Thursday, September 24, 2009

Routes to San Diego

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

by Rafael

Dave Schwab reports in the LaJolla Light that CHSRA has postponed the Sep 29 project-level scoping meeting in University City to the following date and time:

University City, Tue Oct. 13, 3-7pm
Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center
4126 Executive Drive

There will be two additional scoping meetings held in the San Diego area:

San Diego: Wed Oct. 14, 3-7pm
Ramada Limited San Diego Airport
1403 Rosecrans St.

Escondido: Thu Oct. 15, 3-7pm
Escondido Center for the Arts
340 N. Escondido Blvd.



Of particular interest to readers of this blog are the route options that CHSRA is now looking at (cp. our earlier post LA - San Diego: Quo Vadis). In the draft map shown below, the original route is shown in purple.

LA2SD_TWG

However, since UPRR doesn't look like it will sell any of its rights of way or air rights above them the San Gabriel Valley, the technical working group (TWG) for the segment headed up by consulting firm SVG has had to look into alternatives. Note that the purple line now includes a section along I-605 and and aerial above Holt Ave, a city street in Pomona.

The TWG has also been looking at several alternative routes. A promising candidate would use hwy 60, hwy 57, I-10 and head south on I-15 via the city of Corona, well west of Riverside UC. In that scenario, the HSR station would apparently end up well south of the hwy 91 interchange and not be intermodal with established Metrolink services. Except for a short section south-west of Pomona where highways 60 and 57 codeshare, these highway medians are still available.

A second alternative would eliminate Metrolink's San Bernadino line to free up a right of way to reach an HSR station there. That city has always lobbied for one, but the sharp curves in the transition up from Ontario Airport would be problematic. The continuation down to Riverside also looks challenging. Note that leveraging SBD isn't even being considered, LAWA has clearly insisted on a station for ONT to relieve LAX, after deciding to shelve plans for PMD. With a good HSR connection, Ontario Airport might also provide limited relief to Lindbergh Field (SAN).

Further south, there is the issue of the I-15 managed lanes project between Escondido and Miramar (already under construction, VIDEO), which is eliminating the wide freeway median CHSRA had hoped to use. However, SANDAG's Linda Culp has been in the loop on HSR planning since 1999. It's not immediately clear if HSR tracks are now supposed to run next to I-15 in this stretch or, on an aerial made possible by extra-tall on/off ramps to the managed lanes.

Note also that I-10 and hwy 57 were originally penciled in for the Las Vegas to Anaheim maglev, but that increasingly looks like it will never be more than a paper tiger. Like it or not, California decided in favor of steel wheels HSR last November. Nevada would be wise to set aside its petty internal squabbles and push for electrified DesertXPress at 220mph plus a connector between the towns of Mojave and Barstow.

In San Diego county, there are apparently a few route details left to be sorted out near Escondido and past/through Miramar, in addition to exact station sites. In particular, the Lindbergh Field vs. Santa Fe Depot downtown question is still unresolved, as is the location of a yard for overnight stabling and minor maintenance.

Keep in mind that there has been and continues to be a great deal of negotiation regarding the route and station placements in the LA to San Diego spur. The situation is still very fluid and the map shown above could already be slightly out of date in some respects. The LA-San Diego spur was included in the statewide program EIS/EIR, but CHSRA has always sought to position it as phase 2 of the entire project. Even so, the fact that this the route and station options are still under discussion underscores that the program-level planning effort did not include actual right of way acquisition.

94 comments:

AndyDuncan said...

If they skip the Industry/Walnut station, then that makes the planned NFL stadium there an even worse idea than it is right now.

At least they'll still have metrolink.

Rafael said...

@ AndyDuncan -

it's not as if the stadium's target location is within easy walking distance of the Industry station anyhow. I rather suspect local football fans would prefer to drive, seeing as trains don't have tailgates.

It's really the fans of visiting teams that would have benefited from a train connection. Unfortunately, Metrolink doesn't have one at the ONT terminals because UPRR isn't prepared to offer any trackage rights on the Colton line, which is actually just a single track there.

Perhaps they would be - at least on game days - if Metrolink were prepared to invest in a side spur for a station at N Archibald to avoid blocking the through track. In Colton, there is currently a turnoff toward San Bernardino. Minor track work would be needed to reach Riverside.

Anonymous said...

Why does CHSRA intend to dead-end in Anaheim and/or Irvine? Why not improve the existing Amtrak route to San Diego? This was the plan of California's first attempt of HSR in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was Jerry Brown's pipedream, yet that was considered California best route for HSR back then. What's changed???

Rafael said...

@ anon @ 3:47pm -

because NIMBYs in San Clemente and Del Mar successfully lobbied against catenaries right on the beach.

Also, some sections are prone to falling rocks, high surf and/or tsunamis (there are unstable underwater cliffs near San Diego).

CHSRA concluded the corridor was better suite to FRA-compliant diesel passenger trains and recommended a study to upgrade it to 100mph.

The HSR extension to Irvine may never happen now that Metrolink is looking to run trains between Laguna Miguel and Fullerton to every 30-minute.

Francis said...

The only NFL stadium that would be built would be for the LA Chargers, and I dont want to see that happen. However the stadium and the HSR station in Industry couldn't be more separate issues. Not to mention that City of Industry has like 150 residents.

I agree with Anon 3:47 that SD to LA is probably the best line, but that issue is dead. LA to SD via Riverside has a lot of advantages too, most importantly that it serves millions more people.

Anonymous said...

... but it is an active passenger route right now. Are these current riders then at a serious safety risk to falling rocks and tsunamis with the heavier Amtrak equipment?? This reason is not plausible.

So the catenaries killed the whole idea?! Wow, NIMBYs along other parts of the route are going to be emboldened by this!

AndyDuncan said...

it's not as if the stadium's target location is within easy walking distance of the Industry station anyhow. I rather suspect local football fans would prefer to drive, seeing as trains don't have tailgates.

I don't think AB-3034 mandates that the Industry station must be west of the existing metrolink station :-)

If there's a frigging stadium there, I think it's reasonable to expect that they might consider skootching the station a little closer, don't you?

Plus, not all football fans tailgate, there's other events at Stadiums besides football games, and they're going to need some sort of fast mass transit to this thing or people from LA aren't going to drive to BFE to watch a football game, especially for any event that isn't on a saturday or sunday.

We've Got No Money For Toys said...

What a stupid route! It's only 120 miles through Interstate 5, and they want to make it go around for 160. I can get there in the same time by truck then if there is no traffic. Why don't use the existing Amtrak train then? If it doesn't stop in all those stations it will be just as fast. That's what I'm telling you. Liberals always find ways to spend our taxpayers money for nothing even when it's not necessary. They're (including you train huggers) just a bunch of spoiled elitists supported by their rich daddies.

AndyDuncan said...

@Toys

OMG. You're so right! They must be retarded!

