Thursday, October 1, 2009

Friday Rally for HSR Stimulus Funds in LA

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

Friday morning at 9 AM supporters of high speed rail, including CHSRA board chair Curt Pringle, members Lynn Schenk and Richard Katz, and various unspecified "members of Congress, legislators, city and county officials, and representatives from labor, business and environmental groups" will gather at Union Station in LA to hold a rally in support of the state's application for $4.5 billion in federal HSR stimulus money.

Major newspapers in the state are getting into the act, including the San Jose Mercury News:

Friday's a big day for California's high-speed rail plan: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will formally request $4.5 billion in federal stimulus dollars to advance the project that will create about 133,000 jobs, 15,000 of them in the San Jose to San Francisco area.

The U.S. Department of Transportation should find this compelling. California's plan is further along than any other high-speed rail project in the country, and the state will match every federal dollar. As to the stimulus intent, California's unemployment rate of over 12 percent is a powerful argument. Major questions remain about how the line from Los Angeles will traverse San Jose and Peninsula cities. But voters have approved nearly $10 billion in bonds for the project, a solid vote of support.

The best use of stimulus dollars is to not only create jobs but also to strengthen the economy for the future, just as the United States did during the Great Depression by constructing dams, bridges and the like. High-speed rail someday will seem as indispensable as the Depression-born Golden Gate Bridge, and stimulus dollars can make it happen.

Good to see the Merc picking up the right framing on this. Government spending on infrastructure is one of the best ways to pull California out of the worst recession since World War II. It worked for us during the Depression, and it can work for us now.

PS: Almost forgot that today is also a CHSRA board meeting. Watch it live here, and view the agenda here. Finalization of the updated Caltrain/CHSRA MOU is on the agenda, as is staff authorization to issue a Request for Expressions of Interest to potential private funders.


Peter said...

Who's the elderly gentleman who wants 5 tracks between San Bruno and San Jose and BART around the Bay?

Anonymous said...

watch it live where ? it doesn't work.

Peter said...

Working for me.

Robert Cruickshank said...

Working for me as well, though I had to update to a new version of Flip4Mac to be compatible with Snow Leopard.

I didn't catch the name of the dude who made the comment you referred to, Peter, but I believe he's a Peninsula resident.

Peter said...

Although I think his 5 track idea on the Peninsula is ludicrous, is there any merit to his claim that tunneling would be cheaper for BART?

His other BART arguments weren't very good, given that Caltrain is planning on replacing its entire fleet and will be equal, if not superior, to BART in terms of ease of boardnig for wheelchairs, strollers, bikes, etc.

Peter said...

Not to mention BART being overall slower (no limited or express trains).

Anonymous said...

Who is giving CALPIRG money for their high speed rail push?

Rafael said...

@ Peter -

actual tunneling costs depend primarily on the volume that is excavated. BART uses single-level rolling stock with third rail pickups, so theoretically its tunnels ought to be cheaper per mile than those required for Caltrain/HSR bi-level cars with overhead catenary systems.

Many subway operators use rolling stock with curved roofs to minimize tunnel cross-sections but BART doesn't fully exploit this.

Of course, whether what BART actually pays its contractors bears even a vague resemblance to actual construction cost is open to debate. Cp. extension to Santa Clara.

Rafael said...

@ anon @ 10:37am -

PDF p10 of Calpirg's 2008 Annual Report indicates 64% of funding came from citizens, 21% from student chapters, 13% from grants and 2% from other sources.

Time to put down the tin foil hat, it's just lots of individuals who chip in because they give a damn.

Anonymous said...

was this addressed yet? It doesn't sound too good???

Last week, the Senate slashed the proposed budget for high-speed rail from $4 billion to $1.2 billion - a drastic cut that will undermine our investments in clean transportation alternatives. High-speed rail is efficient and environmentally friendly. It would put people to work, help clean our air, cut our country's energy consumption, connect our metro areas, help us compete economically, and give Americans new alternatives for getting around.

Key lawmakers will meet in the next few days to finalize the bill - tell them to restore high-speed rail funding!"

Anonymous said...

Last week, the Senate slashed the proposed budget for high-speed rail from $4 billion to $1.2 billion

I can only hope that the will take out the last 1.2 billions in conference.

Rafael said...

@ jim -

I'm pretty certain the total amount of grant applications USDOT has received and will receive tomorrow far exceeds the $8 billion sum made available in the stimulus bill.

Granted, a lot of those applications would not have been made if there had been the usual 20% state match requirement because many states face budget shortfalls and/or are unwilling to raise taxes, especially right now.

Still, there's now a groundswell of interest in high speed rail in many parts of the country. The biggest issue is that Senators of small and rural states will only continue to support HSR if there's some bacon for them to bring home as well. Since HSR doesn't make sense everywhere, they'll be looking to cut deals that substitute other types of bacon. Those could be related to infrastructure other than transportation.

Such horse-trading is a little unsavoury but also how stuff gets done in Washington. At least spending on civilian infrastructure like HSR has a multiplier effect, unlike spending on weapons systems designed to fight the previous war.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind the horse trading at all. I just wonder if the republicans are gonna pull their typical bs.

Rafael said...

@ jim -

I'd be more worried about Harry Reid's lack of a spine. Just once I'd like to see him make the GOP and conservadems actually read from phone books. Why are the arcane procedural rules of the US Senate considered more important than the US constitution, which says 50 Senators + the VP is enough to pass a bill?

I doubt he's going to play hardball on HSR, though, given that his favored DesertXPress project will be seeking federal loan guarantees rather than outright grants.

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

Weapons systems have a multiplier effect too. They create a lot of high tech jobs and there are trickle down effect on the high tech civilian sector as well. Your train creates mostly just low tech construction jobs. Basically it's a job program for immigrants from Mexico and elsewhere rather than for Americans. If they build this toy of yours it will create only a massive influx of construction migrant workers from Mexico, while Americans hardly get any benefit in terms of jobs.

Peter said...

Should we call it pig-trading instead of horse-trading in this context?

Rafael said...

@ Toys -

there is no multiplier effect from using weapons systems, it just generates trillions of debt for future generations to pay off. Defense is a necessary evil, no more.

There is a multiplier effect from using civilian infrastructure, because it enables economic actors to conduct follow-on transactions that would otherwise not have happened. This applies in particular to business travel and tourism.

Anonymous said...

As a Los Angeles area resident, I keep waiting to hear about some sort of similar working relationship between CHSR and MetroLink. Are they not interested in the leverage possibilities or did I just miss that announcement?

Peter said...

@ Anon 2:25

I've been wondering about the same thing. Are they planning on completely segregating HSR and Metrolink?

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

Rafael: maybe you should refresh your knowledge of economics. You might question the utility of building weapons systems that aren't needed, but any increase in Government spending has a multiplier effect on GDP, whether it's for civilian infrastructure, or for military equipment. To state that military spending has zero multiplier effect will get you an F in any Economics course. If the Gov't spends on weapons the manufacturers will get the money, that will flow to the workers, that will purchase new widgets which are built by other manufacturers who will pay their workers to make widgets and on and on and on. That's the multiplier effect.

Anonymous said...

Um, Silicon Valley is a product of defense spending largesse. Look at all the defense contractors that got that place going. Google and Apple are late-comers.

Useful military technologies? The internet, GPS, infrared technology, advanced sighting and controls, commercial jets, advanced robotics, etc, etc... Early demand for advanced computer technologies -- which had no consumer demand early on -- was stimulated by defense spending.

What technological spin-off has transit or HSR produced? Translink or those easily demagnetized BART cards?!? Transit agencies can't even make use of readily existing technologies. How about a GPS-based control system for BART to speed up their headways?? Well beyond the technological competence of BART "engineers".

missiondweller said...

Wish we had organized something similar her in SF.

Unknown said...

That's the multiplier effect.

No, what you described is a trickle-down effect.

And are you seriously arguing that it's better to spend government money on things we won't use as opposed to things that we will?

Call it a troop mobility train if you want to label it as defense spending, that worked for the interstate system.

Unknown said...

Um, Silicon Valley is a product of defense spending largesse. Look at all the defense contractors that got that place going. Google and Apple are late-comers.

I don't think that anyone has ever argued that Defense spending doesn't reap benefits, just that it's generally not the most efficient way to achieve those things, if the secondary benefits are what you're after.

If you want technology research, fund it directly. If you want planes, fund those, you'll get some tech research out of it, yes, but that's not the main reason.

Peter said...

@ Toys

Plug in "multiplier effect economics" into wikipedia.

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

AndyDuncan and Peter: I've studied economics so I don't need to go to stupid Wikipedia to know what it is. What I've described it's a very rudimentary description of what economists mean by multiplier effect, which is an effect by which an increase in spending results in an increase of GDP that is greater than the initial spending. Read this instead of wikipedia:
or this:

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

Once you learn how it works you'll realize that every type of fiscal spending, military or civilian, will have a multiplier effect on the economy. One might prefer certain government spending over others, depending on one's priorities, but all will have a multiplier effect. As the anonymous above noted, there have been plenty of civilian trickle down effects from military technology as well. You wouldn't be writing all this bullshit on blogs every day without the military spending on this telecommunications means which later became known as the internet.

mike said...

To state that military spending has zero multiplier effect will get you an F in any Economics course.

Sadly, that is not true in a modern graduate macroeconomics course. Such a statement would be considered a correct conclusion in the whacky world of real business cycle macro (which is what most of "modern" macro is based on). It's more of an indictment of the discipline of macroeconomics, however, than of your unfamiliarity with the lack of common sense in some areas of our profession.

Weapons systems have a multiplier effect too.

Yes, same with digging holes in the ground. However, if you build infrastructure, then you get something useful for many generations + multiplier effect, whereas if you dig holes/build weapons, all you get is multiplier effect.

Silicon Valley is a product of defense spending largesse.

Might have been true back in the 70s, but hasn't been for a long time. Because development cycles are so long, military technology is often archaic by commercial standards these days. For example, the CPU used in the super-hi-tech, just-launched, gazillion-dollar F22 Raptor is the Intel i960, which dates back to the 90s. Think of something that would be competitive with a 486 or the original Pentium.

mike said...

You wouldn't be writing all this bullshit on blogs every day without the military spending on this telecommunications means which later became known as the internet.

And by the same argument, none of us would be living in California or the American West if the government hadn't invested in the Transcontinental Railroad.

Rafael said...

@ anon @ 2:25pm, Peter -

"Are they planning on completely segregating HSR and Metrolink?"

Only part of the Metrolink network will benefit from the grade separations that HSR will bring. I'm referring to Lancaster-LA-Anaheim.

For now at least, Metrolink isn't looking to switch to non-compliant lightweight DMU or EMU passenger trains. Unlike Caltrain, it doesn't own all of the tracks it runs on so it has to stick with FRA-compliant rolling stock which won't be permitted onto HSR tracks.

However, Metrolink does own some of the rights of way that CHSRA will be looking to use. In particular, south Palmdale, Sylmar-Redondo Junction and Fullerton-Anaheim. Therefore, if there is demand, Metrolink could negotiate the right to operate strictly regional HSR trains under its own brand between Palmdale and Anaheim.

Alternatively, it could buy that service wholesale from another operator at a discount written into the ROW agreement as an easement.

As in the Bay Area, the biggest problem is getting people to think outside the box. Just because Caltrain and Metrolink operate commuter rail today doesn't mean that's all they'll ever be able to offer their customers.

Anonymous said...

Agenda - no item for "PR firm". No discussion of the PR firm selection? How will they meet their business plan deadline with a PR firm?

Anonymous said...

that should have said 'without a PR firm'

Robert Cruickshank said...

The communications contract is being rebid and will be settled at the November board meeting (or so I am told).

Clem said...

How about a GPS-based control system for BART to speed up their headways?? Well beyond the technological competence of BART "engineers".

Oh, they tried... and failed, having flushed $80 million down the toilet.

Caltrain appears about to do the same with their CBOSS project.

Anonymous said...

Am I getting this right that Quentin Kopp is calling for replacing Caltrain with BART? About a month ago I opined that BART had long lusted after the Peninsula and would weasel in with promises of subways if the CHSRA tried to ram an aerial down PA's throat.

Y'all laffed. Kopp is a BART apparatchik. C'mon Bechtel - keep talking up berms and see where it leads.

mike said...

Am I getting this right that Quentin Kopp is calling for replacing Caltrain with BART?


looking on said...

I'm surprised that nobody here has written that perhaps the grand plan is a merger or take over of CalTrain by the CHSRA.

When you look at


and the org chart, I sense the footprint for a merger.

Anonymous said...

@looking on.... well it looks like they are definitely getting together on the details of getting things up and running but I'm not sure after that. sounds like they will have an agreement on how they will utilize the row together but not like they are dissolving caltrain.

Alon Levy said...

