Saturday, October 3, 2009

Video From LA Union Station HSR Rally

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

Thanks to @TedNguyen and OCTA for this short video of the HSR stimulus funding rally yesterday at LA Union Station. Included are snippets of remarks by OCTA CEO Will Kempton, CHSRA Board Chairman Curt Pringle, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:

33 comments:

Alon Levy said...

Schwarzenegger: "If we get the grant for HSR, I promise to fund a Terminator 5 movie where the final battle takes place on top of a moving high-speed train."

Rafael said...

@ Alon Levy -

yes, but will California be able to afford special effects this good by then?

dave said...

@ Rafael

Awwh, Man that's got to be the funniest train, action movie clip EVER! I'm still wiping the tears from my face!

lyqwyd said...

@Rafael

That was one of the most awesome things I have ever seen!!!

jim said...

gee that was neat-o. must have gone to the same film school as these guys

(by the way that was a favorite when we were kids)

BruceMcF said...

I tweeted that clip from 2:20 in. When I say bullet, you say train. Bullet! Train! Bullet! Train!

jim said...

you know, I've been wathcing science channel all day and there are all these shows that show what it going on around the world in construction. Its is truly amazing what is being built.....

except, in america. the american projects they show, are so small and sad and pathetic compared to the what the rest of the world is doing.

No wonder the olympic committee gave us the brush.

America has become nothing more that a superstitious mentally retarded hillbilly backwater in the eyes of the world.
.. yeah we're big dumb losers and so proud of it too.

I mean for real compare our sad sad ugly "half" a bridge thats taken a quarter century to build, to this

meh, we'll be dead and buried before we see a train that goes faster than 22 mph.

The nation that can't. our new motto.

That's okay though, we lead the world in reality shows.

jim said...

I've tried for long to preend it wasn't true... but has anyone else noticed that our leaders in congress, are a bunch of buffoons? I mean really take a good look.
It's not even that they face tough challenges, they are just plain buffoons.

sigh.

damn, now where'd I put that french birth certificate..... see ya.

James said...

As for railroad movies, is there an FRA rule Buster_Keaton does not break in these scenes?

jim said...

still planning a tunnel

Rail>Auto said...

Does anyone know where I can purchase a CAHSR bumper sticker or shirt? I need some propaganda!

Anonymous said...

When I say mono, you say rail.
Mono! Rail! Mono! Rail! Mono Rail!

Anonymous said...

Anyone know anything about the alternatives analysis doc mentioned in this news report http://www.dailybreeze.com/latestnews/ci_13481406 ?

Rafael said...

@ anon @ 12:05pm -

the LA-Anaheim Alternatives Analysis Report was completed on 4/21.

See also the CHSRA Board Presentation from June.

All this stuff is in the library on the CHSRA web site under "Los Angeles to Orange County Section". And yes, HTML frames are a terrible way to organize a reference site.

Anonymous said...

Rafael -

The article referred to something released on Friday and the plans sounded quite different from those previously released.

Rafael said...

@ anon @ 1:29pm -

the authoritative source on the planning status of the HSR system is the CHSRA web site, not an article in the Daily Breeze.

If there is indeed an update to plans for the LA to Anaheim section, it should be on the CHSRA web site in the next few days at the latest.

If in doubt, you should contact CHSRA directly.

Anonymous said...

LOL at the movie train clip. OH my gosh I can'tt stop laughing. lol

Robert Cruickshank said...

Wow, that Daily Breeze article is full of scare words and seems designed to freak people out to the maximum extent possible.

Yes, there will likely be another layer of tracks built at Union Station as part of the long-sought run-through tracks. The framing of this as a "jumble" is intended to suggest to the reader that the plans are inherently flawed.

Similarly, the discussion of the corridor between LA and Anaheim is flawed. Sure, it's theoretically possible that 7 tracks might be built. But the article makes no mention of the Caltrain efforts to use positive train control, itself already subject to a Congressional mandate, to share tracks with light weight passenger vehicles, which would obviate the need for a freakin' 7-track corridor.

What is particularly troubling about the "article" is that it isn't signed. The only author is "news services." Which could be anyone or anything.

Rafael said...

@ Robert -

PTC will be a requirement for SoCal as well, but unlike Caltrain, Metrolink isn't planning to switch to lightweight non-compliant EMUs.

Perhaps the most obvious question is: why do FRA and CPUC still not have dedicated headcount at CHSRA/Caltrain, paid for by the HSR project?

The regulatory issues relating to the technical standard for interoperable PTC, platform height, 25kV AC electrification and the implications for operating mixed traffic need to be sorted out as early as possible.

Adirondacker12800 said...

The regulatory issues relating to the technical standard for interoperable PTC

Amtrak managed to do it along the Northeast Corridor. There's little if any legacy signaling to worry about in California, should be much easier.

platform height

It would be really really really stupid to pick incompatible ones. Which California being so very special, will probably pick one for Caltrain, one for Metrolink and a totally different one from HSR, none of them compatible with anything else in the world.

25kV AC electrification

Has anyone suggested anything else?

the implications for operating mixed traffic need

No heavy trains north of San Jose or Gilroy solves lots of problems. But that would be an easy solution... Metrolink operates more than one line over a wide variety of tracks.

Alon Levy said...

Amtrak managed to do it along the Northeast Corridor. There's little if any legacy signaling to worry about in California, should be much easier.

Amtrak runs compliant trains. So do the Northeastern commuter railroads.

Adirondacker12800 said...

Amtrak managed to do it along the Northeast Corridor. There's little if any legacy signaling to worry about in California, should be much easier.

Amtrak runs compliant trains. So do the Northeastern commuter railroads.


