The train thread

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Profile Bill Walker
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Message 1698720 - Posted: 5 Jul 2015, 17:40:27 UTC - in response to Message 1698717.  

Let's all play a game to guess how many towns and cities
on the new Windsor/Quebec TGV line, demand a stop?


The answer is "way more than all of them". Towns near (or even sorta near) the proposed route are lining up saying "we'll give you some land if you shift the route - and stop in our downtown".

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Message 1698722 - Posted: 5 Jul 2015, 17:43:26 UTC - in response to Message 1698720.  

It's fun living here eh?


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Message 1698723 - Posted: 5 Jul 2015, 17:43:58 UTC
Last modified: 5 Jul 2015, 17:48:36 UTC

Never a dull moment Celt. :)

Just to show the effect of old rail lines and high population density, here is a shot of a line I lived close to about 20 years ago. The City involved is not on the main Windsor-Quebec line, but they have offered up the old city owned track, if....



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Message 1698727 - Posted: 5 Jul 2015, 17:53:50 UTC
Last modified: 5 Jul 2015, 17:56:41 UTC

Here are the big population centres on the route, from ViaRail. For every one named on this map there are at least 10 others that want to be on the map.



Added in edit: ViaRail runs express and local services on these lines, the stops named are for the express trains.

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Message 1698732 - Posted: 5 Jul 2015, 18:10:14 UTC

You can see the Wi-Fi drop-out by the Airbase in
Trenton. One of the postings I had in the RCAF...



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Message 1698775 - Posted: 5 Jul 2015, 20:42:11 UTC

That's 15 "main" stops, now cut out anywhere with a population of less than 100,000 or less than 75km from a major centre or junction - that will probably leave you with about 6 stops, build a >300kph railway using totally new infrastructure including stations and "flat straight" alignments, use the existing network for the short hops (150km and less). Journey time - somewhere around the 4.5hours end to end, which is a massive gain on that starting point of 14hours!!!!

But what be more interesting is to go for a medium speed upgrade of the existing route, push most of that up to 200kph running speed, do "skip stopping" to reduce the number of calling points and you get down to about 8hours, which is a substantial saving in time for a much lower investment. Now put on a "clock face" service, say two hourly departures for the through trains interleaved with a one hourly "all gateposts". Now that would be a service....
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Message 1698788 - Posted: 5 Jul 2015, 20:55:02 UTC

I think you are going in the right direction Rob. The only things likely to happen in my lifetime are limited upgrades of the existing services, plus extension of the specialized commuter services till they start to overlap. The limiting factor will be using existing right of ways, which means there will still be "cultural" or "political" speed limits in a lot of places, no matter how good the tracks and trains are. You see some of that on the GO trains around Toronto already. They get up to 80 mph in some places on purpose built track, then have to crawl at 20 mph through some urban level grade crossing on a "legacy" ROW. Makes for an interesting ride if you are standing up.

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Message 1698789 - Posted: 5 Jul 2015, 21:18:17 UTC

It never fails to amaze me how low the speeds are "over there".
80mph is about the maximum speed of the majority of our urban EMUs, never mind our inter-city EMUs (not express trains) which run at 100mph, our express trains run at 125mph (200kph).... And all these are "mixed traffic" routes, not dedicated high speed lines!

It certainly sounds as if there needs to be a big jump in the public expectation of rail speeds, such that 100mph becomes common place. Obviously this needs a lot of political investment as well as the financial investment. One driver might be the "spin-off" of increased freight train speeds, in recent years we've seen the speed of freight trains increase from about 50-60mph as a maximum to many now running at 75mph, and at the same time train mass going up from 1000tonnes to 3000 tonnes. OK, I know that's small by your standards, or minute according to the South Africans and Australians. Most of this increase in both speed and mass has been the improvements in track quality required by the faster passenger trains.
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Message 1698792 - Posted: 5 Jul 2015, 21:37:35 UTC