Once you learn how it works you'll realize that every type of fiscal spending, military or civilian, will have a multiplier effect on the economy.

Economist consensus is that civilian spending has a higher multiplier.

The consensus research on domestic spending is that it has a multiplier of about 1.5; those were the current administration's projections, and when critiquing spending, Greg Mankiw talked about the 1.5 multiplier idea is consensus before attacking it.

For military spending, Robert Barro's research shows that WW2 had a multiplier of 0.8. Barro also believes domestic spending has zero multiplier, but he's never provided evidence for it, whereas for WW2 he has, and even pro-stimulus people like Krugman accept those estimates.

For the record, the correlation between growth and military spending as a percent of GDP in developed countries in recent years is a statistically insignificant -0.1 (it'd need to be -0.38 to be significant).

Rafael said...

@ looking on -

Caltrain is a commuter railroad, CHSRA a planning body. They'll have to coordinate closely on the upgrade project for the ROW and on operations planning, but to assert that CHSRA wants to take over day-to-day Caltrain operations is to misunderstand the nature of what each for these organizations does.

Rafael said...

@ looking on -

for details of the temporary organization Caltrain and CHSRA are setting up to plan and execute the massive capital investment project, see Clem's post "MOU, part deux".

looking on said...


This is speculation on my part --- however, if the system is ever built, it has always seemed to me that CalTrain had created a major competitor for the service (sj to SF bullet), that they claim is the only service saving their bacon.

This just appears to me to lace them closely to HSR, and why shouldn't the final operating authority then take over all operations on the corridor.

As for your comment that UPRR isn't involved, another reason to believe they are going to maintain their position of not selling out. Remember they still hold inter-city tracks rights even in the SF to SJ corridor.

All of these millions being thrown down the rat hole, if UPRR doesn't allow them on the SF to SJ corridor.

You object with vigor to military spending, some of which I agree with you as being without reason, but here is a State agency that keeps throwing money on a corridor, when they don't have the right to use that corridor, and thus far ( several years now) has not been able to secure those rights.

As far as I am concerned, the CHSRA should be abolished, and taken into the new proposed state agency --- hopefully without any present members of the board, certainly without Kopp and Diridon and Morshed.

bossyman15 said...

@looking on
well obvious the HSR SJ to SF bullet will be more expensive than Caltrain bullet so there will be still people riding on Caltrain.

bossyman15 said...

sure there would be some high priced white collar workers and CEOs who would ride HSR but that number would be very small.

BruceMcF said...

@jim, that "slashing" is compared to an original budget request from the administration of $1b. So the Senate "slashed" by only adding $200m, where the House had already added $3b.

The White House request would be $5b over the next five years, the Senate $6b, and the House $20b.

Of course, its not a game of "smaller bid wins" ... any measure that is not in agreement has to be in the conference report which gives the amendments needed to bring each Chamber into line with the agreed compromise.

Its quite possible that $2b will be the annual appropriation in the conference report, double the administration request, and $10b over the next five years.

No matter what the frame, and no matter where the final appropriation lies within the bargaining range between $1.2b and $4b, passing an appropriation in both Chambers larger than the Administration request is good news for HSR funding.

The reason transport funding advocacy groups like Transport for America are spinning it as "slashing the House appropriation by $2.8b" is to generate the response from constituents to make the Conference outcome as strong as possible.

looking on said...

On funding see this



Will Obama's High-Speed Rail Plan Become a Subsidy for Freight Railroads?

Rafael said...

@ looking on -

as explained previously, CHSRA is not a competitor to Caltrain. If the latter agency wants to run regional HSR trains at a top speed of 125mph between SF and Gilroy on the HSR tracks, that's negotiable. Alternatively, it could negotiate an easement for discounted blocks of seats purchased wholesale on trains operated by someone else.

There is an inexplicable but persistent perception that CHSRA is a railroad and that Caltrain will never ever operate trains at speeds in excess of 79mph.

As for UPRR holding inter-city passenger rights in the corridor, that's actually more complicated than it might appear to the naked eye. When Amtrak was founded, UPRR agreed to give up all inter-city passenger rights but SP did not.

Soon after the PCJPB purchased the peninsula corridor in 1991, UPRR in turn bought SP and fully integrated it into its organization and operations. Since SF to SJ isn't considered an intercity distance and UPRR gave up the right to operate intercity passenger trains, it's not clear the pertinent clause in the 1991 contract amounts to a hill of beans at this point.