You are going to have to explain that.
FRA compliant trains that use PTC or CBTC or ATO or whatever you want to call it get signals and slow or stop. UIC compliant trains get signals and slow or stop.

Amtrak managed to come up with something that was compatible with all the systems the commuter railroads and the freight railroads use. California doesn't have many automatic signal systems installed. The one on the Peninsula probably won't survive the rebuild of the corridor. Should be much easier to come up with something everyone can agree on ... since most of the track doesn't have a system.

Alon Levy said...

I'm pretty sure the Northeast has no PTC on its rail lines, or else the Acela wouldn't need to be compliant. Amtrak would, God forbid, be allowed to use off-the-shelf equipment.

Adirondacker12800 said...

I'm pretty sure the Northeast has no PTC on its rail lines, or else the Acela wouldn't need to be compliant.

Acela is compliant because they let trains that don't have ACSES onto the track. ACSES - Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System - is Amtrak's version of PTC or CBTC or ATS or ATC or whatever you want to call the thing that stops the train when the engineer fails to. Comparable to ETCS/ERTMS level 2.

Amtrak would, God forbid, be allowed to use off-the-shelf equipment.

The Northeast Corridor has ACSES. When Amtrak installed it there were no off the shelf components. There are now. Alstom is one of the vendors. Probably hopelessly obsolete because it's ten years old give or take a few.

Metro North is implementing something that is compatible with it, I can't find out what. NJTransit completed their ATC system on all lines last year. It can stop the train. None of it may be super duper extra dollops of GSM-R'd ERTMS level 42.63 but it's a positive train control system or a communications based train control system or automatic train control or whatever you wanna call it.

Alon Levy said...

CBTC has nothing to do with ATS/PTC. It's a system for letting trains know how far ahead the next train is, not for stopping trains that go too fast.

Rafael said...

@ adirondacker12800 -

Interoperable PTC implementation could indeed allow FRA to loosen the restrictions surrounding mixed traffic.

Ideally, that would mean every railroad in the US picks the same system. Or at least, those west of the Mississippi should. In practice, it'll be a horrible and unnecessarily expensive hodge-podge because there are always "world-class consultants" who claim they can deliver a system that's just as good (or better!) and it won't cost a dime.

Defining the technical standard(s), even if it's just cribbing off what the Japanese or the Europeans have done, ought to be the job of the FRA. Unfortunately, PRIIA mandated PTC functionality but failed to give FRA the authority to impose a technical standard or even a process for arriving at one.

It also failed to provide more than token funding, so naturally the freight rail operators are looking for satellite-based 100% wireless solutions that would let them avoid installing any new trackside infrastructure. The problem is, no-one's ever been able to make that work reliably.

Adirondacker12800 said...

CBTC has nothing to do with ATS/PTC. It's a system for letting trains know how far ahead the next train is, not for stopping trains that go too fast.

So when the CBTC system detects that the trains are too close together neither of them change speed? Or when one of them stops unexpectedly the one behind it doesn't stop eventually? Or when one pops the circuit breaker on it's section of catenary it lets the next train into the section of unpowered catenary?

Or at least, those west of the Mississippi should. In practice, it'll be a horrible and unnecessarily expensive hodge-podge

Making it difficult or impossible to run unit trains between Los Angeles and Chicago or Oakland and New York. If that's occurred to me I'm sure it's occurred to BNSF, UP, CSX and NS. Since BNSF, UP, CSX and NS exchange equipment freely with CN, CP and Kansas City Southern, I suspect they are interested in a single standard. Throw in Kansas City Southern de Mexico and Ferromex and I see a single standard being adopted for all of North America. I'm sure their big customers, UPS for instance, are encouraging it too.

Rafael said...

@ adirondacker12800 -

FYI - the Association of American Railroads is urging FRA to stick to the mandate laid out by Congress in H.R. 2095-110th (aka PRIIA).

They've also put out a quick fact sheet that may be useful in this context:

Are you implementing PTC?

Rafael said...

Associated Press reports FRA has received applications from 24 states for track 2 applications totaling around $50 billion.

Some 214 applications from 34 states totaling $7 billion were submitted under tracks 1,3 and 4 in August.

Ergo: $57 billion total requests vs. $8 billion available.

Alon Levy said...

They've also put out a quick fact sheet that may be useful in this context:

Are you implementing PTC?


Is it just me, or is the factsheet full of wheel reinventions, together with promises that the people who made them have experience (in running overweight diesel trains, but still)?

Adirondacker12800 said...

Is it just me, or is the factsheet full of wheel reinventions, together with promises that the people who made them have experience (in running overweight diesel trains, but still)?

It's a sales pitch for making them your consultant if you have to implement.... a modern signal system. Doesn't have anything that would help you decide if the signals are compliant or compatible.

There's a few blurbs at the end about how they are working on the standards committees... which sort of implies that people are out there making sure all of this stuff is interoperable.

Rafael said...

@ Alon Levy, Adirondacker12800 -

my sly point was that the technical standards for this safety-critical technology are not being defined by government agencies such as FRA and NTSB but by the industry itself, whose primary objective isn't safety but investing as little as it can get away with.

Adirondacker12800 said...

defined by government agencies such as FRA and NTSB but by the industry itself, whose primary objective isn't safety but investing as little as it can get away with

Why does the government need to define them? It hasn't in the past and the railroads managed to come up with a standard gauge, a standard coupler, more or less two rulebooks for operation. They even managed to come up with IEEE1473-L which is a worldwide standard.

They understand that single standards make things work better. They also understand that a single standard means multiple vendors to select from. They also understand that if they have a single standard the UPS unit train from California can go to Chicago or New York without switching locomotives or worrying about whether or not the cars can operate on two or more systems. It would also work for the unit trains carrying Tropicana orange juice from Florida to New York, Ohio and California.