That, or you know, there's other circumstances that make the longer route the better choice.

Like connecting the 4 million people who live in the IE. Or being able to run at full speed for a much longer portion of the route. Or not having to quad-track rail down the coast.

What idiots.

Andre Peretti said...

Have all route details to be fixed before actually starting to build the line? Paris-Lyon was not high-speed all the way in the first years but only on 4/5 of the distance. The SNCF chose to start building the longer but easier part while continuing to study the more problematic part (sprawl, urban over/underpasses, etc...).
When the line opened, it was Paris-Lyon in name only as it ran at moderate speeds on old rails when approaching these two towns.
Still, the merit of this incomplete line was to show the public what HSR was really like, and it was an instant success. It made headlines and people came from all parts of France to have a ride on it. This made it much easier to negotiate the ROW for the remaining miles. The public wanted the line to be completed and anybody getting in the way would have been very impopular.
The SNCF had bet on public enthusiasm, and won.
Why is this scenario impossible in California?

mike said...

Are these current riders then at a serious safety risk to falling rocks and tsunamis with the heavier Amtrak equipment?? This reason is not plausible.

You don't understand. It's not that it's a current safety risk. It's that it's not a good place for future investment.

Some sections or the ROW are only ~10 feet above sea level and are basically built on sand. It's incredibly difficult to stop erosion in these areas, and it's only getting harder and harder as sea levels rise.

Simply put, it would stupid to spend billions of dollars building a new HSL through that area. No one can guarantee that it won't be washed away in a few decades. It would be like building a fancy new roadway right on Devil's Slide. It's not grossly unsafe to drive on Devil's Slide, but you definitely don't expect the infrastructure to last if you build it there.

Anon256 said...

The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner route is mostly single-tracked south of San Juan Capistrano, with many grade crossings, and runs right along the beach in San Clemente. Expanding the line to two or more tracks would be very difficult.

Extending from Anaheim to Corona and then south along I-15 might be a more feasible "direct" routing. That said, with HSR to Anaheim and upgraded Amtrak service, the extra cost of full HSR service to San Diego might prove hard to justify. Any extension would depend on the revenue from the Phase 1 HSR route, so "taxpayers money" shouldn't come into it.

Joseph Eisenberg said...

The current LOSSAN route thru San Clemente is certainly a lousy place to put HSR. Too close to the beach. But could the 1-5 corridor work... if we are willing to give up traffic lanes to the trains in some places? It might be a good way to get San Diego connected to the system NOW, if the FRA would be willing to change their rules and allow HSR train to continue south on shared tracks, as in France.

YesonHSR said...

Its too bad they cant use the current HSR to Fullerton then the 91 freeway till reaching I-15..yes the route goes nowhere near Ont airport or most of the Inland cities but looks alot easier to build.

AndyDuncan said...

Its too bad they cant use the current HSR to Fullerton then the 91 freeway till reaching I-15..yes the route goes nowhere near Ont airport or most of the Inland cities but looks alot easier to build.

There's as many, if not more people in the IE (around 4 million, IIRC) than there are in the San Diego metro area (around 3million).

The question isn't so much as to whether to bring rail from LA to SD via Anaheim or Ontario, the question is: if you're going to build lines to Anaheim and Ontario, which of those should you continue on to San Diego.

matt said...

We've Got No Money For Toys said...

What a stupid route! It's only 120 miles through Interstate 5, and they want to make it go around for 160. I can get there in the same time by truck then if there is no traffic.



So as long as you drive between 11pm and 5 am you will be fine....ughh...I-5 suckssss.

calwatch said...

Here is the scoping meeting list (not posted on the HSRA web site for some reason):

DATES: Written comments on the scope of the LA-SD HST Project EIR/EIS should be provided to the Authority by 5 p.m., Friday, November 20, 2009. Public scoping meetings are scheduled from October 13, 2009, to November 3, 2009, as noted below in the cities of San Diego, Escondido, Murrieta, Corona, Monterey Park, Riverside, West Covina, El Monte, Pomona, Ontario, and San Bernardino, California.

ADDRESSES: Written comments on the scope of this EIR/EIS should be sent to Mr. Dan Leavitt, Deputy Director, ATTN: LA-SD HST Project EIR/EIS, California High-Speed Rail Authority, 925 L Street, Suite 1425, Sacramento, CA 95814, or via e-mail with subject line "LA-SD HST Section via the Inland Empire" to: comments@hsr.ca.gov. Comments may also be provided orally or in writing at the scoping meetings scheduled from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the following locations:

San Diego County

* October 13, 2009--Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037.

* October 14, 2009--Ramada Limited San Diego Airport, 1403 Rosecrans Street, San Diego, CA 92106.

* October 15, 2009--Escondido Center for the Arts, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025.

Riverside County

* October 19, 2009--Murrieta Public Library, Eight Town Square, 24700 Adams Avenue, Murrieta, CA 92562.

* October 20, 2009--Corona Public Library, West Room, 650 S. Main Street, Corona, CA 92882.

* October 22, 2009--Cesar Chavez Community Center, Bobby Bonds Park, 2060 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92507.

Los Angeles County

* October 21, 2009--Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church, Wesley Fellowship Hall, 333 South Garfield Avenue, Monterey Park, CA 91754.

* October 26, 2009--City of West Covina City Hall, Community Room, First Floor, 1444 West Garvey Avenue, West Covina, CA 91790.

* October 28, 2009--El Monte Community Center Grace T. Black Auditorium, 3130 Tyler Avenue, El Monte, California 91731.

* October 29, 2009--Pomona First Baptist Church, Room E-202, 586 N. Main Street, Pomona, California 91768.

San Bernardino County

* November 2, 2009--Ontario Airport Administrative Conference Rooms, 1923 E. Avion Street, Ontario, CA 91764.

* November 3, 2009--Norman Feldheym Central Library, Kellogg Room, 555 West 6th Street, San Bernardino, CA 92410.

Two regulatory agency scoping meetings have been scheduled on the following dates and times:

* U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 6010 Hidden Valley Road, Room 1, Carlsbad, CA 92011. October 15, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

* California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Ana Region 8, Highgrove Room, 3737 Main Street, Suite 500, Riverside, CA 92501-3348. October 22, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

http://www.sectorspdr.com/news/?do=newsStory&stype=db&newsID=6745521

Anonymous said...

Andre Peretti is exactly right on which is precisely why CHSRA should plan for now (indefinitely) termination in San Jose with connection to upgraded caltrain at Diridon. Upgrade incrementally Caltrain, you have a much cheaper faster (shovel ready!) shortcut to satisfy the TBT to LA connectivity requirement, until those NIMBY's come crawling to the fabulous HIGH SPEED rail begging for an extension. At which point they'll have to bring their own checkbooks besides. Peninsula NIMBY's off your back (saving untold years of obstruction, and likely millions in legal fees and eminent domain escalation), and you really piss off no one other than Mr. Kopp and Mr. Diridon - and to that concern - WHO CARES?

