well, endless here.

It's pretty much a given that major infrastructure projects generate needless, wasteful litigation. In this case, it's from people who can't accept that the voters of the entire state approved Prop 1A despite the nature of the financial crisis in which the state finds itself.

This kind of litigation is expected, and even planned for. The effect this kind of litigation has is about the same as a fly on an elephant. One swish of the tail and that fly is gone. Sure, another fly may come along, but it will be brushed off just as easily.

If there was a legitimate case to bring before the court, it would have been brought. The fact that HSR opponents are scraping together a case this weak at this stage in the process just shows how little they have to stand on.

AndyDuncan said...

@Jim I don't see any reason we would get TGV since AGV is it's direct replacement. Bombardier is also rumored to be working on their own high speed EMU train. If they can get something scraped together they might have a shot. It's also possible that the problems the Japanese had with the Fastech were related to their infrastructure and could be solved with new tracks and catenaries. I expect that all the major manufacturers (and some others) are going to throw their hat in the ring to try to get a foothold in the US market.

AndyDuncan said...

@AndyDuncan: and by rumored I meant announced: they're calling it the Zefiro

Rafael said...

@ andyduncan -

350, 360 - not a whole lot of difference there. My point is, nobody is actually running their newest trains at their certified top speed in commercial operation yet. Afaik, at this point it's more a matter of economics than of technology. SNCF is talking about introducing a "premium TGV" service as soon as someone else takes the plunge. NTV in Italy may be the first.

The FasTech 360 did meet the design target for top speed, on tracks originally designed for just ~280km/h no less. It's just that JR East wasn't able to simultaneously meet its secondary and far more ambitious targets of maintaining the noise emissions and emergency braking distance of the old E2, which has a top speed of 275km/h.

Commercial certification at 350-360km/h isn't easy, but a number of manufacturers have got there. The test involves reaching 110% of the certification target speed, among other criteria. What's harder is running safely, quietly and economically at 350-360km/h in commercial service, which is why I would be impressed if someone actually did it.

jim said...

@andyduncan- I thought of that after my post - since agv is the new generation, thats what we'd likely be buying. I'm pretty sure we will go with alstom in any case.

has there been any info on whether we will use ballast or concrete?

Rafael said...

@ AndyDuncan -

Zefiro is an HSR technology toolkit. Bombardier doesn't have an off-the-shelf HSR product comparable to e.g. Alstom's AGV.

Does Bombardier have the engineering chops to develop a complete product? Probably, but I don't see why California should be their guinea pig when other vendors' products will already have a proven track record by the time CHSRA has to pre-qualify a shortlist of options for the politicians to select from.

Bombardier is a Canadian company, let Canada build HSR between e.g. Ottawa and Montreal. Then we'll see.

jim said...

holy cow now wonder acela can't go too fast -would you look at this row/track WTF

AndyDuncan said...

@Jim the diagrams in the LA-Anaheim alternatives analysis appear to show ballast for the at-grade sections, but they are stamped "not for construction" so I suppose that might not mean much.

Rafael said...

@ jim -

fugliest OCS ever. Train isn't exactly long, either, is it?

jim said...

I heard a concrete company rep on the radio - or read it somehwere maybe - say that concrete is the better option. lol imagine that. I always heard that there is some big concrete co. in socal that does all the concrete for caltrans adn that that is why we have so much concrete freeway instead of steel which is actually better in earthquakes

jim said...

@ rafael since amtrak owns that tow - or do they just one that track but not the catenary? I don't know - but anyway - now the company is starting to pump lots of arra funds into it so upgrades have started and jobs are already resulting. but it looks like the whole nec needs to rippped out and replaced.

cali wont look like that.

mike said...

@jim Amtrak owns the catenary, the track, and the ROW.

Looks can be deceiving. I believe that should be Class 8 ribbon rail since the caption says it is taken at County Interlocking. I know that County to Ham is basically the longest stretch of tangent track on the NEC (with maybe one very slight curve that has SR 130 mph?). The track would be good for 150 mph, but the variable tension catenary limits AE to 135 mph here (and all other locations west of New Haven).

mike said...

