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More high speed fail in Ca.

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monovillage

Diamond Member
Jul 3, 2008
8,445
0
0
The cost is irrelevant, if it cost 100 billion, 200 billion, or even 1 trillion it is needed. We can raise taxes to pay for this.
Good to see you're just fine with all the lying, misrepresentation and fraud that occurred to foist this crap on to the public.
 

Darwin333

Lifer
Dec 11, 2006
19,947
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beyond regulations, land acquisition costs in southern california and the bay area are a lot higher than land acquisition costs (if any) in panama.
Are there any breakdowns to show what the land acquisition costs are so that we can get an accurate figure of what just the high speed rail costs?

There has got to be a better way, $100+ million a mile is freaking insane. I am not familiar with the area but is it possible to run the majority of the rail outside of the expensive as fuck areas and then connect into the cities using existing lines (even if you have to rebuild them to support HSR).

Hell, if we can do the Panama Canal for a fraction of the price we aught to be able to tunnel under all of the expensive as fuck land for cheaper and avoid all land acquisition costs except for the stations. Reading through the study linked above it looks like just about everyone has been able to build it for a fraction of the price. I am not sure if they are adjusted for inflation but Japan was able to build their most recent HSR for $32M a mile and I assume that the land costs in Japan are at least sort of close.

Another fun fact, the entire motherfucking interstate system cost $425 billion (adjusted for inflation in 2006 per wiki) and it is damn near 47,000 miles!
 

K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
35,925
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The geography and political/regulatory forces have driven the cost up. The approaches to SF and LA are extremely expensive for a number of reasons. The communities in the peninsula have also vowed to fight it tooth and nail from coming through their towns.

You do need to remember that times are different now. There is no way we could build something like the Interstate highway system now that obliterated whole urban neighborhoods and towns without any public input. That just isn't a reality anymore.
 

Darwin333

Lifer
Dec 11, 2006
19,947
2,324
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The cost is irrelevant, if it cost 100 billion, 200 billion, or even 1 trillion it is needed. We can raise taxes to pay for this.
LOL! Are you serious?

Cost is always relevant and you can only raise taxes so much, there is an upper limit.

I wonder how much it would cost to build a couple of small regional airports in the same places they expect HSR to service? You could probably build the airports and subsidize the tickets so that they are only $25/round trip AND vastly improve the local public transport of those areas to make it feasible for cheaper than this.
 

Darwin333

Lifer
Dec 11, 2006
19,947
2,324
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The geography and political/regulatory forces have driven the cost up. The approaches to SF and LA are extremely expensive for a number of reasons. The communities in the peninsula have also vowed to fight it tooth and nail from coming through their towns.

You do need to remember that times are different now. There is no way we could build something like the Interstate highway system now that obliterated whole urban neighborhoods and towns without any public input. That just isn't a reality anymore.
Sounds like we would have to go back to the way we did things back then for massive projects like this to be feasible, or figure out how Japan did it so cheaply.

Why are the communities in the peninsula fighting to keep it from coming through their towns? I am not understanding why the would have an issue with it.

Edit: Also, I would be interested in reading about the Bay Bridge and Caltrans issue that you spoke about a few posts back, do you have a link or something? Thanks
 
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K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
35,925
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Sounds like we would have to go back to the way we did things back then for massive projects like this to be feasible, or figure out how Japan did it so cheaply.

Why are the communities in the peninsula fighting to keep it from coming through their towns? I am not understanding why the would have an issue with it.

Edit: Also, I would be interested in reading about the Bay Bridge and Caltrans issue that you spoke about a few posts back, do you have a link or something? Thanks
NIMBYism for the most part. There are some weak environmental objections but mostly they don't want any change. The only option they're even willing to talk about is if they bury the HSR entirely underground from SJ to SF, at a cost that makes present estimates look like chicken feed.

The Wiki on the Bay Bridge Eastern Span Replacement project has most of the information. There a bunch of articles covering it as well if you poke around the web, some going back almost a decade.
 
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sactoking

Diamond Member
Sep 24, 2007
6,788
1,521
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He is serious. Because he lives in LA he has a understanding you never will as to what bad traffic is.
Why wouldn't he be serious? Right now if you live 150 miles outside of LA housing is probably 1/5 or less the cost, but you're looking at a daily six hour round trip, assuming rush hour travel. If you could board a train and be in LA in half an hour, then take a bus to your work, that same commute becomes practical. That almost requires a planned region though; you'd need several evenly spaced hubs with straight shots into town as well as very streamlined or no security. A high speed train that requires a thirty minute screening and stops at every little town might as well be a slow train.
If he was serious as you state then he's a moron. Allow myself to quote... myself:
How many people want to go from Stockton to Modesto on a regular basis? How about from Gilroy to Bakersfield? Escondido to Anaheim?

The stupidity of the project is that it doesn't connect two high-density population zones that are relatively close together and have a transient workforce. The only two high-density population zones it connects are SF and LA; they're not close together and they don't share a daily traffic flow. The rest of the connectors are small areas that for the most part also do not share a daily traffic flow. A gigantic, overpriced rail system that relies on sporadic travel patterns is doomed to failure.

If there was a consistent population that needed to get from SF to LA or LA to Sac on a daily basis as a commute that would make sense. As it is the proposal makes as much sense as creating a high-speed rail line from Orlando to Atlanta.
THIS rail project is not needed because aside from being overpriced it doesn't fix a single damn problem. As I stated earlier, traffic in the bay area and LA is a problem. The way to fix it is to spend 1/10th of the money on local infrastructure, create more jobs faster, and create a system that helps out everyone. A "high-speed" train from Stockton to Modesto, which itself is only a 40 minute drive, doesn't affect daily commute traffic in LA. An "express" route from San Jose to LA doesn't "spread out the population" because not only will the tickets be too expensive and the trip too long to shift the population, you'd be theoretically encouraging people to go from one high-density region to another. The "local" routes might (I stress might) help but you can make better, cheaper improvements than $90 billion in "high-speed" rail to help out locally.
 

EagleKeeper

Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
Staff member
Oct 30, 2000
42,599
5
0
Build a high speed triangle with 5 stops on the SJ-> SF leg and Oakland->SJ legs.

Use existing right of way on Interstate highways or Amtrak rails. that keeps the land acquisition costs down.

Run an extension to Sacramento along I80

For the southern end
Legs between

Burbank -> Riverside-> Long beach -> Burbank
Again use right of ways for Interstates as much as possible.

One along the I5 from the I405/I5 to Burbank.

Put a transfer station at each major highway that intersects

Beef up the rubber with dedicated lanes.
That should put people within 10 miles of a station for most areas and a 20 minute bus ride from there.

Maybe run a line along the I5 to San Diego (6a,8a,12,4p,6p) having 3 stops (LA area, Oceanside, SD) priority over Amtrak. Track exists - beef it up for high speed and add sidings as needed.

If they really want/need rail from North to South other than Amtrak; beef up the Amtrak corridor going down the central valley and extend into the LA area from Bakersfield.
 

K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
35,925
9,587
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^

Unless you can convince the FRA to grant wavers of unprecedented latitude and scope large parts of such a plan will not work. Amtrak also in many cases runs over rail owned by the freight railroads who are resistant to say the least to any increased passenger use. Even in the case of the Surf Line between SD and LA the BNSF retains trackage rights for freight, messing up passenger scheduling.
 
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monovillage

Diamond Member
Jul 3, 2008
8,445
0
0
Build a high speed triangle with 5 stops on the SJ-> SF leg and Oakland->SJ legs.

Use existing right of way on Interstate highways or Amtrak rails. that keeps the land acquisition costs down.

Run an extension to Sacramento along I80

For the southern end
Legs between

Burbank -> Riverside-> Long beach -> Burbank
Again use right of ways for Interstates as much as possible.

One along the I5 from the I405/I5 to Burbank.

Put a transfer station at each major highway that intersects

Beef up the rubber with dedicated lanes.
That should put people within 10 miles of a station for most areas and a 20 minute bus ride from there.

Maybe run a line along the I5 to San Diego (6a,8a,12,4p,6p) having 3 stops (LA area, Oceanside, SD) priority over Amtrak. Track exists - beef it up for high speed and add sidings as needed.

If they really want/need rail from North to South other than Amtrak; beef up the Amtrak corridor going down the central valley and extend into the LA area from Bakersfield.
It still wouldn't be worth the money it would cost to build and my main problem with the existing program was the lies and exaggerations that it took the proponents to get the people to support it.
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,876
460
126
If he was serious as you state then he's a moron. Allow myself to quote... myself:


THIS rail project is not needed because aside from being overpriced it doesn't fix a single damn problem. As I stated earlier, traffic in the bay area and LA is a problem. The way to fix it is to spend 1/10th of the money on local infrastructure, create more jobs faster, and create a system that helps out everyone. A "high-speed" train from Stockton to Modesto, which itself is only a 40 minute drive, doesn't affect daily commute traffic in LA. An "express" route from San Jose to LA doesn't "spread out the population" because not only will the tickets be too expensive and the trip too long to shift the population, you'd be theoretically encouraging people to go from one high-density region to another. The "local" routes might (I stress might) help but you can make better, cheaper improvements than $90 billion in "high-speed" rail to help out locally.
His specific quote was
sactoking, i think we need it so we can spread out our population more and lower the cost of living.
Connecting two densely populated areas with high speed rail doesn't change the cost of living except to increase it by the cost of train travel versus car travel. Likewise, your solution doesn't reduce the cost of living, although it might be very desirable and arguably a smarter use of money, more bang for the buck. Connecting one densely populated area to a low density and therefore cheaper area with high speed rail DOES have the potential to reduce the cost of living by allowing people to live at a distance not currently practical, thereby taking advantage of the cheaper housing. In other words I was validating Bfdd's concept while simultaneously pointing out that this particular project probably wouldn't do that, that in fact you would almost have to design the entire region from scratch to make it practical. But the concept Bfdd was advocating, lowering the cost of living through high speed rail, is imminently practical. The questions of whether this particular project is practical, or whether there can be a practical system of this sort in a given area considering the population, cost of living, and cost of land, are of course different.

SNIP
150 miles? Who lives 150 miles from LA and commutes there to work daily. No one except people in SimCity games.
High speed rail will never be practical over the distances people commute today, because the time required to detour to the train station, board the train, debus, and take alternate transportation to your original destination cannot be made up by traveling more quickly over such short distances. High speed rail can be practical only where there is significant travel over distances where driving time is equal or more but flying time is also equal or more, or for purposes such as Bfdd proposes - expanding the available area for a practical commute.

Incidentally I've met a couple people within the past two or three years who are commuting almost 150 miles. If you lose a job in one city and can't find another nearby, but you can find one very distant, and you have a house that you either can't or won't sell (whether it's actually under water, you don't want to take the hit, or because of kids or spouse), a responsible adult will commute long distances to have work.

If it did that, then it no longer should be called High Speed Rail.
What's the point of calling something "High Speed Rail" if it takes you 4-5 hours to get to your destination which is 100 miles away because the train has to stop at every little town for 15-20 minutes?
Might as well take a flight and you'll get to wherever you want in California in 1-2 hours tops. For cheaper also even if you take the airline subsidy into account.
And this is why I said 150 miles and mused that it would probably only be practical if one could redesign the entire region around the system. Every community is going to want a stop, yet every stop increases the minimum total distance traveled for the system to be practical. Only if there is a spoke type system with no or very few stops over a fairly large distance can I imagine a high speed rail system practical for commuting, otherwise the stops will make the system impractical. (It might still be practical for other reasons, such as a faster trip between two densely populated areas, just not for daily commuting.)

There really ought to be a way to co-locate interstate and/or other major highways and high speed rail. By reducing land acquisition costs, high speed rail for any purpose would be much more practical.
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
56,275
4,690
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Especially in CA and even more so on the route planned.

How many people want to go from Stockton to Modesto on a regular basis? How about from Gilroy to Bakersfield? Escondido to Anaheim?

The stupidity of the project is that it doesn't connect two high-density population zones that are relatively close together and have a transient workforce. The only two high-density population zones it connects are SF and LA; they're not close together and they don't share a daily traffic flow. The rest of the connectors are small areas that for the most part also do not share a daily traffic flow. A gigantic, overpriced rail system that relies on sporadic travel patterns is doomed to failure.

If there was a consistent population that needed to get from SF to LA or LA to Sac on a daily basis as a commute that would make sense. As it is the proposal makes as much sense as creating a high-speed rail line from Orlando to Atlanta.
Agreed. I live in Norcal, and while I like the idea of the HSR, the current costs and proposed routes make it unlikely to ever be built.
 

monovillage

Diamond Member
Jul 3, 2008
8,445
0
0
My problem was that we (the people in California) were lied to by the proponents of this proposition with the full knowledge and assistance of our state attorney general at the time. Even after it's been shown that we were lied to about the costs, lied to where it would be built and lied to about how long it would take they are still pushing it without a new vote in the matter.
 

Steeplerot

Lifer
Mar 29, 2004
13,051
6
81
Good to see you're just fine with all the lying, misrepresentation and fraud that occurred to foist this crap on to the public.
The corporate ass kissers said the same thing about the electrification of the United States.

Luckily the need for infrastructure cast aside that failed message and we became a world superpower instead of keeping a few power companies rich comfortably serving only the elites.

We have since paid for those upgrades many many times over in the benefit to America for generations. Now why anyone even listens to this austerity corporate PR nonsense makes no sense. The definition of insanity is someone who never learns and doubles down on their stupidity.
 
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BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
56,275
4,690
126
My problem was that we (the people in California) were lied to by the proponents of this proposition with the full knowledge and assistance of our state attorney general at the time. