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#1 Amstruck

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 06:40 PM

Does anyone know or have a theory on why there's such a strong resistance to the construction of high speed rail system in California? I've heard one of the strong opponents is the freight train companies that own the current tracks on which Amtrak is leasing. It's all greed and low on vision, is it?

#2 chakk

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 12:26 AM

Many people in California are opposed to the high cost for high speed rail to build a train on a route that won't be competitive with plane or even driving oneself.

Others do not like the rrain being routed theough their neighborhood, some of which might require taking of land with what some consider inadequate compensation.

#3 Paulus

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 12:36 AM

60128333.jpg

Many people in California are opposed to the high cost for high speed rail to build a train on a route that won't be competitive with plane or even driving oneself.


How in the world do you plan on driving between Los Angeles and San Francisco in under three hours?

#4 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 12:45 AM

Many people in California are opposed to the high cost for high speed rail to build a train on a route that won't be competitive with plane or even driving oneself.

Others do not like the train being routed theough their neighborhood, some of which might require taking of land with what some consider inadequate compensation.

The NIMBYs are out in force, for sure.

 

Much of the opposition comes from people who built or bought homes alongside the tracks in the Peninsula between San Francisco and San Jose. Now they say they worry about noise, for example, tho HSR will probably be less noisy than the conventional trains running now, and that were running when the NIMBYs bought their rail-side properties.

 

But polling shows that California citizens continue to favor the CAHSR project despite the loud opposition. And in the recent election, one candidate for governor made anti-HSR a big part of his campaign, and he lost in a landslide.

 

The train will take what, 3 or 4 hours downtown L.A. to downtown S.F. Don't try that in a car. LOL. It would take twice the time.

 

HSR is quite competitive with flying when you consider getting to the airport from your downtown office, going thru security, waiting to board, then flying time is almost the least of it, before at the other end deboarding, renting a car or getting a taxi to get downtown to your business meeting. Never mind many, many European examples of successful HSR routes. Even Amtrak's slow boat Acelas taking 3 hours D.C.-NYC and the Regionals taking 4 hours together take more than 2/3rd of the combined air/train market.

 

+++++++++++++

 

As for the notion that the freight lines care at all whatsoever, No. Just No. CAHSR will not run on their tracks. Near or even beside their tracks for much of the way, but in no way will HSR interfere with the freight operations.

 

Heavy freight trains degrade and destroy the roadbed and tracks for HSR, and HSR can't safely run on ordinary tracks at high speed. So they will Not get in each other's way.



#5 cirdan

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 04:46 AM

I think there is also a scaremongering campaign by the usual suspects who have a vested interest in cars and oil.

#6 Anderson

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 05:00 AM

@Woody: I think the idea that the OP had raised was that BNSF was somehow getting enough money in track access fees from CA that they'd lose from the HSR project that they were opposing it so as to keep Amtrak on their tracks.  Considering most of the last 50 years' history this comes across as completely against everything we're used to (for the most part the issue is that Amtrak's access fees are locked in at a low enough level that the freights would prefer the trains gone, all else being equal, though things get a bit hazy if you have a line that Amtrak is a major customer on).


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#7 jis

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 09:33 AM

Yeah, that thing about BNSF worrying about access fees paid to it by CalDOT (not Amtrak) directly or indirectly via Joint Powers Boards, is bogus, even though the fees negotiated between CalDOT and BNSF and UP in California is probably higher than the original Amtrak fees.

Edited by jis, 20 July 2015 - 09:35 AM.


#8 FrensicPic

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 09:40 AM

Would the Amtrak California San Joaquins go away? The service might change but I wonder, would there still be a need for a more "local" service than HSR would provide? If that does go away, Greyhound could fill the need.


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#9 Amstruck

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 10:14 AM

Many people in California are opposed to the high cost for high speed rail to build a train on a route that won't be competitive with plane or even driving oneself.

