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That is quite true. California will find and spend way more than 68 billion in the next 40 to 50 years. The question is not whether but when and on what.

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There is one other source of funding and it can be a doozy in the future. The CHSRA gets 25% of the Cap and Trade funds every year. This year (nearly the first) they are currently getting $750M. Next year about $1B. Depending on how things go, it could be a lot more. Some outyear projections are for $60B for the next five years which gives HSR about $12-13B. This source is a revenue stream that can be borrowed against to get the future revenues to complete the system, minus interest of course.

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The current cost estimate from the Calif governor's office is $68 billion to build the high speed rail systen -- about $2,000 per resident of California. Some other folks have suggested the cost will be triple that amount. So far, the citizens of Calif passed a $10 billion bond measure in 2008, and the federal govt has commited an additional $3 billion. I don't think the issue is NIMBYs -- I live in the Bay Area and I probably would ride it at least once to LA (even though i will be well into my 80's when it is completed between SF and LA and I will not likely have any particular reason to go to LA at that age. But I strongly question whether it will be worth my $2,000 - and the other residents' $67,999,998,000 - to build this system, given the already available plane, rail, bus and car alternatives. And since there is currently no commitment from anyone to provide the other $55 billion, is it even realistic to assume that the line will be completed in the next 20 years?

But those roads aren't getting any better, and the airports are at capacity at least the ones that people want to fly out of. The whole carmagedon 405 widening. We spent over 2 billion dollar for all that and now its even more crowded and the time to travel through it longer.

 

Just as with the drought of ours, we can't just conserve our way out, unless we stop anyone else from moving into this State or ban showers to once a week and flushing toilets to once a day. More and more people are projected to move here and the strain on our infrastructure will be greater and greater. As you mentioned, you will be 80 something when this thing is done. Its really not about YOU, but about an investment in the future of the State. The start of the 20 years or whatever timeframe for building any investment has to start somewhere. Going from LAX to SFO is already a GOOD 4 hour ordeal from start to finish, and that is IF the flight is on time and not delayed due to fog and or other weather related issues at SFO. With all the security crap and airlines shoving more flights into an already crowed airspace on smaller aircraft, total travel time will probably only get worse.

 

Having dealt with both SFO and LAX, I feel justified in saying that neither airport is fun to get into or out of. SFO is transit-accessible...but it's also a heck of a ride from SFO into the city on either BART or BART+Caltrain. LAX is at least as much of a hike...I figure from downtown to boarding a flight you probably want to allow two hours or so: 30 minutes for travel time, 60 minutes for "standard" airport time, and 30 minutes on top of that for contingencies (e.g. missing your intended Flyaway bus, getting stuck in traffic)...in both cases, the travel time via transit (per Google Maps) is a shade over an hour. Long story short is that neither airport is terribly accessible from the city center in some respects.

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Hi,

California High Speed Rail has announced today the award of the packages No. 4 construction contract. I believe that this is a different joint - venture firm than the other contractors working on other segments.

 

http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/high-speed/single-view/view/california-rail-builders-consortium-to-build-next-section-of-high-speed-line.html

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Hi,

I just read an article that San Francisco city's leaders are not moving forward on raising the remaining funds to extend the Caltrains tracks from the existing station to the new station and transit facility. If they do not start THIS YEAR, San Francisco will have a grand new bus and train station facility WITHOUT ANY TRAINS!!!!!! Everyone needs to contact their representatives to get the city to start the track extension project.

 

Here's a link to the article.

 

http://sf.streetsblog.org/2016/01/05/guest-editorial-sf-needs-to-get-serious-about-connecting-caltrain/

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Hi,

I just read an article that San Francisco city's leaders are not moving forward on raising the remaining funds to extend the Caltrains tracks from the existing station to the new station and transit facility. If they do not start THIS YEAR, San Francisco will have a grand new bus and train station facility WITHOUT ANY TRAINS!!!!!! Everyone needs to contact their representatives to get the city to start the track extension project.

 

Here's a link to the article.

 

http://sf.streetsblog.org/2016/01/05/guest-editorial-sf-needs-to-get-serious-about-connecting-caltrain/

This plan is badly flawed. I'm not where Streetsblog is getting their information, but San Francisco has no intention of supporting the plan in its current design. There are 3 non interlocking tracks for access on a hairpin curve, which is a huge capacity restraint. San Francisco has a different preferred alignment, so if it gets shifted to City halls preferred plan, I'm sure you'll suddenly see a lot of enthusiasm.