But clearly the interlockings are not the high speed ones with movable frogs found east of New Haven that allow diverging movements at 80 mph. :-)

Rafael said...

@ jim -

the plan for Cali is to go straight to 25kV AC, to support speeds in excess of 250km/h (155mph).

Upgrading the NEC to that would be a really good idea, but require replacing a bunch of commuter rail equipment. Any new locos/EMUs would need to cope with 25kV AC + legacy voltages for a longish transition period (10-20 years).

As for concrete: it's fairly common to use concrete rather than wood sleepers for new track these days and, pretty much mandatory for HSR. The sleepers can be embedded in ballast or attached directly to a hard concrete surface such as the top of an aerial (cp. BART). Ballast dampens rail/wheel noise and vibrations, though.

Your picture of the Acela corridors appears to show rails attached directly to concrete slabs, without any sleepers. For this type of construction, Japanese researchers have developed a special non-toxic recycled material that is better than standard aggregate at intermediate frequencies. Packaged into sturdy bags and placed in-between the rails, it reduces overall noise by 3dB at 2m from the rail. In combination with sound walls, a 10dB total reduction can be achieved.

Alon Levy said...

Not that a 400 mph train makes sense from an environmental standpoint. This is actually one of the strongest arguments against the faster maglev trains, which are unfortunately not immune to aerodynamic drag.

On the other hand, a 400 mph train would reduce air and car travel more, so it'd save more energy overall.

Also, maglev consumes less energy than steel-on-steel at a given speed...

Rafael said...

@ Alon Levy -

maglev also costs even lot more to build than steel wheels HSR. Among other reasons, copper is a lot more expensive than steel.

That said, it's worth asking if ludicrous speed is even necessary. Economists tend to think of time spent in transit as wasted. Now that Thalys and TGV Est offer reliable broadband internet access, businessmen don't bother flying or driving between e.g. Paris and Brussels any longer: riding the train is more productive.

It wouldn't much matter to them if they got there 10 minutes later. The pressure is more from the operator, trying to squeeze as many revenue runs as possible out of each trainset.

Adirondacker12800 said...

holy cow now wonder acela can't go too fast -would you look at this row/track WTF

fugliest OCS ever
.

Well considering it's a telephoto shot, that it's an interlocking - dya notice the switches Jim? - and the catenary is 75 years old it looks pretty good to me. Looks pretty good to me when I go through on my less than three hour trip to or from DC. And the ugliest catenary I've ever seen is in France, along a local line, looks like it had been designed by a deranged spider.

Train isn't exactly long, either, is it?

At least it's a train and not computer animations of what may or may not be running some time in the future if ever.

It was taken near the Jersey Ave station in New Brunswick NJ. You'll notice the tall building off in the distance. It's near the main New Brunswick station in downtown New Brunswick which is pretty well mostly TOD...

Jersey Ave., one of those places on the NEC where 5 levels of service peacefully coexist. The train doesn't need to be long since it's the premium service running more or less once an hour between NY and DC. Doesn't need coach class cars, that's what the regionals do. Doesn't need to be stuffed full of commuters either, that's what the commuter trains do. You can see one to the far left On the local track where it doesn't matter if can only go 110 since the 135 MPH traffic is on the express tracks. I assume NJ Transit is going to up that since the next batch of equipment will be able to go 125.

since amtrak owns that row - or do they just one that track but not the catenary? I don't know - but anyway - now the company is starting to pump lots of arra funds into it so upgrades have started and jobs are already resulting. but it looks like the whole nec needs to rippped out and replaced..

As mike said Amtrak owns everything. I can't find a reference, that picture is just north of where the Pennsylvania Railroad tested the prototypes for the Metroliners. I vaguely remember that they got up to 175 - in the early 60s. The 150 MPH speed limit may just be that the FRA hasn't gotten around to regulations for speeds higher than that since the catenary won't support speeds above 135.

Lots of it has been replaced already, most of it doesn't look like that. The railfans love to go to Kingston RI and take videos. Search YouTube for "Kingston Acela" and pages and pages of stuff comes up. Whizzing by the platforms at 150, you wouldn't want to rip that out would you? Or the stuff just south of the picture, that is limited to 135 because of the antique catenary?