Anonymous said...

Eventually it will be recognized that the proper location for hsr routes is along freeways and that in order to do that it will have to be aerial. That is the solution in both Norcal and Socal where there is no median. To get the real estate you will have to go up. Raise the bloody overpasses. It will just have to be seen as the cost of doing business. Any "Nimby" complaints can be dismissed as pure paranoia as freeways are absolute devastated no mans lands. You will not notice the trains against the constant drone of freeway traffic. Visually the trains will be an improvement. There is not much uglier on Terra Nostra than a freeway.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how long PB will stay around? Guys like Tony Daniels are going to cash in soon on the buyout. He will want to do something with his millions, other than worry about HSR.

Brandon in San Diego said...

It's my hope that teh Lindbergh Station as a stop will die very quickly... it's a dumb location for HSR to terminate in San Diego.

Why...

There is nearly zero synergy between HSR and the airport... other than the provision of taxi service and long-term parking opportunities.

Nearly zero people will take a train into San Diego to transfer to a plane elsewhere in the state or country. San Diego is in the corner of the country. Whatever demand there is for something like that... it would rank far behind possible business travelers or commuters that would otherwise be destined to downtown San Diego.

HSR should end downtown.

Caelestor said...

@Anonymous 8:04

I can see why the HSR should terminate at SJ for now. However, that does not mean the trains should end at SJ; if anything, they should run super Caltrain express to SF.

jim said...

The must go to Riverside 215 or they will leaving out a huge population cache.

Taking it east brings in san bernadino and gets some better coachella valley access. plus the university.

jim said...

@TOYS "They're (including you train huggers) just a bunch of spoiled elitists supported by their rich daddies."

oh if only. What about us poor working slobs who have to punch a clock everyday hope to make rent every month, we want hsr too.

jim said...

@brandon, hsr shoudl absolutely go downtown in SD not that airport. To get off the train downtown and walk across the street to your hotel to start your vacation is perfect for SD. No one is going to SD to go to the airport.

Rafael said...

@ Andre Peretti -

The SNCF model is not possible in the US because neither FRA nor freight rail operators will permit non-compliant lightweight high-speed passenger trains to use privately owned freight tracks.

The safety issues could be addressed with better signaling (positive train control). The problem is that some freight rail operators - notably UPRR - simply don't want any high speed trains on their ROW because of potential liability in the event of an accident and because it would prevent them from expanding freight capacity in the future. BNSF is more willing to accommodate HSR, it varies by company.

Keep in mind that in the US railroads perform the essential function of hauling heavy goods from harbors on the coast to the vast interior at the lowest cost per ton. There is limited capacity at the Panama Canal, the North-West Passage isn't reliably ice-free in summer just yet and there aren't any navigable inland waterways in the west (except for the first 100 miles or so).

In western Europe, the geography is very different so this type of freight can be moved more efficiently on the ocean or along inland waterways. The biggest challenges there are the harmonization of technical railway standards and getting high-value time-sensitive freight across the Alps. Light/medium freight operations are inherently more compatible with passenger rail than US-style heavy freight.

Rafael said...

@ Joseph Eisenberg -

in theory, it would be possible to construct tunnels for electrified HSR under the southbound lanes of I-5 between San Juan Capistrano and San Onofre as well as in the Del Mar area. A short tunnel north of University City would be needed to rectify the alignment.

Otherwise, the existing rail corridor could be used - though stacking tracks between Irvine and San Juan Capistrano would not be popular.

Unfortunately, bored tunnels are expensive to construct and ripping up 2-3 lanes of I-5 for several miles would be very disruptive. Aerials above I-5 in only these sections might be possible, but the local ueber-NIMBYs would surely fight that idea tooth and nail.

The issue, as Andy Duncan and Jim point out, is that IE is home to millions of people. Also, LA is mustard-keen to relieve LAX by making Ontario Airport more accessible. Avoiding the construction of additional runways at SFO, LAX and elsewhere is a key objective of the HSR project. Perhaps that is why staying on the BNSF Transcon ROW between Fullerton and Corona was not considered.

Rafael said...

@ Caelestor -

please think this through. The starter line is forecast to cost $33 billion. That kind of investment only makes sense if the system gets very high ridership.

While some passengers in and out of the Bay Area will use SJ Diridon anyhow, many more will want to use a station further north.

If HSR were to be terminated in SJ, it would still need to achieve very high ridership to justify the $28 billion or so invested in the SJ-Anaheim section. Transfers kill ridership. Transfers to slow commuter trains kill even more ridership.

To compensate at least partially, Caltrain would have to run many more baby bullets. It cannot do that with the tracks it has today, nor is there enough existing capacity to operate at top speeds much above 79mph.

Therefore, either HSR or Caltrain itself would need to add a lot of track to handle the additional traffic. Irrespective of top speed on the rails, that would cause so much disruption of cross traffic that full grade separation would become necessary anyhow. It might take 10 years longer to get there, but it would have to happen.

Right now, the stars are aligned to get the state of California and the federal government to fund the lion's share of that. A few years from now, it's even possible some private investors may yet step up to the plate.

Prop 1A(2008) sets aside $950 million for HSR feeder systems, of which Caltrain is slated to get a whopping $41 million. The other $9 billion will be spent on the HSR infrastructure. No HSR tracks in the PCJPB corridor means no money spent on upgrading the PCJPB corridor.

If the SJ-SF segment were deferred, the SF peninsula counties would have to rustle up billions of dollars in funding all by themselves. If history is any indication, they would be unable to do so in a short span of time.

In other words, anyone advocating that HSR terminate in San Jose doesn't fully understand the magnitude of what is needed to make HSR a success. While future enhancements are possible, the starter line has to be a Big Bang project.

Running HSR tracks up 101 would cost just as much and do nothing at all to improve Caltrain service. Raising the road overpasses, as some commenters have suggested, is non-trivial as trucks impose a maximum vertical curve radius on such structures. Trains flying over overpasses is a recipe for exposing a much larger area to noise than the freeway lanes do.

Secondary issues would be moving the SJ station to Alum Rock and track stacking with BART in the 101 median for a short section there.

Rafael said...

@ jim -

any suggestions for where HSR trains could be stabled in San Diego?

looking on said...

@Rafael

you say:


please think this through. The starter line is forecast to cost $33 billion. That kind of investment only makes sense if the system gets very high ridership.


Why do you and others keep using what is now absolutely obviously a cost figure that is completely off base?

As can be seen from the stimulus request for LA to Anaheim, their original estimate has nearly doubled, and we still don't know quite what is being omitted for a complete system.

The tunnel from 4th and King to the TBT is now over 2 billion.

Your math puts San Jose to SF at around 5 billion, but it is at the very minimum now obvious it will be 9-13 billion.

