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Everything posted by seat38a

  1. Why can't this project do what the French did for many of their latest LGV construction such as the LGV SEA. Build it and for 40-50 years they charge a toll to use the rails. In theory if they builder opened up the tracks to multiple train operators and auction off slots. Even the 25N HSR project in Belgium is doing the same thing.
  2. seat38a

    Amtrak travel insurance

    Travel insurance cost way too much for seniors. When I price myself, its cheap! Add in my parents and now we are at 1K+. Because of this reason, I keep and pay for everything with my Chase United Club Card. Comes with some very good coverage including emergency evacuation etc. I pay $450/year for the card.
  3. Politics isn't always about what makes sense, its about what you can give and take AKA "compromise" to accomplish the bigger picture. Even the gas tax increase with a super majority in the legislature involved a crap load of side deals to get it passed. It's no coincidence that ever since the moratorium on earmarks, nothing gets done.
  4. I'm wondering if it would be better to just make phase 1 all the way to Sacramento. Merced to Sacramento is currently Phase 2. Right now, Bakersfield to Sacramento is about 5.5 hours on the San Joaquin and 1.5 hours from Sacramento to Emeryville on the Capitol Corridor. If the travel time to Sacramento is halved, and then use the train on upgraded tracks between Sacramento to Emeryville. The State already maintains that stretch of track and plans to upgrade its speed anyways in the future. In terms of distance, it's the the most direct way, but might be the easiest way. So say someone can get from Bakersfield to Emeryville in 3+ hours and maybe even get to SF directly if the second trans bay tube opens. This roundabout would still be faster and probably up and running quicker than the current plans.
  5. It wasn't the media. I watched the state of the state live and I thought he was canceling as well. Lots of people who watched it thought it was getting canned.
  6. https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-gavin-newsom-bullet-train-explanation-20190215-story.html The only thing that has actually changed, is that Newsom is being honest about the financial situation of the project. As clarified, he is focusing the cash in hand on finishing up the IOS which there is money for instead of blowing hot air about tunnels that can't be built with the current financial situation. So we may get the electrification and actual HSR trains running on the IOS.
  7. seat38a

    California Trains?

    Also, the thruway buses from Emeryville is non stop to SF using dedicated bus lanes to enter the Bay Bridge. Takes about the same time or even less than taking BART from SFO. Thruway has luggage compartment below the bus which makes things so much easier than BART when its crowded.
  8. Actually no. No system, except probably China, built their system 100% from the ground up. Even the latest TGV running in Morocco uses a combination of upgraded lines with it. If you read the history of KTX train in South Korea, they ran into money issues as well and had to cut back phase 1 to half its length and then upgrade the existing tracks. France's TGV and LGV speed were incrementally increased over time. I think if there is money, the line should be built to Stockton and then use regular rail all the way Emeryville / San Jose and Sacramento. LGV Atlantique was just recently extended and before then, it was not uncommon for diesel locos to pull the TGV trains further down the conventional line. Get it up and running ASAP and getting people on the trains is what will change peoples minds. If they can get Bakersfield to Emeryville in 2.5 to 3 hours using HSR + Conventional, then I think they may have a temporary solution until funding for tunneling comes though. Stockton to Sacramento is currently little over 1 hour but if combined with HSR could just make it in little over 2 hours from Bakersfield.
  9. Like i've said it in the past, the only way to get money for anything is to combine it with something for cars out here. The whole Pacheco Pass tunnels need to be a car/rail tunnel to make it work. CAHSR has a better chance of getting money for it if they combine the two rail tunnels with car tunnels. Currently CA-133 is a slow winding road to get from Silicon Valley to San Joaquin Valley. Say charge a toll for cars to use it or something along that line to get the tunnels built. We have A LOT of cars and people and that can be leveraged if done correctly. Tolling what already exists is a taboo but new stuff is wide open. This is something Metro has figured out well in LA County. Every transit taxes that have passed have included road money. Widening of the 405 cost 2 billion and did absolutely nothing to relieve traffic but thats the cost to get rail. Tehachapi tunnels? Not sure if it would be advantagous for BNSF and UP to be allowed access to them. Not sure if a car tunnel would bring in enough revenue.
  10. This year, we decided to spend the long 4th of July weekend in NYC. Flight is booked and hotel reserved at the Renaissance Midtown which is across the street from Penn Station. Not set in stone yet, but we are also considering taking a day trip to Philly. Amtrak is showing that the NER takes about 1.5 hours and the NJT + SEPTA option is showing as about 2.5 hours. Other than the obvious time difference, how is the comfort level aboard NJT + SEPTA? Is it about the same as Metrolink?
  11. They do it something like this. This is in Switzerland where many local trains are narrow guage and the rest not.
  12. seat38a

    California Trains?

    Yup thats what you get when ones government can't just take your land and send you off to be "re-educated", if you don't agree or don't do any environmental reviews.
  13. seat38a

    California Trains?

    Well it was announced that the side projects will continue. The original plan was not to electrify until the connection to San Jose was built so who knows on the electrification at this point. Clarification was released that it's not a cancellation and that the connection to SF and LA will eventually be built if there is money(IE Federal Funding.) This looks like its going to become like the Red/Purple line in LA. Half ass finished because of cost overruns and a decade or two later it gets finished.
  14. seat38a

    California Trains?

    Well today's announcement by Newsome that the CAHSR is being scaled back to between Bakersfield and Merced, people will be staying familiar with Emeryville a lot longer.
  15. Spreading little bit all over the place is a big problem. I do agree, with the Newsome that they need to finish the current central valley section COMPLETELY and then focus on tunneling through Pacheco Pass. Personally, I think they should build it all the way to Stockton where the split to Oakland / Sacramento happens and then improve the existing line to the Bay Area. ICE, TGV, KTX and other system do the same, build out the core line, upgrade existing line and then build out the rest in phases. In France on our way to Switzerland, we left Gare de Lyon on conventional tracks then got onto LGV Sud and back onto conventional tracks near Dijon before getting back on the LGV.
  16. After looking at the layout of slumbercoaches, it looks like the current airline business class products are pretty much the same thing without the door of course. Airlines stagger them side by side vs top and bottom on the slubercoaches. Instead of actual physical walls, I'm sure heavy curtains could be provided.
  17. Well replacing it with track only BART could use was a bad idea.
  18. seat38a

    NJT + SEPTA vs Amtrak To Philly

    Well I'm definitely going into Brooklyn to go to Peter Lugers.
  19. The lower level of the Oakland Bay Bridge was originally railroad until the tracks were pulled up and roads were put in. Unfortunately, taxes for rail get funded much quicker out here if its tied together with extra roads. Maybe a combo car/rail tunnel or another bridge with road and rail could probably get done much faster.
  20. Here was Metro's response to Musk's tunnel.
  21. They already do something like this in Australia on the Spirit of Queensland. They even have a single shower in each car. Personally, I don't think the open berth will work but both sides with airline style staggered fully flat business class seats might do it. I say even for those 5+ hour routes it might work. https://www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au/railexperiences/ourtrains/spiritofqueensland https://www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au/travelwithus/onboardexperiences/carriagelayout
  22. Like this: This was my seat in 2014. The two seats are staggered. My side table is where the leg and feet of the person behind me would go into when fully reclined.
  23. You don't, attendants get on and off mid route on many trains and do not always work the full route. This is so they can go back to their base. If the train does not have an attendant, then the conductor will explain what to do.
  24. Just FYI, not all trains have an attendant, in which case you'r on your own.
  25. seat38a

    California Trains?

    CalTrans is the California Department Of Transportation. Not a train operator. It's the department that funds all three Amtrak services fully. Couple of years ago, CalTrans pretty much dictated things from Sacramento, but control has now been given to local JPA's and all they do is buy equipment and write the check to fund the rail operations. Amtrak California is the brand name use by CalTrans on all three of the State Funded Amtrak Trains including the Thruway Buses. Pacific Surfliner is the former Amtrak San Diegan trains. San Joaquin is in parts what used to be the San Joaquin Daylight/Sacramento Daylight. Amtrak was going to cut this route until CA decided to fund the loses. Capitol Corridor voter funded rail expansion in the 90's. Before then the only train between Bay Area and Sacramento was the CZ and CS.