Here in CA the minimum for HSR outside of tightly congested areas(200kph/125mph), will be 322kph(200mph), with express trains going at 355kph(220mph).
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Message 1698797 - Posted: 5 Jul 2015, 21:46:12 UTC

There is always the CHSR project. The idea was to move people from downtown Los Angeles to downtown San Francisco. Well, someone should have checked if people in those two places want to go to the other end. While there are lots and lots of flights between the greater Los Angeles area and the Greater San Francsco Bay area, frankly the business traffic is better described as from West Los Angeles to Santa Clara / San Jose and some convention traffic to Moscone. Most people in Los Angeles loathe downtown and will do anything to avoid it. So putting the terminus there is only to please the few government officials who have their office there!

As to the brainchild or folly of not having any stops along the way, the route proposal follows I-5 freeway, because it is mostly cattle farms and ranches. The population of California follows SR-99 some miles to the east. By using the I-5 route they won't have stops, but that also means they don't have a line to the greatest tourist attraction in California, Yosemite! They also avoid the State Capitol Sacramento. Good Idea!

The planners did finally realize on the north end that they needed to have a stop or two on the way into SFO because their train would be empty otherwise. They haven't figured it out yet on the south end. Might be because they are listening to the politicians who built a light rail line that stops 1 mile short of Los Angeles International Airport!

They are building the first segment form nowhere to nowhere. I suspect a second will get built adding third nowhere to the line. Then somehow I see land acquisition costs skyrocketing to the point the rest of the project is never built.

I suspect the hairbrain behind this thought no stops because if there are stops it will take to long compared to the plane and there won't be riders. Well, hairbrain, if the people have to spend an hour in traffic on the I10 freeway to get from the westside to downtown LA vs 5 minutes to get to LAX, you are never going to be able to compete!
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Message 1698801 - Posted: 5 Jul 2015, 21:59:44 UTC - in response to Message 1698797.  
Last modified: 5 Jul 2015, 22:04:56 UTC

There is always the CHSR project. The idea was to move people from downtown Los Angeles to downtown San Francisco. Well, someone should have checked if people in those two places want to go to the other end. While there are lots and lots of flights between the greater Los Angeles area and the Greater San Francsco Bay area, frankly the business traffic is better described as from West Los Angeles to Santa Clara / San Jose and some convention traffic to Moscone. Most people in Los Angeles loathe downtown and will do anything to avoid it. So putting the terminus there is only to please the few government officials who have their office there!

As to the brainchild or folly of not having any stops along the way, the route proposal follows I-5 freeway, because it is mostly cattle farms and ranches. The population of California follows SR-99 some miles to the east. By using the I-5 route they won't have stops, but that also means they don't have a line to the greatest tourist attraction in California, Yosemite! They also avoid the State Capitol Sacramento. Good Idea!

The planners did finally realize on the north end that they needed to have a stop or two on the way into SFO because their train would be empty otherwise. They haven't figured it out yet on the south end. Might be because they are listening to the politicians who built a light rail line that stops 1 mile short of Los Angeles International Airport!

They are building the first segment form nowhere to nowhere. I suspect a second will get built adding third nowhere to the line. Then somehow I see land acquisition costs skyrocketing to the point the rest of the project is never built.

I suspect the hairbrain behind this thought no stops because if there are stops it will take to long compared to the plane and there won't be riders. Well, hairbrain, if the people have to spend an hour in traffic on the I10 freeway to get from the westside to downtown LA vs 5 minutes to get to LAX, you are never going to be able to compete!

HSR in CA route generally follows the CA-99 highway(as close as HSR can and still be HSR), like mentioned here(pdf) or about Here on page 3 of 8, not the i5 fwy in any sense, HSR's job is to haul passengers, EMUs are very fast and powerful, more so than any mere DMU.

Distance from LAX to LA Union Station is according to Bing, 20 miles, not 1 mile.