Any new locos/EMUs would need to cope with 25kV AC + legacy voltages for a longish transition period (10-20 years).

OOOhhh! Does that mean they are going to replace the catenary in a few years? Because NJ Transit has been running 25Hz/60HZ trains since Midtown Direct opened in the 90s. It's what they use for the Metro North/NJ Transit specials service from New Haven to Trenton...

Frequency is much more of a problem than voltage. To switch from 12 kV to 25kV all you have to do is switch taps on the transformer. Using a 25Hz transformer on 60Hz or vice versa doesn't work out as simply.

Spokker said...

Korea Eyes $45 Bil. Hi-Speed Train Contract for California

"A Korean delegation has departed for California ahead of bidding for a $45 billion high-speed rail system.

During their stay, 18 delegates from 12 Korean companies will visit the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), a state entity responsible for the project.

The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), part of the delegation, said that it will promote the advantages of the Korean system and its successful operations."

The article also says that Japan, Germany and France are likely to compete.

Alon Levy said...

Rafael, some airlines offer broadband access as well, especially on business class; most airports do as well. People still try to minimize the time they spend in the air or at the airport.

Andre Peretti said...

@Jim
I wonder who your frenchies got their information from. I live in France and never heard of any project for 400mph trains. The 357mph test was meant to prove the train was still safe at that speed but the commercial speed will be kept at 225mph. There has been a lot of progress on motors and friction reduction but no-one has yet found a way to make the air thinner around trains...
As for California buying the AGV, I consider it very unlikely due to the bad image France has in the US. I'm sure if Americans knew the B737 has franco-american engines Southwest would lose customers.
Otherwise, if the choice is purely technological it should be Alstom or Kawasaki.

AndyDuncan said...

@Alon true, but you have more "productive time" on a train trip than on an equivalent flight. Especially on a flight like LA-SF where most of the time isn't actually spent in the air, and the time in the air is half taking off/landing.

AndyDuncan said...

@andre As for California buying the AGV, I consider it very unlikely due to the bad image France has in the US.

It's not quite as bad in CA as some parts of the country but yeah, the Germans and the Japanese will still have a mindshare advantage coming in. Luckily we're not voting as a populace on which rolling stock to buy, that decision is going to be made by engineers (yay) and politicians (boo).

There's always the possibility that someone like General Dynamics will try to put a bid in and push the Buy-US angle, but other than that the only North American company would be Bombardier, and they're French and Canadian :-) that's two strikes.

Anonymous said...

the frenchies told me that even the japanese are buying their trains from france now. ... rice burners aren't fast enough anymore... lets face it. we will have tgv or agv. Ill be we get tgv. watch. you'll see. i feel it in my bones.

Hm? I don't know where you get your information, but I'd get new sources if I were you. The Japanese have always developed and manufactured their own trains, and they are as fast and safe as their European counterparts. No matter what company ends up supplying the train sets for HSR, they will almost certainly be customized to California's technological and environmental requirements. Alstom, Kawasaki Heavy, Hitachi, Nippon Sharyo, Kinki Sharyo and Tokyu Sharyo all would do a fine job in delivering train sets to meet those requirements.

It's great that you're a supporter of HSR, jim, but I'm not sure why you are so gung-ho for France but have such a racist attitude towards Japan. It would raise the level of conversation greatly if you could tone it down a bit. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Spokker 4:14,
Now that's news! Foreign investment in HSR! Not some BS about dead on arrival peninsula lawsuits by spoiled NIMBYS.

Anonymous said...

Um, that's not foreign investment in terms of raising capital. These Koreans want to get paid!

Anonymous said...

Edward Glaeser's 3rd article on High Speed rail is at:

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/12/how-big-are-the-environmental-benefits-of-high-speed-rail/

It is titled:

How Big Are the Environmental Benefits of High-Speed Rail?

You guys can tear him down yet again. Just as all the locals here became legal experts, they can now become economic experts as well.

In my opinion the credibility of the results of this article, are on the same level, with about as much chance of being accurate, as the ridership projections for this project have. Both are pure garbage.

BTW, while I weigh in here, what about the new Chevy Volt with its claim of over 200 MPG -- Cambridge should be putting tons of those vehicles into their ridership projections. I also note, that apparently the Authority is starting to use 2035 projections. I thought 2025 was the target.

Spokker said...

"Um, that's not foreign investment in terms of raising capital. These Koreans want to get paid!"

Yeah, but their interest is important. It shows the world is taking notice of what's going on here.

Rafael said...

@ anon @ 6:54pm, spokker -

all of the HSR vendors see the CA network is an opportunity to get their foot in the door in North America. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they offered to invest in kind by providing (and operating) at least the first batch of trains at no up-front cost. Instead, they would take a share of operating revenue over a suitable period of time. That implies sharing in ridership risk.

This is exactly what Bombardier did to land the Acela Express deal. Alstom is doing it in Argentina and Morocco, though they are also involved in building the lines there. Participating in operations to recoup an up-front investment is also a common model in e.g. the telecoms equipment industry.

Andrew said...

@Andre Peretti:

"As for California buying the AGV, I consider it very unlikely due to the bad image France has in the US."

A lot less bad than you might think, especially now that the Bush years are behind us. And even through all that, Santa Barbara still has a big French festival every summer. We might have to arm wrestle over whose wine is better, but that's about all. ;-)

I actually think that Alstrom has an edge in the selection process, due to few high-profile TGV rides by California politicians. I'm of the mind that Japanese engineering is a better fit for California though, due to seismic safety. Both places are on the Pacific Ring of Fire, after all.

BruceMcF said...

Anonymous said...
"You guys can tear him down yet again. Just as all the locals here became legal experts, they can now become economic experts as well."

Look who's talking ... in not taking a pseudonym, for either tactical reasons or just being lazy, you can claim any expertise you want, and then the next comment claim the opposite. Me, I'm no lawyer, but I do hold a doctorate in economics.

Rafael said...

@ anon @ 7:09pm -

as shall become apparent before long, miles per gallon is a totally meaningless metric for electric cars. The Chevy Volt drivetrain is a modern take on the Lohner Porsche of 1901, made possible by advances in Li-ion battery chemistry that address the fire hazard of commodity cells (cp. Tesla Motors) in the event of a serious crash.

The truth is, the Chevy Volt will two cars in one. For the first 30-40 miles, a vehicle with fully (95%) charged battery pack will run on grid electricity alone. In city/commute traffic, GM claims it will get 4 miles per kilowatt-hour (MPkWh).

Once the battery's state of charge (SOC) is down to about 35%, the range extended will kick in and power the car via an electric transmission, i.e. a generator plus solid-state power electronics. The battery will be used as a peak shaver (acceleration boost) and also for recuperative braking. The drivetrain controller will seek to maintain the battery pack's SOC at around 35%, but not to recharge it to a higher level. It's much cheaper to defer that until the car is connected back to the grid. In this series hybrid mode, MPG is a sensible metric and I expect the Chevy Volt will come in at no more than 40-50 MPG. Not at all bad, but not superlative either.

What matters to the customer is which mode he will usually operate the vehicle in. Used strictly as a vehicle for a 15-mile commute each way, the engine will only be fired up very occasionally to keep seals, pumps etc. in working order. However, in spite of the low cost of electricity, the total per-mile cost of ownership will be sky-high due to low annual mileage and that $40k sticker price ($32.5k after govt incentive).

Ergo, don't expect millions of cars with this type of drivetrain to roam California's street anytime soon. For all the gee-whiz marketing, the economics aren't all that just yet.

As for CHSRA now using projections for 2035, I noticed that too. Previously, they had used 2030. However, I don't think either set of numbers should be thought of as a target. They're forecasts. The start dates for commercial operations on the various segments of the network, on the other hand, are targets.

Clem said...

As for California buying the AGV, I consider it very unlikely due to the bad image France has in the US.

Maybe we're still upset about the X996 "French Fry", the last Alstom locomotive that roamed American rails, built in the same factory as TGV power cars...

jim said...