My concern is with UPRR's freight trackage rights. Other than Clem's blog posts (1, 2, 3), here hasn't really been a discussion of whether it makes economic and environmental sense to continue hosting heavy freight in the peninsula vs. limiting axle loads vs. paying off UPRR and its customers.

The 1991 contract does contain a clause permitting PCJPB to unilaterally kick UPRR off the peninsula, but doing so would be expensive ("abandonment proceedings") and generate protest from both freight customers and communities that would be exposed to additional truck traffic.

Note that the clause can technically only be invoked if there are changes to the tracks used for commuter traffic are to be changed in ways that are incompatible with freight service, e.g. grade separations involving gradients of 3.5%. It doesn't matter if HSR trains will also operate in the corridor.

If heavy freight is to remain, the maximum gradient is 1% and there can't be too many elevation transitions in short order. In other words, planners are currently severely constrained in their efforts to tailor the solution to the wishes of each city along the way.

There are also many other issues to consider, such as track order, AAR plate H clearances, dispatch authority, FRA/CPUC approval for letting freight trains cross HSR tracks at all, wear and tear on those diamonds/turnouts etc. plus freight operations during the construction period.

Seems to me like it might be a really good idea to invite UPRR to assign an infrastructure/operations planning liaison. First, though, the fundamental issue of what will happen to freight in the peninsula needs to be addressed at a more senior (i.e. political) level. That's not CHSRA's nor PCJPB's decision to make without broad consultation.

Btw, Mehdi Morshed is the senior staffer at CHSRA. He reports to the board. My understanding is that the board members are appointed by the governor and the state legislature for terms of four years. Not sure if any appointment can be revoked prematurely or subject to which conditions.

looking on said...

More on reflection on the funding gap.

Last summer the project was expected to cost at 33 billion. Now the figure is 40 billion. So the funding gap has grown 7 billion in one year.

So even if they get 4.5 billion from stimulus (almost nobody expects that), the fund gap will have grown 2.5 billion in one year.

At what point, now that private equity is really off the table, does the legislature put a stop to the project.

Rafael said...

@ looking on -

the folks at the Heritage Foundation are and have always been opposed to anything that might possible reduce US dependence on oil. In particular, they're ideologically opposed to the very existence of Amtrak.

The hare-brained argument is that not all $8 billion will be spent on dedicated HSR tracks, therefore taxpayers are somehow being duped. Oh and by the way, dedicated tracks would be a bad idea because they require land to construct - as if freeway lanes didn't and runways didn't blight real estate values under the flight path.


Rafael said...

Chicago just lost its bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

How about a Bay Area bid for 2020/4/8? Point Alameda could be developed into a huge sports-complex-cum-regional-park, connected to both SF and the East Bay via a second BART tube. As in London 2012, the focus would be on access via transit rather than cars.

Anonymous said...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 2, 2009 2:32 AM

Contact: Richard Tolmach, President CRF 916-443-1529

High-speed rail proposals will apparently be the only Track 2 ARRA Stimulus projects submitted by California after the High-speed Rail Authority successfully convinced the Governor's office on the afternoon of Thursday October 1 to block about $3 billion of conventional rail proposals under development by Caltrans. Lobbying was apparently carried out both by HSRA staff and board members following the HSRA meeting in Sacramento. The packages are due to be submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration on Friday October 2.

HSRA is believed to have asked the Governor to block the Caltrans submissions because most of the Caltrans projects were shovel-ready, and therefore had a better chance of obtaining funding than did the Authority's less defined projects.

The Governor's decision means that California would discard most projects that could actually go out to bid in the near-term, to benefit $4.5 billion of high-speed rail applications that have much longer timelines, and are unlikely to meet the 2012 deadline. It is yet to be seen whether California's gambit for over half the Federal ARRA stimulus funds will be at all successful.

Most severely hit are Los Angeles County, Orange County, and San Diego County, which had expected major improvements along the popular LOSSAN corridor served by Amtrak and Metrolink trains.

Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, La Mirada, Fullerton, and other cities on the LOSSAN route had incurred HSRA's antagonism by recent negative press comments concerning the vagueness of high-speed rail plans for high-speed elevated trains through their communities, which would consume the majority of statewide funding.