Nowhere to nowhere is a MYTH... A r/w myth and a LIE.
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Message 1698828 - Posted: 6 Jul 2015, 0:02:48 UTC

Do know what they call the undead in railroad terms? A Locomotive...
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Message 1698913 - Posted: 6 Jul 2015, 5:56:03 UTC

I had a most excellent weekend. This will give you a good idea. Details tomorrow.
David
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Message 1698943 - Posted: 6 Jul 2015, 10:52:20 UTC

...Ahh the trundle along the dear old Slowly Rusting route to Devon.

If you went from Paddington via Bristol to Exeter you would have 125mph running to Bristol, then a mixture of 100/90/70 down to Exeter.

It certainly slows down beyond Exeter as there is a distinct lack of rails (a lot of single track railway) with lots of curves and hills. Actually the route doesn't get too bad until beyond Plymouth.
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Message 1698946 - Posted: 6 Jul 2015, 11:04:11 UTC - in response to Message 1698943.  

Ah, you remember the Slow and Dirty too.
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Message 1699072 - Posted: 6 Jul 2015, 19:57:45 UTC - in response to Message 1698797.  

...They are building the first segment from nowhere to nowhere. I suspect a second will get built adding third nowhere to the line. Then somehow I see land acquisition costs skyrocketing to the point the rest of the project is never built.....

Other than pointing out that Merced, Fresno, and Bakersfield are not exactly "nowhere", I find I agree more with Gary then Vic.

And living right smack-dab in the middle of the current construction, I see the farms being cut in half, with NO grade crossings for miles so the farmers can get to the other parts of their land, the great chunks being cut out of down-town Fresno, and the fact that there are NO guarantees as to the availability of funds (California's own Congressional delegation is blocking further Federal funding of CHSR) after the current section is built, and this begins to look like the infamous "bridge to nowhere" in Alaska. Most of my neighbors would rather see CHSR shut down, and the money used to build dams and canals to catch more rain and snow. We'd rather have WATER for our farms and faucets than a train that goes real fast to places we don't want to go.
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Message 1699089 - Posted: 6 Jul 2015, 20:33:47 UTC - in response to Message 1699077.  

We'd rather have WATER for our farms and faucets than a train that goes real fast to places we don't want to go.

The question to be asked is this

"Is this rail route being built for the people that are expected to want to use it. Or, is it being built for political reasons, and to put money in the back pockets of those that might "sell" land to aid it happening?"

As Gary noted, the ORIGINAL route was to run up the I-5 corridor, to move business people and tourists from L.A. to San Fran and Sacramento. During the political process, many things changed, including the route. In some places, the route is still not finalized, yet land is being purchased (much of it through eminent domain, with property owners and City and County governments fighting it fang and claw) and construction has begun in Madera County and Fresno. It is NOT the program that the voters approved way back when....

So I would answer that it may have originally been designed for the people it hoped would use it, but it has become a political program that continues because some politicians have staked their political careers on it. I believe that if it is ever completed, it will require government subsidy, not make a profit as its proponents claimed. And if a Ballot Proposition appeared in 2016 asking if the project should be terminated, it would pass. I voted "NO" the first time, and I would vote "YES" to shut it down.

I think we are very close to getting this discussion moved to Politics, so I will step back now.
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Message 1699108 - Posted: 6 Jul 2015, 22:20:05 UTC

Prop1a(Secretary Of State) doesn't specify a route up i5, it does mention the Central Valley Cities and Palmdale, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Prop1a is fairly vague on most things and I wish it had been a little more clear(but it is, what it is). Text of Prop1a on ballot.

Phase 1 of the high-speed train project,
the authority may request funding for capital costs, and the Legislature may
appropriate funds described in paragraph (1) in the annual Budget Act, to be
expended for any of the following high-speed train corridors:
(A) Sacramento to Stockton to Fresno.
(B) San Francisco Transbay Terminal to San Jose to Fresno.
(C) Oakland to San Jose.
(D) Fresno to Bakersfield to Palmdale to Los Angeles Union Station.



b) (1) Net proceeds received from the sale of nine billion dollars
($9,000,000,000) principal amount of bonds authorized pursuant to this
chapter, upon appropriation by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act, shall
be used for (A) planning and engineering for the high-speed train system and
(B) capital costs, as described in subdivision (c).