Thanks for the info on the NEC. We don't here much about it out here. Amtrak in the West is a different world from the NEC ( we like ti that way thank you... although its fixin to change) The shoddy look was mostly due to the telephoto lens.

as for increased speeds, one doesn't want to go so fast as not have time too have a nice meal and some cocktails in the lounge, maybe take a nap before arriving at that meeting cuz you had a late night, time to read the paper, use the facilities, freshen up, flirt with the person across the isle and make a couple phone calls. That takes 3 hours. So the ca hsr will be perfect. wow, thats going to make for lots of happy californians running around all fresh and rested. ( I can't wait to see the "california happy cows commercials showing them in first class on the ca tgv)

as for alstom. I just think they aready have a relationship in the railroad industry here... I just have a feeling that they are the ones. Nobody does it like the french.

as for US France relations.... may I remind everyone of our history with the three big players.... the french the germans and the japanese.... Hmmm, I seem to remember a couple hundred years of love between france and the us ( statue of liberty, allies in wars and what not,) but our history with the germans.. just a tad rocky and the japanese, I can't believe they even talk to us after we tried to microwave them on the popcorn setting.

So france we can trust and they love us. actually they really do.

@ anon It's great that you're a supporter of HSR, jim, but I'm not sure why you are so gung-ho for France but have such a racist attitude towards Japan. It would raise the level of conversation

ok ok the truth is one, i was born there long long ago and two, call me shallow but i find the french to be sexy and the japanese not. and I just like them and respect them as one of us kind of like the brits, only sexy. sorry. guess that makes me a shallow xenophobe with eurocentric tendencies.

but in defense of my position, the fact is the french design with style. The germans, come on now... style is not exaclty their forte. precision maybe, but style no. the german and japanese trains seems to strive for a kind of tired 80s paradoy of "sleek and modern" The french avoid that with more interesting curves and shapes and interiors, and still mangage to have the fastest and safest record on earth. They are all that and a bag of chips. so sue me. :-P

jim said...

oh yeah and vive la france too. okay? ;-)

You know if they choose the asian trains I will be devastated and unable to ride.

jim said...

idid hear about the lawsuit on the radio today - a brief mention and short soundbite. Sounded kind of like background noise... the type of thing that makes everyone kind or roll their eyes and go on with life.... its become so common.

and speaking of trains.... new train service = good for everyone... and since las vegas is getting into the rail act.... northern neveda is right behind them coming soon

Anonymous said...

Jim, I'm sure we'd all like to have nice cushy union jobs where we could focus on taking our time with everything, but most of us have to work our butts off. Every minute counts, so I don't want trains being slowed down so that the meal service is better. I'll eat in the cab on the way to the meeting.

jim said...

I worked my butt off today too. nothing cushy about it. and unlike you I can't afford the luxury of taking a cab. I take the subway. and if 10 minutes is that big a deal then your just not managing your time wisely and might want to re evaluate your priorities.

jim said...

anyway, who has the fastest trains.... say it with me... the french.

Adirondacker12800 said...

I expect that all the major manufacturers (and some others) are going to throw their hat in the ring to try to get a foothold in the US market.
..... and the rest of the comments about the lack of US manufacturing capability.



Some of the new non FRA compliant lightweight EMUs on the NYC subway system gets shipped all the way from distant Yonkers. I'm sure it takes hours and hours and hours for the new cars to get shipped from the factory to the yards in the far off Bronx. The ones destined for service in Brooklyn and Queens may take the greater part of day!

Most of the major manufacturers have plants in the US. Those shiny new commuter cars and subway cars come from someplace. It's not Japan, Germany or France. The equipment and skills needed to manufacture new cars for the PATH system (or the NYC subway or Metra or Amtrak or... ) aren't so radically different from building HSR cars that they would need factories.

Otherwise, if the choice is purely technological it should be Alstom or Kawasaki.

Both have existing manufacturing facilities in the US. That build lightweight EMUs.

Rafael said...

@ Adirondacker12800 -

Siemens and AnsaldoBreda already have assembly shops in California, Talgo just inked a deal to set one up in Wisconsin.