You know way too much to not be on the inside; quit kidding and deceiving. Use realistic numbers.

Rafael said...

@ looking on -

well, if you're going to bore tunnels in Fullerton then of course costs are going to go through the roof.

If SF-SJ ends up being more expensive than forecast, it'll be because of the very NIMBYs that complain about how expensive it all is. You can't have it both ways.

BruceMcF said...

looking on said...
"@Rafael
The tunnel from 4th and King to the TBT is now over 2 billion.
"

And no more capacity than a two track tunnel would cost. Why do you think that the CAHSR is fighting against being locked into that over-priced, under-capacity dog of a design?

Every single person who "expresses concern" about the risk of cost over-runs should be providing CAHSR support in that fight, since local areas raiding CAHSR funds to build local projects for local purposes after just slapping a "supporting HSR" sticker on a pre-HSR design is one big bucket of risk for cost-overruns.

Every single person who "expresses concern" about the risk of cost over-runs should be strongly supporting the Tehachapi alignment and working to block any move to the Grapevine, which is an alignment with more tunneling and less opportunities for local scale adjustments to go around problem areas when tunneling.

Every single person who "expresses concern" about the risk of cost over-runs should work to make it crystal clear to suburban areas that if they want a suburban subway, they have got to find a way to pay the incremental cost themselves, they cannot expect to dump the cost on the rest of the state and the rest of the country.

Those who "express concern" about cost over-runs without fighting against the biggest potential sources of cost overruns, or worse fighting for cost over-runs, are just trying to undermine the project by spreading FUD.

Rafael said...

@ looking on -

"You know way too much to not be on the inside"

Inside of what? I've met Quentin Kopp exactly once, briefly, at a scoping meeting. What I know about the project I get primarily from reading documentation published online. Lots of it.

I have no problem calling CHSRA out when it makes decisions I disagree with. Just a few days ago, I published a post in which I listed what I perceive to be legitimate complaints against CHSRA in the context of the TTC up in SF.

I also have no problem at all with replacing any board members that are needlessly causing friction with local communities.

Robert Cruickshank and I both support the HSR project in principle and many of the specific decisions that have been taken, e.g. the one to leverage the Caltrain corridor in the SF peninsula.

However, your insinuation that either of us is somehow formally affiliated with CHSRA is completely baseless. You're simply making stuff up.

BruceMcF said...

Anonymous said...
"Eventually it will be recognized that the proper location for hsr routes is along freeways and that in order to do that it will have to be aerial."

Once its an aerial alignment, whether the transport corridor underneath is an expressway or a rail corridor is far from critical.

And making it an aerial alignment substantially increases the cost per mile. Just like the Italian tendency to build Express HSR corridors with bypasses and spurs, running away from actually working through a problem area in laying out a new corridor normally means throwing more money at the new corridor.

DaLanc said...

Actually Brandon, I disagree with you on that one. Ordinarily, I'd say that terminating HSR in downtown San Diego would be an obvious move. However, one thing strikes me as different from a bunch of cities. One of the most interesting things about San Diego is its downtown area. Traffic can get pretty nasty and maybe perhaps I have a bit of a north county bias being a UCSD student, but I see a lot of people taking the trolley to an HSR station wherever it may be. The airport is sort of halfway between downtown and and old town. Assuming they actually do move the terminals and adjust the trolley lines to meet over where the rental car places in their destination Lindbergh project, people will be easily and conveniently able to take the trolley down to Santa Fe station. Old town SD is already a sort of hub for the trolley. It wouldn't be that bad. Plus, it would definitely be a way of San Diego luring more tourists into SD by consolidating its transportation options... especially those who are traveling internationally from airports that could be connected by this line. After all, March AFB would be perhaps a 30 minute train ride from the airport and even less from Escondido or UCSD.

On another note, one area of interest/concern/pessimism is how the trolley extension up to University City/UCSD will coexist along side hsr. SDMTS will supposedly run it up alongside the current Pacific Surfliner ROW up past PB and through Rose Canyon to a station somewhere in the canyon between the UTC area and the Governors, near where University City High School is. It seems to me like there would be a limited ROW problem.

On a third note, I will be so pissed the day that the kids at UCSD finally get real trolley service to University City and Downtown San Diego -long after I will have graduated from there. If I ruled the world, I'd be sure to put a station closer to PB and Seaworld, but w/e. Also, the number of kids at UCSD (and even UCR probably) who are from the bay area and constitute a large portion of Southwest Airlines traffic on weekends and holidays. There are two reasons why HSR would completely overtake air travel in that demographic. First is that college students are not good at bargain hunting for low airfares well in advance. A cheaper at the ticket counter ticket on CAHSR would be a clear winner. Secondly, putting internet on the train? I am pretty sure that I would rather get work on a train and take a slight bit longer to get there. That's just me though.

Rafael said...

@ DaLanc -

perhaps one issue that locals still need more information on is what a downtown SD station would look like. Are they ok with an aerial dedicated to HSR in the downtown area, right next to the historic Santa Fe Depot? Because that's what's being planned.

Another issue that could turn out to be a much larger factor than the general public may realize is that HSR needs a yard of its own to park a sufficient number of trains overnight and perform minor maintenance. Ideally, such a yard should be located south of the San Diego station.

AndyDuncan said...

For the record, I'm in the airport and my flight to SF is delayed 2 hours.

Flying is so much faster than HSR! What are you elitist commies trying to push on u!

looking on said...

@Rafael

I apologize for my remark about your being on the "inside"

On the cost issue of SJ to SF, the published number of 4.2 billion has never made any sense --- and that's without any new tunnel proposals.



Sorry...

Rafael said...

@ looking on -

ok, apology accepted. Let's move on.

Anonymous said...

The get-the-public-on-the-hook cost estimates were always low-balled, and now they are escalating rapidly as funding applications are submitted. It's unfortunately a standard trick in the consulting/construction industry. Lousy ethics and corrupt really. Just because you foamers have been drinking the Kool-Aid all along and are now duped, don't blame the NIMBYs for the severe cost escalations. So far, the NIMBYs have had absolutely no say over the design. It has all been dictated from the top, and your warped understanding of reality doesn't change that.

jim said...
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jim said...
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jim said...

caltrava station this guys really makes nice train stations

jim said...

Rafael said...
@ jim -

any suggestions for where HSR trains could be stabled in San Diego



this looks like a good spot they can make room. how many trains do you suppose they'll need to keep overnight. another question would be who on the SD line will get a maintenance facility

jim said...

storage here

jim said...

Lets say they built a real hsr station near the SD airport, and they have a yard for storage over their by petco park... they have to pass through santa fe station. what's to keep them from having a secondary stop like that at an existing station - no hsr station just the station as is, on the way to the yards.