Others do not like the rrain being routed theough their neighborhood, some of which might require taking of land with what some consider inadequate compensation.

These people could be either shortsighted, greedy, or being manipulated by special interest groups like freight train companies, people who benefit from status quo, or all of the above. They're the reason why the US is on the decline.

#10 Amstruck

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 10:16 AM

Many people in California are opposed to the high cost for high speed rail to build a train on a route that won't be competitive with plane or even driving oneself.

Others do not like the train being routed theough their neighborhood, some of which might require taking of land with what some consider inadequate compensation.

The NIMBYs are out in force, for sure.
 
Much of the opposition comes from people who built or bought homes alongside the tracks in the Peninsula between San Francisco and San Jose. Now they say they worry about noise, for example, tho HSR will probably be less noisy than the conventional trains running now, and that were running when the NIMBYs bought their rail-side properties.
 
But polling shows that California citizens continue to favor the CAHSR project despite the loud opposition. And in the recent election, one candidate for governor made anti-HSR a big part of his campaign, and he lost in a landslide.
 
The train will take what, 3 or 4 hours downtown L.A. to downtown S.F. Don't try that in a car. LOL. It would take twice the time.
 
HSR is quite competitive with flying when you consider getting to the airport from your downtown office, going thru security, waiting to board, then flying time is almost the least of it, before at the other end deboarding, renting a car or getting a taxi to get downtown to your business meeting. Never mind many, many European examples of successful HSR routes. Even Amtrak's slow boat Acelas taking 3 hours D.C.-NYC and the Regionals taking 4 hours together take more than 2/3rd of the combined air/train market.
 
+++++++++++++
 
As for the notion that the freight lines care at all whatsoever, No. Just No. CAHSR will not run on their tracks. Near or even beside their tracks for much of the way, but in no way will HSR interfere with the freight operations.
 
Heavy freight trains degrade and destroy the roadbed and tracks for HSR, and HSR can't safely run on ordinary tracks at high speed. So they will Not get in each other's way.
Well said!

#11 Amstruck

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 10:16 AM

I think there is also a scaremongering campaign by the usual suspects who have a vested interest in cars and oil.

YES! You've said it well!

#12 Amstruck

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 10:23 AM

Would the Amtrak California San Joaquins go away? The service might change but I wonder, would there still be a need for a more "local" service than HSR would provide? If that does go away, Greyhound could fill the need.

While I am not sure if it is going to go away, I believe it needs a major overhaul in management and services. The trains are almost always late, the tracks are rough and uneven causing lots of rolling motion, the conductors are unfriendly, egotistical, and rude. Amtrack customer service is abysmally shameful. Amtrack is indeed a waste of taxpayers money under the current management.

#13 Eric S

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 10:52 AM

Amtrak. Not Amtrack. And the San Joaquins are now managed by a regional Joint Powers Board. And prior to that they had been managed by Caltrans (Amtrak California), not by Amtrak itself.



#14 cirdan

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 01:43 AM

Would the Amtrak California San Joaquins go away? The service might change but I wonder, would there still be a need for a more "local" service than HSR would provide? If that does go away, Greyhound could fill the need.

While I am not sure if it is going to go away, I believe it needs a major overhaul in management and services. The trains are almost always late, the tracks are rough and uneven causing lots of rolling motion, the conductors are unfriendly, egotistical, and rude. Amtrack customer service is abysmally shameful. Amtrack is indeed a waste of taxpayers money under the current management.


There's not going to be a day that you wake up one morning and the San Joaquin has vanished over night and in its place there is a high speed train.

On the contrary, California's high speed line is being developed and built over many many years in different phases with some phases being complete years before other are even begun. The existing San Joaquins will thus start using the new tracks as they become available and where it is viable to do so. Initially the existing equipment will be used and later high speed trains will replace it capable of using the line speed to its full capacity. So think of it more as a phased transition.

Whether some trains will continue using the old tracks will probably be decided closer to the time. I guess it will also depend on whether there will actually be sufficient passenger numbers to fill such trains.