I wouldn't be surprised if whoever gets the trainset order for California HSR will have to set up a loss-leader assembly plant in that state or at least in the US, if they have not done so already.

Anonymous said...

Re: As for CHSRA now using projections for 2035, I noticed that too. ... from Rafael and anon:

I suspect strongly this will be a new base line for Cambridge to spew out ridership projections that seem ever more glorious. They will be using population projection projections for 2035, which will drive higher numbers using the train.

Of course with inflation, if full build out stretches that far out, the 9 billion raised thus far will seem pretty puny.

And then, if the present economics of our lovely state are not just an aberration, you can throw out of those population projections.

N. Dienz said...

I suspect strongly this will be a new base line for Cambridge to spew out ridership projections that seem ever more glorious. They will be using population projection projections for 2035, which will drive higher numbers using the train.

@ anon, 5:42AM

As a senior in college I took an urban planning economics course taught by a guy who had worked for Cambridge Systematics. Sure enough, he had worked on demand projections for the HSR project. Wonder if he had anything to do with this! Haha.

mike said...

Come on, there's not going to be any issue with using French equipment (if that's what we choose). Many US air carriers use Airbus planes assembled in France - United, US Airways, JetBlue, Virgin America, etc. - and I don't see people lining up and boycotting them (at least not because of the plans...maybe because of the service). The whole anti-France hysteria thing was just manufactured in the run-up to the Iraq War because France wasn't giving us 100% support in attacking Iraq. But in retrospect the vast majority of the American population now agrees that the French were correct in being cautious about initiating that war, though we'd never publicly admit it.

James said...

Off Topic (already discussed?):

From: http://tinyurl.com/nalbp3

Korea Times - Business
on Cal HSR

quote:
A Korean delegation has departed for California ahead of bidding for a $45 billion high-speed rail system.
........

"The stakes are that high," Cho said.

California wants a network of high-speed rail with trains operating at a speed of 350 kilometers per hour between San Francisco and Los Angeles in two-and-half hours.

The California high-speed rail would include stopovers at other major California cities such as Sacramento, San Jose, Fresno, and San Diego.

Connections with commercial airports, mass transit, and the highway network are also provided as part of the system. The system will deal with 102.4 million passengers and 340 trains in 2035, according to the CHSRA.

The construction of the $45-billion project is expected to begin around 2012. An implementation plan, approved in 2005, estimates that it would take eight to 11 years to develop before the operation of an initial segment of the high-speed train.

end quote

Alon Levy said...

The 200 mpg claim is probably fantasy. If Toyota, a far more competent company than GM, couldn't get their supposedly 65 mpg Prius to do more than 45-50 mpg in field conditions, then don't expect GM to make good on its claim. The Volt will probably end up getting around 125 mpg, which is what current electric cars already get.

AndyDuncan said...

@Adirondac ..... and the rest of the comments about the lack of US manufacturing capability.

I never said the trains wouldn't be manufactured in the US, of course they would. As you point out, just like the european, japanese and canadian designed trains we're currently using on various rail systems all over the united states.

My point was that there's no current HSR rolling stock designer and manufacturer in the US. Bombardier is the only one in NA, and as Rafael pointed out, they don't have an actual train yet that will meet the requirements.

Another consideration is loading gauge and seating layout, the Shinkansen trains are wider than the European trains (Siemens has produced wider versions of their Velaro for both Russia and China).

In addition, "coach" class on a Shinkansen is in a 2+3 layout with seats that are about the same width as a 737's (17.3 inches) but with generous seat pitch. The TGVs have wider seats (18.8 inches) in a 2+2 configuration in coach but with slightly reduced seat pitch (still better than most airlines, and about the same as United's "Economy Plus").

You could run the Japanese trains in a 2+2 configuration like they do on their 1st class lines, but that would reduce the seating capacity.

Personally I'm rooting for a 2+2 layout whatever train is chosen simply because 3-across seating sucks for everyone involved, especially the person in the middle.

andyduncan said...