Also hard-hit are the Capitol Corridor, which would lose an improvement project on its Oakland-San Jose leg and the San Joaquin Route, where track doubling projects would be cancelled. At the same time, programs to upgrade conventional rail equipment would cease, leaving California with insufficient train capacity.

The following projects are negatively affected: (all figures below are in millions)

Peter said...

@ Anon

You skipped the projects affected.

Not that I really mind...

lyqwyd said...



Anonymous said...

Orange County LOSSAN Grade Separations (9) $734.0
City of Santa Fe Springs Grade Separations $290.0
Track Upgrades and Track Geometry Car LOSSAN $115.0
Irvine Third Main Line Track $100.0
SD LOSSAN San Dieguito Bridge / Del Mar Fairgrounds Platform $94.0
LAC CP Raymer to CP De Soto Double Track $70.8
SD LOSSAN CP San Onofre to CP Pulgas Double Track $47.0
SD LOSSAN CP Cardiff to CP Craven Double Track $40.0
VC Leesdale Freight Siding Extension $21.0
SD LOSSAN Carlsbad Double Track $23.0
SD LOSSAN Oceanside Station Stub Track - Project 2 $7.0
SD LOSSAN Poinsettia Station Run-Through Track $15.0
SD LOSSAN Sorrento Valley Double Track $33.0
Santa Ana to San Juan Capistrano 110 MPH Upgrade $18.0
LOSSAN N Seacliff Siding Improvements $38.0
VC Signal and Communication Upgrades $10.0
LAC Signal and Wayside Detector Upgrades–Track 2 $40.0
LAC Signal Communications Upgrade $40.0
VC Signal/Wayside Detector Upgrades $10.0
VC Track and Bridge Upgrades–Track 2 $27.0
Los Angeles to Fullerton Fiber Optic Backbone $23.0
San Diego Maintenance Facility $75.0
Burbank and Burbank Airport Access Improvements $8.0
Moorpark Station Improvements $12.0
Van Nuys Station 2nd Platform $39.8
Encinitas Pedestrian Grade Separations (4) $19.0
LAC Grade Crossing Safety Improvements $75.0
VAC Grade Crossing Safety Improvements $27.5

Capitalized Maintenance Phase 3 $8.0
Oakland to San Jose Track Improvement Project $442.5
Trackside Network and ROW Security Cameras $40.0
Sacramento-Placer County (Design, & Planning) $7.5

Port Chicago to Oakley Double Track $126.5
Fresno Layover Facility $15.0
Stockton Amtrak Station Relocation $42.7

Caltrans Intercity Car Maintenance Facility $325.0
Statewide Aerial Mapping $10.0

Peter said...

"HSRA is believed to have asked the Governor to block the Caltrans submissions because most of the Caltrans projects were shovel-ready, and therefore had a better chance of obtaining funding than did the Authority's less defined projects."

And their proof for this is what?

It's always easy at ascribe ulterior motives:

"Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, La Mirada, Fullerton, and other cities on the LOSSAN route had incurred HSRA's antagonism by recent negative press comments concerning the vagueness of high-speed rail plans for high-speed elevated trains through their communities, which would consume the majority of statewide funding."

BruceMcF said...

Anonymous said...
"HSRA is believed to have asked the Governor to block the Caltrans submissions because most of the Caltrans projects were shovel-ready, and therefore had a better chance of obtaining funding than did the Authority's less defined projects."

If they are shovel ready, why were they not in the Phase 1 submission? IOW, what pushed them out of the track for shovel ready projects into the track that permits projects that require additional planning activity in order to proceed?

Peter said...

Spin, spin, spin. Ya gotta love it.

Peter said...

Why are you yelling at yourself, anon?


Anonymous said...

Source was press release I received. This news item seems to confirm "changes". It also looks like Peninsula got cut and Anaheim got raised - see

Anonymous said...

Note: no money for Caltrans and less money for Peninsula

Anonymous said...

chicago lost? damn. ( but no we don't want it in the bay area, thanks) Chicago would have been great who won?

Robert Cruickshank said...

Clearly some changes were made to the application at the last minute. I'm trying to get the actual list, since Tolmach is not even remotely a reliable source. I will refrain from speculating on motives until I see something official.

Rafael said...

During yesterday's CHSRA board meeting, Mehdi Morshed said the Governor had asked for $370 million in projects originally allocated to Caltrans to be moved over to HSR. He didn't go into specifics, merely that the Governor's office had felt these funds belonged on the HSR side as they related to rail grade separation.