#15 VentureForth

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 09:45 AM

 

Many people in California are opposed to the high cost for high speed rail to build a train on a route that won't be competitive with plane or even driving oneself.

Others do not like the rrain being routed theough their neighborhood, some of which might require taking of land with what some consider inadequate compensation.

These people could be either shortsighted, greedy, or being manipulated by special interest groups like freight train companies, people who benefit from status quo, or all of the above. They're the reason why the US is on the decline.

 

What kind of work do you do?


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#16 DSS&A

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 08:14 AM

Hi,
URGENT ACTION NEEDED TO HELP California HSR

California High Speed Rail NEEDS everyone's support in sending an email to the US Forest Service BEFORE OCTOBER 23RD!!! The US Forest Service is asking for public opinion about whether or not they should allow the California High Speed Rail commission permission to perform 8 drill location on existing forest secure roads to study three route tunnel alternatives. One needs to send an email to Mr. George Farrah at gfarra@fs.fed.us.


Here's a link to the related newspaper article.

http://www.sgvtribun...national-forest

#17 alan_s

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 03:58 PM

I am a HSR advocate for my own country's South Eastern corridor of Melbourne > Canberra > Sydney > Brisbane. It will never happen in my lifetime, sadly. For those wondering if people will use it instead of planes look at China. I visited in 2012, my trip report is here: http://loraltravel.b...ina-trains.html

 

I took G trains (300km/hr+ or 185mph+) from Hangzhou to Shanghai, Suzhou to Beijing and Zhengzhou to Xi'An. I took slightly slower D (200km/hr) anf K (140km/hr) trains on other legs. Using Suzhou to Beijing as an example the trip took just over five hours from the station 10km north of Suzhou to the heart of Beijing. The distance is equivalent to San Francisco to Seattle.

 

Waiting time, including security, at the station was about 30 minutes although many Chinese only turned up about ten minutes before departure. Time from our hotel in Suzhou to our hotel in Beijing was just over six hours. Flight time is two hours; allowing for cabs to out-of-town airports, check-in and security I doubt we would have saved much more than an hour, two at the most, if we had flown. All the trains were well patronised.

 

This is an example of a G train from Guangzhou, on China's south coast, to Beijing in the far north, noting rough equivalent distances to North American West Coast cities.

 

G66 http://www.cnvol.com...-11/en-3049.htm

            Station         Arr.  Dep.  Elapsed km Miles Equivalent

Guangzhou South - 10:00   0                                  LA to SF, 380 miles, would be 2 hours.

Changsha South     12:17 12:20  02:17 707    440   LA to Sacramento via San Francisco

Wuhan                   13:38 13:41  03:38 1069  665   San Francisco to Portland

Zhengzhou East     15:26 15:29  05:26 1605  998   Los Angeles to Portland

Shijiazhuang           16:50 16:53  06:50 2017 1254  San Diego to Seattle

Beijing West           18:00 -         08:00 2298 1429  San Diego to Whistler


Edited by alan_s, 07 October 2015 - 04:02 PM.

Cheers, Alan, Australia

 

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#18 grover5995

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 05:05 PM

Would the Amtrak California San Joaquins go away? The service might change but I wonder, would there still be a need for a more "local" service than HSR would provide? If that does go away, Greyhound could fill the need.

Once HSR runs over the full SFO-LAX route, the San Joaquins will likely be reduced to 2 round trips daily between Oakland and Bakersfield on the current route.


Edited by grover5995, 25 October 2015 - 05:08 PM.


#19 Anderson

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 02:34 AM

 

Would the Amtrak California San Joaquins go away? The service might change but I wonder, would there still be a need for a more "local" service than HSR would provide? If that does go away, Greyhound could fill the need.

Once HSR runs over the full SFO-LAX route, the San Joaquins will likely be reduced to 2 round trips daily between Oakland and Bakersfield on the current route.