704.095. (a) (1) Net proceeds received from the sale of nine hundred fifty million dollars ($950,000,000) principal amount of bonds authorized by this chapter shall be allocated to eligible recipients for capital improvements to intercity and commuter rail lines and urban rail systems that provide direct connectivity to the high-speed train system and its facilities, or that are part of the construction of the high-speed train system as that system is described in subdivision (b) of Section 2704.04, or that provide capacity enhancements and safety improvements. Funds under this section shall be available upon appropriation by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act for the eligible purposes described in subdivision (d).


The bond($9 Billion for HSR and $950 million for Rail Transit in CA) and Federal money, there is Cap and Trade money, funded by AB32, which is being extended until 2050 in the legislature(SB32), 25% of cap and trade is for HSR($500 Million, this part of the year, 4 auctions happen a year, $750 total Million so far) and more to come means other segments can be built, the Republican Party is now against HSR, before 2008 Republicans were all for this for some reason.

A large part of the route in the CV is settled, only the southern section into Bakersfield is being changed, with Bakersfield agreeing to drop their lawsuit if the Authority change the southern part to a different alignment, which chews up less of everything and costs less supposedly(from what I've read).
Construction Package One Overview(29 miles, Final)
Construction Package 2-3
Building Out the Central Valley Backbone of High-Speed Rail(65 miles, Final)

High - Speed Rail Authority Announces Bid Results on
Next Segment of Construction in the Central Valley


The Economic Impact of the California High-Speed Rail in the Sacramento/Central Valley Area by Shawn Kantor Ph.D.


Quote From Shawn Kantor..
2
The Economic Impact of the California High-Speed Rail
in the Sacramento/Central Valley Area

prepared by:

Shawn Kantor, Ph.D.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Central Valley will experience unprecedented growth over the next 20 years,
placing critical strains on existing transportation infrastructure. The Central Valley today is relatively inconveniently integrated into the major economic areas of the state in the Bay Area and in Southern California. High-speed rail (HSR) is a transportation option that has proven effective around the world in reducing automobile and airline traffic, while integrating wider geographic regions into a unified economic market.


Quote From the SOS Office..
The proposed system would use electric trains and connect the major metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Sacramento, through the Central Valley, into Los Angeles, Orange County, the Inland Empire (San Bernardino and Riverside Counties), and San Diego. The authority estimated in 2006 that the total cost to develop and construct the entire high-speed train system would be about $45 billion.


Amazing photos show us why the American transportation network has fallen off the rails!

Quote From the Transport Politic..
Mr. Salam signaled a similar approach to this issue, arguing that if only the right route had been picked, Tea Party members might not have referred to such projects as “trains to nowhere.” At a hearing last week, House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-FL) played the same rhetorical game, suggesting that the Administration had done the wrong thing with its funds.
[snip]
The story is more complex. The first section of the California project will connect Fresno and Bakersfield, stopping near Hanford on the way. Together, the three metropolitan areas this line would serve constitute the primary residence for more than two million people. More importantly, while the funding is not yet fully committed, California is well on the way to being able to connect this core segment with extensions to San Francisco and Los Angeles — the Central Valley, after all, lies between them. Northeast Corridor or not, no one should deny the national importance of connecting those two metropolitan areas. The state rail authority’s announcement today that it has received 1,100 expressions of interest in being involved financially in the project from private groups like Alstom and Virgin should provide evidence that this is not in any way a hopeless cause.

Yet even if we were to take the stand that the California project were not good enough — if only the Northeast is appropriate for federal rail investment — there would be no way to articulate a national transportation strategy that ignored the rest of the states given the political realities of representation in the U.S. Congress. In that case, not only would you have a problem achieving bipartisan consensus, but you would isolate rail supporters to just one section of the country. Yet this is in effect the course suggested in the arguments made by those conservatives who claim to support rail.