@andyduncan I wouldn't be the least surprised to see a large US-based defense/aerospace company pair up with Bombardier (or someone else) to put a bid in on a design/build/operate contract. I can't see GD/Raytheon/Lockheed/Northrop passing up an opportunity to become the high speed rail integrator in the US.

jim said...

@andyduncan Personally I'm rooting for a 2+2 layout whatever train is chosen simply because 3-across seating sucks for everyone involved, especially the person in the middle.

absolutely I agree. 2-3 is out of the question. americans love the facing seating with a table though.

jim said...

Local Amtrak Station in Line for High Speed Rail 08/13/2009 07:22 (WMBD/WYZZ Peoria-Bloomington)
WMBD/WYZZ - NORMAL - The town's Amtrak station might soon be home to the fastest trend in transportation. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) says the facility is on track to becoming a hub for high speed rail. It would be a huge win for Central Illinois in tersm of jobs and business.

Is Illinois gaining on us?

AndyDuncan said...

@jim Is Illinois gaining on us?

Isn't that system a 110mph "high" speed rail system?

BruceMcF said...

Definitely. Illinois will have more miles of HSR in operation, but the Great Lakes / Midwest states are just getting started on preliminary planning for the Express HSR trunks once the Midwest and Ohio Hubs have been rolled out.

So IL is well ahead of CA for Emerging/Regional HSR, CA is well ahead of IL for Express HSR.

Almost like Express HSR was a natural starting point when you have two major national metro areas over 300 miles apart by train, and Emerging/Regional HSR is a natural starting point when you have so many 1m+ metro areas within 300 miles of each other ranged out in all directions around the largest metro area in the region.

Alon Levy said...

I can't see GD/Raytheon/Lockheed/Northrop passing up an opportunity to become the high speed rail integrator in the US.

And I can't see anything coming out of them working well. San Franciscans should know what it's like to use rolling stock made by Boeing.

Anonymous said...

absolutely I agree. 2-3 is out of the question. americans love the facing seating with a table though.

I'm an American and I hate it. Most Amtrak trains aren't like that, either. But it would be nice if seats could be rotated to form facing pairs like on Japanese shinkansen. That way you and your three friends could face each other, but you and your wife wouldn't have to.

BruceMcF said...

Yeah, they had reversible seats on the V-sets in New South Wales, and its a good feature for a trip of between two and three hours.

Adirondacker12800 said...

My point was that there's no current HSR rolling stock designer and manufacturer in the US. Bombardier is the only one in NA

So? Very little is made by vertically integrated manufacturers anymore. High speed rail cars for California will have parts from all over the world. Designed by people all over the world. Very probably assembled into cars in the US.

HSR manufacturers have plants in the US today, ones producing railroad cars. Plants capable of producing whatever it is that California specifies for HSR.

For instance the order for the R160 series of NYC subway cars was split between Alstom and Kawasaki. As I pointed out Kawasaki has a plant in exotic Yonkers NY. Alstom's plant is in far off Hornell NY. One of the notable differences between the cars is that Siemens motors sound different than the Alstom motors...parts from all over the world assembled in the US by manufacturers from all over the world. Some R143 and R160 cars are equipped with CBTC. There isn't a whole lot of difference between building a new car for the BMT and building a new car for California's high speed rail.

But coming to the conclusion that there are people working here in US who have the skills to build cars for California's project isn't any fun is it?

jim said...

The central valley - ( merced ) would be a great place to set up and assembly plant for hsr cars, to be converted to the maintenance facility for said cars after construction. and able to revive rail car construction as needed. Much needed good paying jobs for the area, a central location, available space etc. seems obvious and logical. hello is this thing on?

AndyDuncan said...

"But coming to the conclusion that there are people working here in US who have the skills to build cars for California's project isn't any fun is it?"

I have no idea where in my comments you think I said anything related to that. In fact, if you read my comments you'll note that I mentioned several Defense and aerospace contractors based in CA that I expect to bid on the work, and I've repeatedly said that I expect any trainsets to be constructed in California, regardless of where the designs come from.