I mean theres isn't anything about the trains that makes them unable to stop at normal train stations as they are running on normal tracks and stopping at normal stations all over the world, and since its already past the end of the line, speed isnt an issue. know what I mean?

I mean now we even stop normal trains on platforms that are too short using a "double spot"

I think we need to be flexible in our thinking.

I sure don't want to go SD on hsr if its just gonna drop me at the airport, considering the trip time, I might as well fly if Im gonna wind up at the airport anyway. - put train downtown or up in hillcrest and Ill take the train all the way.

Caelestor said...

Interesting. I got a response.

@Rafael, you seem to misunderstand me. I was just proposing something similar to the original TGV line, where the HSR stops quite a few kilometers before Gare du Lyon. Doesn't mean that the train terminates outside Paris, it just continues on the classic line into the city.

In other words, even if the peninsula NIMBYs prevail and there are no HSR tracks for the time being, the HSR trains should still continue on the Caltrain tracks to San Francisco (the downside is that the trip will must likely extend by 10-15 minutes). No need for a cross-platform transfer.

Peter said...

@ Calaestor

That sounds similar to the way ICE arrives (or used to) in Berlin. They didn't have room on the elevated for designated HSR tracks, so the trains join in with the "regular" passenger train crowd before Wannsee, I believe, if they go into the elevated portion of Hauptbahnhof.

Peter said...

Sorry Caelestor, I spelled your name wrong.

Anonymous said...

the stars are aligned to get the state of California and the federal government to fund the lion's share of that. Howash - the project is not shovel ready, and the federal government is not about to fund the infighting chsra.

"transfers kill ridership" how do you back this up? What kind of transfers? What kills ridership is an assumptiont hat drivers b the millions are going to somehow DRIVING NORTH find their way into the MIDDLE of the city of SF, find exhorbitantly expensive long term parking there, just to get on HSR -now THAT's what I call a nasty transfer! When all along they could just get on Caltrain at any one of a number of convenient,easy to reach caltrain locations.

By the way -spreading out the station locations along the route eases the ridership pressures along the whole route. You don't have some need to run hundreds of trains daily through the whole system.

And lets just call it like it is, shall way - not MILLIONS of riders who suddenly need to get from SF to LA, that will be THOUSANDS at best. Yes, Caltrain can absord this ridership for the forseeable future - as long as you don't try to stuff them all into SF. And like I said, when it gets too ugly to bear - FINE - the peninsula will come up with a bearable plan that they can live with, that they can fund to exapand. For now, the upgraded caltrain service, two lanes, WITH grade separations, THAT's the solution for HSR today.

Its simply the wrong, least productive fight that HSR proponents could be having. The fact is that HSR can STILL happen, without HSR coming North of SJ.

Anonymous said...

No HSR tracks in the PCJPB corridor means no money spent on upgrading the PCJPB corridor.

This is pure BS too. Because you just got finished saying 900M for feeder systems - which, if you terminate in SJ, makes CALTRAIN THE MOTHER OF ALL FEEDER systems. HSR should be BEGGING to spend paltry millions on CALTRAIN improvements between SF and SJ to avoid BILLIONS in HSR construction costs that they can then spend elsewhere.

Rafael said...

@ jim -

from Lindbergh Field to the Santa Fe Depot, the ROW is too narrow to lay down tracks next to those for FRA-compliant Amtrak/NCTD/BNSF trains and those for SD Trolley light rail.

That implies elevated HSR tracks and platforms would be required for a downtown station. Consider also that HSR trains can be up to 1/4 mile long. Since AB3034 limits CHSRA to 24 stations, there will only be one in San Diego.

South of the Santa Fe Depot through Petco Park, it may or may not be possible to descend to grade level and obtain trackage rights on the BNSF track with guaranteed time separation.

---

As for required capacity at the San Diego HSR yard, supporting document 5 (PDF p14) gives some insight into the traffic flow CHSRA has in mind for the fully built-out network in 2030. This will surely be looked at again as the project proceeds, but it's where the planning stands right now.

The diagram shows 46 trains at San Diego each way one over a six-hour peak period, roughly 7-8 trains per hour. 27 would run to SF, 17 to Sacramento and 2 to Bakersfield.

Non-stop line haul times per the CHSRA web site: SF-SD 3h56m, SAC-SD 3h35m, BFD-SD 2h12m. Trains to SD won't be non-stop, though. Figure that the first trains of the day leaving SF at around 6am won't be in SD much before 10:30am. The first out of SAC won't get there before 10:00am. The two out of Bakersfield may get there before 9:00am. Add half an hour for cleaning/housekeeping to turn those incoming trains around.

Assume northbound traffic out of SD will be 5 trains total between 6 and 7am plus 9 trains total for each hour between 7 and 11am. Total: 41. The yard must supply the rolling stock for those outgoing trains until the first incoming ones of the day have been turned around.

Headed out to SF before 11:00am: 27/46 * (5 + 4*9) = 24

Headed out to SAC before 10:30am: 17/46 * (5 + 3.5*9) = 13.5 => 14

Headed to to BFD before 9:30am:
2/46 * (5 + 2.5*9) = 1.2 => 2

Total trains to be supplied by yard:
24+14+2 = 30

Typical trainsets are 8 cars, i.e. 660' (200m) long. Some trains may need to feature two trainsets, some need to be held in reserve and some will be unavailable due to maintenance. Figure the SD yard will need capacity for 35-40 trainsets.

I don't believe the location you suggest has that much spare capacity.

Rafael said...

@ anon @ 9:55am -

that's not how AB3034 works. Afaik, the $950 million set aside for feeder systems is divvied up based on a formula based on existing network size and ridership. IIRC, BART will get something like ~$240 million, Caltrain ~$40 million.

The $9 billion reserved for HSR as such can only be used for planning, engineering and constructing facilities actually used by HSR trains.

Anonymous said...

Some of the overpasses on 101 are already high enough to accommodate an hsr aerail underneath. It can be done.

Anonymous said...

Rafael, fine - $40M, plus stimulus funds (which they have already started to request, and are likely to get - for CALTRAIN (but NOT HSR)improvements. AND there's no reason they couldn't ask for more. AND, the ridership premiums on the already in operation caltrain serving a fabulous HSR Diridon station - can be used, AND once HSR is up and running from SJ - the cities, counties and local investor will be clamoring to get a piece of it -AND don't forget, there's always the HSR system lusting after the corridor, so they'll come up with a way for more funds. AND of course, dont' forget the all important real estate investors who want nothing more than to push TOD through this corridor - so they'll be quite helpful in that future as well. Rafael, again, your argument that Peninsula has to happen first or everything HSR is DOOMED is backasswards.

Rafael said...

@ anon @ 10:18am -

that's not how the stimulus bill works, either. It reserves $8 billion for capital investments in HSR systems, defined as those that can reasonably be expected to reach a top speed of 110mph.