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The question of SF or LA first is a sticky one. "LA First" would allow through-service to commence (I know the complications, but at least in theory you could get some dual-modes along the lines of NJT's (the ALP-45DP) and run diesel service to Palmdale/Lancaster, electric to Bakersfield, and then whichever you needed the rest of the way to Oakland/San Jose/Sacramento), which I think is the most vital factor here...you could put in a plan for the HSR sets but ultimately only plan to buy them once you have at least Burbank-San Jose ready to go along the HSR line. Added bonus: In the short run, doing so should let you extend most or all of the San Joaquin service down to LAX. In theory you could even run said service all the way from San Diego to San Francisco, though the political and operational issues there likely make for a non-starter. Such a run would be between 120 and 150 miles depending on exact alignment; assuming an average of 80 MPH (I'm thinking that you'd basically be going 125 all the way from Bakersfield to Lancaster followed by averaging 60-80 MPH depending on your situation south of there) you'd be looking at 90-120 minutes for the run. Knock the hour off north of there that has been mentioned and I think you'd be looking at about 7:30 OKJ-LAX (and only that long because the San Joaquins go the "wrong way around" to Oakland).

 

"SF First" is less expensive while still getting you into a major metro area (LA First is expensive as heck) and it would also allow for an improvement of the San Joaquin service if you punt on the bullet sets (getting to OKJ via SJC/Gilroy on new tracks would almost assuredly be faster than the present routing via Davis).

All of this being said, my opinion (hopefully somewhat informed) is that the connection south of Bakersfield is the key component here.

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I'll be interested to know more about the $2 Billion to be spent Burbank to Anaheim.

 

I'm in a fog there. Paying for the run-thru tracks at L.A.Union Station I grasp. Then a fistful or two of grade crossings made grade-separated crossings. Some widening or what to provide more capacity for the Surfliners and Metrolink. Maybe saving a few minutes around Fullerton.

 

I'd love to see the "more capacity" lead to hourly departures on the Surfliners to San Diego. They only need 2 or 3 more trains to do it. And saving a few minutes is always good.

 

But isn't all that stuff south of Union Station? What's gonna happen LA-Burbank?

 

I'd love to see "more capacity" bringing 3 or 4 more Surfliners to Santa Barbara. And saving a few minutes is always good.

 

But I haven't seen anything with any info L.A. Burbank.

 

And will any of these Southern California improvements kick in by, say, 2020, or will they all wait for the 2025 Central Valley openings?

Edited by WoodyinNYC

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Hi,

I am hoping that this announcement will get the people in San Francisco to get moving on a final decision to connect the railroad tracks to the new railroad and transit station currently under construction. The quantity of third mainline trackage between San Jose and San Francisco should also be re-evaluated.

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Hi,

California High Speed Rail has announced today the award of the packages No. 4 construction contract. I believe that this is a different joint - venture firm than the other contractors working on other segments.

 

http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/high-speed/single-view/view/california-rail-builders-consortium-to-build-next-section-of-high-speed-line.html

 

For those of us not up to speed on California geography, are all the sections awarded so far contiguous?

Edited by cirdan

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Hi,

California High Speed Rail has announced today the award of the packages No. 4 construction contract. I believe that this is a different joint - venture firm than the other contractors working on other segments.

 

http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/high-speed/single-view/view/california-rail-builders-consortium-to-build-next-section-of-high-speed-line.html

 

For those of us not up to speed on California geography, are all the sections awarded so far contiguous?

 

 

Yes. From about 29 miles north of Fresno at Madera to almost Bakersfield. About 100 miles.

Edited by leemell

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If it makes people feel better there has been a lot of projects declared boondogle and ran over budget that turned out to be pretty damn important.

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If it makes people feel better there has been a lot of projects declared boondogle and ran over budget that turned out to be pretty damn important.

I know one - The Big Dig in Boston. Imagine what real estate values would be in downtown Boston if they still had that Godawful elevated highway splitting the downtown in two. It's also nice for me when I arrive on Amtrak, rent a car, and want to drive to New Hampshire.

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The Federal Government and the California HSR just amend e d their agreement which will help the project to move forward with adjustments ti deadlines and advancing more funds ti help speed up land acquisitions.

 

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/high_speed_rail/news/California-High-Speed-Rail-Authority-updates-federal-grant-pushes-back-construction-deadline--48303

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It seems to me the federal funding on the California HSR would have been better spent on Amtrak projects. For example, a daily Sunset Limited and/or Cardinal. Or the proposed New Orleans-Orlando train. Or even a revival of the Broadway Limited.

 

Certainly those could be achieved quicker, without the environmental issues or fights with the local California landowners. At this rate, it looks like it will take decades to get results in California, when we could have trains running elsewhere soon.

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I think high speed rail in California would be a better investment then spending money on long distance trains that are never going to go as fast anyway, not to sound like a mood killer here.

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I think high speed rail in California would be a better investment then spending money on long distance trains that are never going to go as fast anyway, not to sound like a mood killer here.

 

I don't think one should necessarily be at the expense of the other.

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If the California hsr is completed, and successful other regions in the country will also build hsr. Same goes for the FEC project in Florida.

 

I

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