 

I've long figured that there would be a reduction in "local" service but I suspect a lot will come down to stopping patterns, passenger behavior, and relative costs.  Notwithstanding official estimates, if per-mile ticket costs behave like you see on the NEC, a yield-per-mile of $0.50 would translate into $190 one-way LAX-SFO*.  FWIW, this is in line with the cheapest WAS-NYP Acela Saver ticket ($119 for a 225-mile trip).  A similar ticket BFD-SFO would probably be...something like 280-300 miles, so you'd be looking at a $140-150 one-way ticket.

Going with lower levels, the cheapest regular ticket WAS-NYP on a Regional is $88 and the cheapest Saver ticket is $52.  Those translate into $0.39/mile and $0.23/mile, respectively; the comparable prices for LAX-SFO and BFD-SFO would be $148/$109 at the higher price and $87/$64 at the lower price.  For reference, prices on the San Joaquins tend to run $48-88 BFD-OKJ at present.

Basically, a lot depends on where the HSR trains are priced: There are a ton of passengers who won't pay $109, let alone $150, for a one-way bullet train ticket no matter how fast that train goes.  Some of the damage might be controlled if return ticket prices were less than twice that of one-way prices ($300/person r/t is out of the range of plenty of families...$1200 r/t for a family of four would price out plenty of tourists, I suspect...even if that's the price for a weekend at Disneyland for them;)).

Of note, this has been one of my strongest criticisms of Amtrak's presumed revenue from a ramped-up Acela service: Their figures tend to indicate "present" per-passenger revenue levels (e.g. those occurring under a significant capacity squeeze) while massively increasing the amount of traffic on said trains (I seem to recall some estimates implying that HSR traffic would rise by 8-10x, Regional traffic would be close to flat, and that both trains would retain their present PPR levels (HSR being on par with the Acela).  The issue as I tend to see it is that there are plenty of people who simply could not afford/would not opt for "Acela level" fares if they were for a teleporter.

Back to the situation in CA, I suspect that you'd probably see at least 3-5x daily trains continue on the San Joaquin route almost no matter what unless (and I think this is a fair caveat) there are either "cheap seats" (some "actual" coach equivalent or even a sort of "commuter class") or "cheap trains" (think OuiGo).  Some of the pricing issues might be alleviated if CAHSR were to stick to plans to run lots and lots of trains, but based on history it seems like they'll opt to attempt to price in only slightly below airline pricing (subject to demand controls) and reduce frequencies to support higher prices unless there's some real political pressure not to do so...and as we all know, such pressure tends to "blow hot and cold" at random intervals.

I'll say that the solution I see most likely is for some trains (I'm thinking perhaps 1x/hr) to run LAX-BFD on the HSR tracks and then dump pax off for a transfer to a San Joaquin-esque service at BFD.  I really see there being an impetus to keep the "fast" trains more expensive and, as they can't really run a "mixed" service without adding lots of tracks, that's the "best of both worlds" option to fall back on (not to mention, I suspect, likely accounting for some level of commuter service which I suspect will move over to the HSR lines in time...basically this "shuttle" would be with far more packed seating and a few added stops).

*Of course, this presumes the 380-mile number generally used.


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#20 alan_s

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 03:36 PM

The Chinese use an elegant solution. The Shanghai-Beijing line is an example. There are many 300km/hr+ trains on the line each day, but each only stops at less than ten stations on a route 820 miles long which takes about 5 1/2 hours.

 

Each train has slightly different stops, with some minor stations only getting one train a day and major stations getting more. The only stations getting every train are Shanghai and Beijing. Every station in between has a through non-stop track; it is exhilarating being near that when an express passes through.

 

That allows service to every town along the line while maintaining a high speed service with minimal stops for each train. Some old local lines are retained, but many were not when they are effectively duplicated by the new HSR.


Edited by alan_s, 26 October 2015 - 03:46 PM.

Cheers, Alan, Australia

 

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