The fact of the matter is that we must have a nationwide investment in intercity rail; it would be very difficult to produce support for federal government spending for just one region. The alternative is no investment at all.

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Message 1699120 - Posted: 6 Jul 2015, 22:46:49 UTC

High-speed rail agency settles Bakersfield’s lawsuit against route

The California High-Speed Rail Authority announced Friday afternoon it has reached a settlement with the city of Bakersfield in the city’s environmental lawsuit over the authority’s Fresno-Bakersfield route.

The lawsuit, filed in June by the city in Sacramento County Superior Court, is one of seven challenging the rail agency’s environmental-impact report and final route selection for the section of the statewide rail system between the south end of Fresno and downtown Bakersfield.

Still pending, however, are six other cases filed by Kern County; Dignity Health, which operates a hospital along the rail route; Coffee Brimhall, a development company with a proposed Bakersfield project site on the route; the First Free Will Baptist Church in Bakersfield; the city of Shafter; and Kings County, Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability and the Kings County Farm Bureau.

All seven lawsuits allege that the rail authority violated the California Environmental Quality Act by failing to adequately evaluate all of the potential effects on homes, neighborhoods, businesses and farms of building and operating the rail route through southern Fresno County, Kings County, Tulare County and northern Kern County. The suits also asserted that the plan did not provide sufficient measures to offset harmful effects of the rail line.

The fates of the cases, however, were thrown into doubt earlier this month when the U.S. Surface Transportation Board issued a declaration that because it had already approved the route for construction, state courts are barred from enforcing the state environmental law for the Fresno-Bakersfield section, including issuing any court orders to halt work on the Fresno-Bakersfield section.

“This agreement represents our shared commitment to continue working together to solve issues in a constructive manner,” said Jeff Morales, the rail authority’s CEO. “Our goal is to maximize the benefits of high-speed rail in Bakersfield and minimize impacts to the community.”

In the agreement, the rail agency “acknowledges that the city is concerned that the Bakersfield Hybrid Alignment analyzed in the May 2014 (environmental report) is unacceptable to the city.” The settlement requires the rail authority to consider a new alternative route south of Seventh Standard Road, at the northwestern fringe of Bakersfield, as well as a new station location in the city.

The rail agency originally contemplated putting its station in downtown Bakersfield, near the existing Amtrak station near Truxton and Union avenues. The settlement identifies a new station site “in the general area of F Street and Golden State Avenue,” about a mile and a half from the Amtrak station.

The state agency pledges that it will conduct a workshop in Bakersfield on the new route option and station site. Once a new environmental assessment is prepared, the agency will hold its board meeting in Bakersfield to certify the environmental analysis and finalize the route. Yet to be determined is whether the evaluation will be part of a revision to the already-approved Fresno-Bakersfield environmental impact report, or included in the environmental work for the next segment connecting Bakersfield to Palmdale.

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Message 1699135 - Posted: 7 Jul 2015, 0:02:10 UTC - in response to Message 1698197.  

The length of the train in that picture is just ridiculous!!!

Up until the 1990s, the average freight train in Canada was about 5,000 feet (1.54 kilometres) long and weighed 7,000 tons. But it is now not uncommon to see these trains stretch to 12,000 feet, sometimes as much as 14,000 feet (more than four kilometres), weighing up to 18,000 tons.

Are Canadian railways that close to financial ruin that they have to run stuff like this to save money and survive?

No, but they're run by people who care more about profits than anything else.

CN used to be run by E. Hunter Harrison, who decreed that trains should be about 10,000 feet long. Never mind that on single track lines, the passing sidings were only about 5-7,000 feet. He also imposed various other practices that look good on paper but not in reality.

After he hit CN's mandatory retirement age, activist investors took over the board of CP and hired him to be president there. Guess what he did? Yup, the exact same stuff.
David
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