In the peninsula section, the Governor's office scaled back the HSR portion of the state's application from $1.28b to $980m, implying a $600m reduction in near-term stimulus spending in the Bay Area. Here, too, it'll be interesting to see exactly what ended up on the cutting room floor.

Anonymous said...

In today's October 2 press release, Rod Diridon makes up some more numbers.

“Before it's completed, California's high-speed train will generate 600,000 construction-related jobs to plan, design and build the system and another 450,000 transportation-related permanent jobs, providing a long-term stimulus to California's economy," said Diridon.

In CHRSA promotional video last year, they were claiming 69,000 new jobs in construction and management, which was part of a TOTAL of 450,000 new jobs. Now used-car salesman Diridon says it is 600,000 construction jobs on top of another 450,000 transportation-related jobs! This is not just a rounding error or verbal typo. Diridon is lying through his teeth, and it's in the official press release. Don't they vet these things? You can plainly see how fast and loose CHSRA is with the numbers.

Peter said...

Ummm, while the numbers may be wrong, I find it highly unlikely that anyone would intentionally "round up" numbers so high. This is obviously simply an error in the way it was worded. Most likely they will come out with a correction in the next couple of days.

Alon Levy said...

How about a Bay Area bid for 2020/4/8?

Now that Chicago got spared, are you trying to foist this on San Francisco?

Robert Cruickshank said...

SF was the other major US bidder for 2016, until the 49ers decided to drop out of building a stadium in SF and instead shifted to Santa Clara. That stadium was to be the SF Olympic Stadium. And without an Olympic Stadium, the SF bid collapsed, leaving the USOC to choose between Chicago and LA.

My guess is Chicago will come back and bid again for 2020, and they are going to put enormous pressure on the federal government to end the idiocy and restore the pre-2001 visa rules.

Anonymous said...

A correction. Yeah, right.

Anonymous said...

9 billion of which a good portion is ROW and materials. Let's say 6 billion is labor, spread out over a 4 year time horizon.

1.5 billion per year/ 130,000 jobs = $11,500 per job.

130,000 jobs. Yeah, right. (today is official sarcasm day)

Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...

@ Anon

Are you assuming that the number of construction jobs is solely based on the amount of money from THIS federal stimulus plus matching state funds?

Anonymous said...

130k is the number they gave for construction related. There are supposed to be an additional 450,000 post construction.

Peter said...

But ONLY from the current funding request and matching? Because 130,000 seems plausible if it refers to the project overall, not just the beginning part funded by the stimulus plus matching state funds.

Dan said...

Has anyone heard if the FRA has released its list of funded projects for Track 1 ARRA funds? I believe originally, they were to be announced on October 1st.

dave said...

@ anonymous poster-

Here's a quote:

Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle, who is also the High Speed Rail Authority board chairman, said the proposed project would create nearly 130,000 jobs as soon as ground was broken.

Throughout construction, it is expected to generate up to 600,000 temporary jobs, and boosters say it would create 450,000 permanent jobs statewide.

Whole Story

Peter said...

So, just poor choice of words in the press release then.

dave said...

Should we be worried that the SF-SJ section is due to receive $980M as opposed to $1.28B? Will the line have enough for electrification and PTC?

dave said...

Or will the state matching funds cover it?

Peter said...

Caltrain estimates that electrification will cost $1.23 billion, including $785 million for infrastructure and $440 million for rolling stock. This is in year of expenditure dollars.

dave said...

Well the $440M for rolling stock is Caltrain's bill, at least. I do beleive the total cost would be split 50-50 between Caltrain & CHSRA, if I read correctly in the recent MOU. Although I'm not sure.

dave said...

I guess that L.A isn't the only place they were holding rallies this morning:


Video is on the right hand side.

P.S, I also read Fresno is having/had a rally.

Rafael said...

@ dave -

only the planning costs for the next 12 months will be split 50/50.

CHSRA will pay for the electrification of the corridor and allow Caltrain to piggyback off that infrastructure at no cost.

Caltrain has to pay for its own rolling stock.

Spokker said...

It doesn't matter how many jobs it would create. It shouldn't even be mentioned. Invest $40 billion in HSR or $40 billion in freeways, jobs are going to be created. It's not an inherent feature of HSR and it should not be considered in any cost-benefit analysis.