All I did was state the obvious: that there are no US-based companies with off-the-shelf HSR systems, the type the authority has said they want to purchase. In fact, if you read my comments again you'll note that I was asking if ANYONE even had a train that would meet the requirements the authority has set forward. That's not me saying we couldn't do it, or that somehow the french/german/japanese/canadians/italians/spanish somehow have better engineering skills, it's just me saying that we haven't put those engineering skills towards making HSR trainsets. I don't understand how you're taking that as me being anti-california/US engineering.

As an engineer, in California, quite frankly I think we have more than enough talent to do it, we just haven't, and there's no getting around the fact that they want rolling stock in five years and as far as I can tell we don't have an US manufacturers ready to provide it.

So?

So I was trying to figure out which of the available train designs we might end up getting and I asked anyone if, other than the AGV, were there any other designs announced or available that would meet the specs. If you want to take that as an anti-american rant, I don't know how I'm going to stop you.

AndyDuncan said...

@adirondac and in case you don't want to scroll all the way up there to read my comment, here it is:

Speaking of trains, have any of the manufacturers announced trains that can run revenue service at 360kph? From what I can find it seems like only the AGV is listed as being capable of running at that speed. The Velaros are close, I'm guessing they could be improved, the Japanese don't seem to have anything on the radar since the Fastech 360 didn't work out. I realize we've got a while before trainset procurement, just curious if there's something I missed.

Man, I'm positively RAILING against those ignorant americans, aren't I?

Bianca said...

Just one totally pedantic note about the Almanac article: if you remember your biblical references, you'll also know that Goliath lost. Oops.

Adirondacker12800 said...

"But coming to the conclusion that there are people working here in US who have the skills to build cars for California's project isn't any fun is it?"

I have no idea where in my comments you think I said anything related to that
.

From this: "My point was that there's no current HSR rolling stock designer and manufacturer in the US."

and

"that there are no US-based companies with off-the-shelf HSR systems"

There most certainly are.

You think AGV is the closest fit for California's specifications. AGVs are made by Alstom. Alstom builds lighgwieght EMUs in many countries including at their plant in Hornell NY which is in the US. That makes Alstom a US based manufacturer doesn't it?

Velaros are made by Siemens. I'm not going to search for where Siemens builds and rebuilds railroad cars in the US. They do. And I'm not going to go rooting around for who makes Shinkansen. Kawasaki a Japanese company builds lightweight EMUS in Yonkers NY.

The French Germans and Japanese are the main vendors of HSR systems. They all have a presence in the US today.

When Alstom is finished building R160s they can retool a bit and start building AGVs that meet the specs for California. And when they are done doing that they can retool for new cars for the DC Metro. By then the NEC is going to need a replacement for Acela....

Or when Kawasaki is finished with their part of the R160 contract they can retool a bit and start building cars that meet the specs for California HSR.

Or Siemens in their plant(s) that are already building railroad cars in the US.

If you want to take that as an anti-american rant, I don't know how I'm going to stop you

Mine was a geography lesson. There's lots and lots of US east of the Sierra. In some of those places they are manufacturing railroad cars that could be put on a railroad track in California, as soon as someone manages to string some of that scary catenary technology that's been around for over 100 years, and run. Some of them even have cab signaling and positive train control.

if you read my comments you'll note that I mentioned several Defense and aerospace contractors based in CA that I expect to bid on the work

And how well has that worked out in the past?

As an engineer, in California, quite frankly I think we have more than enough talent to do it

Talent doesn't count in this race. Experience and performance does. I doubt there's anyone in California qualified to bid on the contract much less execute it, unless Alstom decided to give all of their employees a California vacation. There are many companies, with operations in the US, who are.

Reality Check said...

Standard Pacific already provided diesel-based passenger rail service into San Francisco?

What the hell is Standard Pacific? Never heard of them!

AndyDuncan said...

That makes Alstom a US based manufacturer doesn't it?

No, actually it doesn't. The same way that Honda, Toyota, and BMWs US plants don't make them "US-Based".

You seem to be looking for things to argue with me about, but I've repeatedly said that the trains would be produced in the US, and you still missed the point of my posts which was to determine rolling stock design. If you want to argue about the legal semantics of the international corporate seat problem of publicly held organizations, quite frankly I don't care. Go nuts.