Caltrain is currently limited to 79mph and has no intention of running either its locals or its baby bullets any faster than that. Fresh federal funding for standard-speed rail is going to have to wait until the next surface transportation bill is passed.

For now, Rep. Oberstar's (D-MN) committee in the House is looking to for an emergency 90-day extension of the existing bill, which is due to run out at the end of September.

Republicans want an 18-month extension instead, to avoid having to even discuss the next surface transportation bill before the 2010 mid-terms. In particular, they fear Dems may increase gas taxes to help pay for an increase in capital projects funding for both roads and rail.

Anonymous said...

Funny Rafael, because stimulus funding is already being requested BY HSR for CALTRAIN improvement known to be incompatible with HSR, namly San Bruno and TBT. But I'm not talking about this $8B anyway. I'm talking about the future. Rafael, its a marathon, not a sprint...

Anonymous said...

"Caltrain is currently limited to 79mph" Except thanks to HSR stimulus funds already requested, they're about to be electrified and grade separated, which will allow them to run much much faster. Right? Your story line just unravels almost as fast you speak it.

NONIMBYS said...

The thread is about HSR to San Diego..not another Rant page for the BABIE nimbys down in PA/menlo to cry on

Rafael said...

@ anon @ 10:51am -

the San Bruno project isn't fundamentally incompatible with HSR, it's just that the curve radius could and should be incrased to avoid forcing those trains to slow down to 55mph.

The immediate funding request is for grade separations that will benefit both HSR and Caltrain.

The 79mph stems from the signaling technology. Caltrain equipment could reach higher top speeds even today but even more so after electrification. The problem is that the stations are so close together that there's not enough room for locals to accelerate much beyond 79mph anyhow.

The future of the baby bullet service isn't clear yet. Perhaps it will be retained at 79mph. Perhaps it will be retained, but with a higher top speed to improve compatibility with HSR. Perhaps Caltrain will run true bullets at 125mph instead, with just two stops between SF and SJ and cross-platform transfers to locals. None of that has been decided yet.

Rafael said...

@ NONIMBYS -

Robert and I have been pretty lenient about allowing commenters to go off-topic. I've done it myself on occasion.

Our objective is to inform and to provide a forum for public discussion. We suggest a specific topic roughly once a day but it's more important to us to keep the conversation going than it is to keep it narrowly focused. Not every commenter shares our priorities, some use the latest thread to report on breaking HSR news, which may then become the subject of a future post.

This spirit of openness means the comment threads sometimes get a little annoying/hard to follow. Robert and I figure that's a price worth paying for reaching a fairly broad audience for an infrastructure project.

Clem Tillier's Caltrain-HSR Compatibility blog has become a very useful repository of reference information, at least for the SF peninsula, so he does admonish commenters to stay on topic on occasion.

Anonymous said...

For now, Rep. Oberstar's (D-MN) committee in the House is looking to for an emergency 90-day extension of the existing bill, which is due to run out at the end of September.

Republicans want an 18-month extension instead, to avoid having to even discuss the next surface transportation bill before the 2010 mid-terms. In particular, they fear Dems may increase gas taxes to help pay for an increase in capital projects funding for both roads and rail.


No, no, it's the Obama Administration that wants the 18-month delay on the next surface transportation bill, which has almost doubled in size yet gas taxes can't support even the current spending amounts. Who knows how it will be financed without gas tax increases, which Obama has officially opposed? Oberstar isn't pleased with the delay, but the Obama Administration is worried that such massive spending figures will be hitting the media too close to the other expensive bills they are trying to push through. The Republicans are in the minority, so they don't control the process. Don't look for scapegoats just for an easy excuse that's incorrect.

Rafael, you really MUST try to get your facts in order; otherwise, you can't be taken seriously. You make things up far too easily.

Rafael said...

@ jim -

correction on my comment at 9:59am:

24+14+2 = 40 not 30. How embarassing. That means the SD yard will need room for 45-50 trainsets.

Sorry for the goof-up.

BruceMcF said...

Anonymous said...
""Caltrain is currently limited to 79mph" Except thanks to HSR stimulus funds already requested, they're about to be electrified and grade separated, which will allow them to run much much faster. Right? Your story line just unravels almost as fast you speak it."

On-topic lies are bad enough - why annoy people with off-topic lies? The HSR application for work (pdf) on the Caltrain corridor is for improvements that are compatible with HSR operations.

And if Caltrain wants to keep riding the HSR funding train past the end of ARRA funding, it will need to be with work that is qualified for the California HSR bonds. If the HSR stops in San Jose, then the California HSR Authority would not be in a position to provide a state match for further federal funding.

That's one of the reasons why Proposition 1 was replaced with Proposition 1A - to head off some of the most blatant waste of public funds, like building a HSR corridor from LA to San Jose and not finishing it through to San Francisco.

jim said...

@ rafael, capacity can be added, air rights can be used etc. there's no room at the airport for that many train either. and there's no reason that from the airport to santa fe the hsr trains can't integrate with existing traffic on existing tracks at regular speeds.

We spend the whole blog talking about how important city center to city center is but then want to dis san diego.

All I know is if it stops at the airport as the end of the line there would be incentive to take the train to SD airport - a four hour trip, when I can fly to that location in 1:25 and pick up the same trolley or rental car.

It would be just like sending hsr to LAX, a horrible location for everyone, instead of LAUS.

I mean go ahead and put a station at the airport, but you have to let the train continue downtown for the rest of us.

Morris Brown said...

The stimulus funding request that the Authority has produced and approved is terribly flawed.

The Authority in its request, tells the FRA that whatever they will fund, the Authority will match will Prop 1A funds. They feel that will give them a major leg up on competitors, since the competitors can't presently come up with State funds.

However, Prop 1A is saddled with some real fiscal constraints. All funding has to be approved by the legislature and by law the use of the Prop 1A bond funds has real restraints.

1. Bond funds must be matched on a 1:1 basis with other funds.

2. Bond funds must be used such that a segment being funded must have all the money in hand to complete that segment, before starting construction.

Now clearly, as an example, in the SF to SJ section, the stimulus funding request shows use of Prop 1A bond money, when there is nowhere near the funds needed to complete the section. The Authority is promising the FRA to deliver funds, which under law they will not be able to provide.

The same argument applies to all of the stimulus funding requests.

Rather than pool the request into a section that could be completed, for example LA to Anaheim or perhaps Merced to Bakersfield, they spread out the requests over the whole Phase I of the project. Is our legislature going to just ignore the Prop 1A law and allow this to happen?

Finally, on another issue, the stimulus funds cannot be used to fund CalTrain projects. CalTrain is a commuter service, not a high speed inter-city service, which is the only kind of service that can apply for stimulus funding. The application will read that the funds are really for HSR, since they will be sharing facilities, but if HSR were to stop at SJ, clearly stimulus funds could not be used on the SJ to SF corridor.

By applying for the stimulus funds in the manner now approved, essentially the Authority is trying to lock in their arrangement with CalTrain.

jim said...

actually rafael, if you take a look again, the space around the peco and convention center and along that nice new area with the palms and boulevard and the laundry list of top hotels, that would be the place to put the hsr station. because san diego is more than anything , a convention city and that part of town is very attractive. and a modern hsr station is a perfect fit.

Rafael said...

@ anon @ 11:24am -

Oberstar’s 3-Month Transport Bill Extension Heading to House Floor

Deja Vu: Congress Could Put Off Deal on Transport Bill Until Next Month


The Republican leadership, along with a few conservative Dem Senators, does want an 18-month extension of the status quo to avoid the mere discussion of a gas tax hike.

Apparently, about half of the House Republicans voted in favor of the three-month extension anyhow. That doesn't mean much, though, since it hasn't passed the Senate yet. There, it could be subject to a filibuster.

The WH doesn't seem to care much either way, it wants to keep the focus on health care right now.

Robert said...

@ Jim - regarding your proposed location for train storage, neither the city nor the Navy would go for that, and down here in Sandy Ego the Navy gets whatever it wants. Not kvetching, just stating fact, military is always first and foremost, Sandy Ego knows which side its bread is buttered on. I have continued to wonder why not to run the train on down to the border, I think there would actually be a pretty good market for our neighbors to the south to walk across the border and then take the train to points north ... and it seems to me there may be some potential storage/maintentance sites down there. I note Rafael's comment re inability to run at high speed through there but as others have noted, it's a short distance and trains could run at normal speeds that final 10 miles down to San Ysidro.

Rafael said...

@ BruceMcF -

it seems like a long time ago, but the core of the HSR project has been SF to LA from its inception in the late 90s. CHSRA dutifully studied terminating the line in SJ to meet the NEPA and CEQA requirements for a broad range of alternatives. Unsurprisingly, it concluded that the overall cost/benefit ratio was likely to be worse than for the preferred alternative of reaching SF, in spite of the difficulty.

Prop 1 was replaced by 1A because the California state legislature was late in passing AB3034, an amendment to the bill prop 1 was based on that didn't include e.g. Anaheim in phase 1. There are certain deadlines for getting voter information booklets on ballot initiatives printed so the ones that had already been mailed were rendered invalid.

jim said...

Robert, so SD is a lot like SF when it comes to local politics. I see, wll, yes I was just thinking the same thing about the border. ( every single foreign and domestic tourist up here in sf, who is on their way to socal for the next part of their vacation - all want to go to tijuana. why, I don't know, they do.

REally and truly, I wonder how much it would cost california to just purchase baja from mexico, run the train down to cabo, and add high speed ferry connex from cabo to mazatlan and PV.

THAT would nice.

but robert those rail yards near petco and beyond, they are already being used for passenger rail parking so what would the navy object too?

i see tons of pax trains sitting there on the google.

Robert said...

I do also agree that the train should have a terminus at Santa Fe depot, not the airport (unless it continues further south as I suggested above). Not clear why it can't stop at both places ... notice how when you're on a European train it goes a loooong distance across the countryside but then as you get close to the city it will stop at some suburban stops before the terminus. (E.g. Rome, Brussels, Paris. Does Eurostar make any stops outside London before it gets to St Pancras? Haven't ridden it in years.)

As for the comment about elevated tracks to Santa Fe Depot, well the trolley is already elevated for part of its route and I wish they would have made it elevated for that entire stretchy. It interferes with traffic terribly. An elevated ROW from Old Town to Santa Fe wouldn't really interfere with views, much of that stretch is commercial and the main thing would be to keep traffic flowing. Some of you guys up north may think of SD as being a backwater but I just read that little Sandy Ego has the fourth worst traffic in the US. (Might have been on America2050.org but not I can't find it.) The train tracks separate downtown and its adjacent neighborhoods from the airport and points west (Point Loma, marinas, Ocean Beach).

Finally for those of you who have suggested following I-5 and/or the current Amtrak ROW, much those alignments are either in narrow canyons or hug coastal cliffs. There is not much room to widen the ROW for more sets of tracks. The current Amtrak route takes a bizarre loop inland through La Jolla that adds many minutes of travel time and would have to be straightened out for HSR (at great expense).

Robert said...

@Jim, city has its eye on that site for further development - note its proximity to convention center. Too valuable for its current use. And it's directly next to the Navy's 30th St shipyards which will never go away, I don't have my finger on the convoluted politics but they have a lot of say on whatever happens down there.

Rafael said...

@ jim -

easy now. I wasn't advocating putting the HSR station at Lindbergh Field, merely pointing out that it is one of two locations currently being considered for the SD station.

Both have pros and cons. At this point, many members of the public may not even realize that the HSR tracks will have to be elevated. While speed and therefore noise won't be a significant issues, the visual impact might be - I'm not familiar with how sensitive the locals are to that, especially near the historically significant Santa Fe Depot.

As for an elevated station located in-between Petco Park and the Convention Center, that's still a possibility. Someone would have to use the public comments process to force CHSRA to study this station option.

A yard near Petco Park would have to be elevated, though - an expensive proposition for 45-50 trainsets. Still, you'd need to have trains head down to here to get a sufficiently large patch of land at grade. Also, the 24-station maximum in AB3034 means prop 1A(2008) funds could not be put toward using that location as a station serving the SD southland.

Adirondacker12800 said...

i see tons of pax trains sitting there on the google.

HSR trains can do lots of things conventional passenger trains can't, mostly go a lot faster. Neither of them can double park. Park the HSR trains where you currently see other trains, where do those trains go?

Anonymous said...

The Republicans are in the minority in both houses, so they don't control the advancement of the surface transportation bill.

In your own link:
Will this month's version end with the House again bowing to the Obama administration's preference that a new transport bill not be considered until early 2011?

The Republicans are not even involved in this squabble.

Stubborn, are we, Rafael?

jim said...

adirondack- well you can't park em with the airplanes either. they hate each other.

Adirondacker12800 said...

At this point, many members of the public may not even realize that the HSR tracks will have to be elevated. While speed and therefore noise won't be a significant issues, the visual impact might be - I'm not familiar with how sensitive the locals are to that, especially near the historically significant Santa Fe Depot.

OMG, railroad tracks at a railroad station. Next you'll be proposing to bring trains to the railroad station! After that runways and aeroplanes at the airport...

Also, the 24-station maximum in AB3034 means prop 1A(2008) funds could not be put toward using that location as a station serving the SD southland

Call it local feeder line. Get funding from someplace else. Let the airport build the station at the airport as part of the new terminals. Sacrifice the station at Gilroy and use the Caltrain platforms. I'm sure Gilroy can come up with the cost of few blue and gold signs and a ticket vending machine. Or even better, since certain factions of the Peninsula NIMBYs say no one is going to use the system or alternately terminating at San Jose is good enough, skip building a mid Peninsula station. They can all go to SFO or San Jose.

Jim: how many Amtrak stations in California are unattended? How many of them are a patch of asphalt by the side of the tracks with an Amtrak sign?

well you can't park em with the airplanes either. they hate each other

I dunno, the airplanes get along with cars and the trucks. After all they are surrounded by acres and acres of parking lots... that could be over a rail yard instead of being over dirt...

Rafael said...

@ anon @ 1:00pm -

yes, the WH doesn't want to talk about the next surface transportation bill until after health care reform is signed, sealed, delivered. However, the WH doesn't own the legislative agenda, it can only seek to influence it.

This issue I was talking about is whether the existing bill is to be extended for 3 or for 18 months as a stop gap measure. In that context, the Republican leadership in Congress has come out against the three month extension and, they will most likely get an opportunity to filibuster it in the Senate because Dems can't get their ducks in a row.

That's all I was saying.

jim said...

adiron- Jim: how many Amtrak stations in California are unattended? How many of them are a patch of asphalt by the side of the tracks with an Amtrak sign?

unfortunately for labor and passengers, too many.

but I cure agree with you on the idea of a platform m shelter and ticket machine, ( or at least on agent in a booth) at most of the hsr stations.

No one ever answered my long ago question about who is gonna pay for all these extravagant stations, aside from LAUS/ARTIC/TBT which are local projects in their own right.

I mean none of these train cathedrals are needed at any of the other stops. If its coming out of hsr construction budget, think of the billions that could be saved.

I have always maintained that, as with amtrak, any city that wants more than a basic platform, and in many cases even a basic unstaffed platform- has to build it themselves. A train that stops in fno bfd gil pmd mcd and so on only stops for 90 seconds to open and close the doors, even on amtraks steam powered choo choos. hsr needs no more than that. those billions in station construction costs should go to trains, track, and row.

Rafael said...

@ jim -

"all these extravagant stations, aside from LAUS/ARTIC/TBT"

Which specific station are you complaining about?

Sacramento Railyards-to-Richards and SJ Diridon are local projects much like those you mentioned. Sure, the HSR project will chip in but no-one is expecting it to fund the whole ball of wax.

The same will be true for Fresno if that city wants to build the fancy multi-track elevated structure shown in the CHSRA animations.

I haven't seen a design for a downtown San Diego station yet, just a cross-section drawing of the new transit terminal at Lindbergh Field.

Everywhere else, a small, attractive but essentially utilitarian station is all planners have in mind anyhow. Do you have information to the contrary?

Btw, plans for LA Union Station are larger (6 platform tracks) but still fairly utilitarian. In that city, CHSRA is going to have to build run-through tracks for itself. Those are going to require land acquisition on a fairly grand scale south of 101.

Adirondacker12800 said...

Those are going to require land acquisition on a fairly grand scale south of 101.

...with no provisions for Metrolink. Pity....

Rafael said...

@ adirondacker12800 -

the HSR platforms will be a level above those for the standard-speed services. There is an entirely separate project for run-through tracks for Metrolink and Amtrak Pacific Surfliner. All of the environmental work for that has long since been done, what's missing is full funding.

The two sets of run-through tracks follow entirely different horizontal alignments, cp pp26 PDF and pp87 PDF (option A1) of CHSRA's Los Angeles-Anaheim Alternatives Analysis Report.

Note that the HSR alignment will fly over the large Metrolink yard next to the LA river.

Alon Levy said...

Looking On:

Your math puts San Jose to SF at around 5 billion, but it is at the very minimum now obvious it will be 9-13 billion.

You're justifying your claim that HSR will incur cost overruns by saying that you believe it will incur cost overruns. Do you have any evidence that SF-SJ will cost $9-13 billion? Remember - NIMBY desires don't count, since the point we're trying to make is that the project can stay on budget if overprivileged Palo Altans don't derail it.

jim said...

@rafael,

I don't actually know what the deal is with stations except that in all the cahsr videos it shows these calatrava looking things at every stop. So it appears that they plan to have them.

BUt we agree then, that cities should build and pay for their own stations so long as they meet minimum platform requirements.

If thats the plan then good.

Rafael said...

@ jim -

"cities should build and pay for their own stations so long as they meet minimum platform requirements."

Hmmm. I think the plan should be that the HSR project pays for tracks plus stations that meet the transportation requirement plus new ADA-compliant covered/indoor pedestrian connections to existing nearby HSR feeder services (if applicable).

There's also $950 million in prop 1A(2008) for capital improvements to HSR feeder services.

Any upgrades to HSR feeder transit capacity over and above that, all parking/road capacity upgrades and all architectural flights of fancy that add no transportation functionality should be funded at the city/county level.

Tunnels to access underground stations are a special case. Sometimes they really are needed because there's simply no way to build or reach an above-ground station. However, if going underground is a luxury in transportation terms and only considered because the locals really want it, then they need to pony up a large sum of cash for that pour encourager les autres.

Just my $0.02.

jim said...

other than SF, there shoudn't be any ned for underground stations. I would think.

What I would envision ( for all but sac, sfc,lax,sjc,ana-which all have plans of their own already) for all other stations is something like this is ample

I also wonder which station will be transfer points for the feeders services-- san joaquin, surfliner and metrolink trains.
I mean in the valley especially, I know they want to continue to increase speed and frequency on san joa trains, for the local passengers and to act as feeders to hsr. but if they are gonna put hsr at sac AND skn AND mod AND mcd AND fno AND hnf AND bfd, then what the hell is the point of running san joaquins at all. the only stops they left out are wasco and madera and turlock.

hmmm.

Rafael said...

@ jim -

it's possible Amtrak California may redefine its services after the HSR phase 2 spur to Sacramento goes live. That's ok, there are plenty of places in California that HSR will not serve: Chico/Redding, central and eastern CC county + Tracy, the North Bay, the central coast, eastern Riverside county + Imperial Valley etc.

jim said...

or perhaps amtrak secretly knows its gonna operate hsr... :-0 !!!

jim said...

bring to the table

I already tossed mine out, and it's not yet posted for download but I was blown over by this months employee newsletter wherein our vice president of policy and development made ti clear that amtrak intends to be the high speed rail provider for the US and specifically mentioned california.

I wish I could remember the details but I can tell you they sound absolutely determined. The article will be posted soon.

Rafael said...

@ jim -

well, Amtrak California is welcome to put its hat in the ring when the time comes.

jim said...

right next to sncf's chapeau.

jdez said...

No offence Jim, but if the choice is between Amtrak and SNCF then my vote goes to le France!

Anonymous said...

Rose Canyon is a well-known nature preserve with heavy recreational use. UTC is heavily populated.
Routing high speed rail there would be impractical. The route should continue down I-15 to airport and downtown SD.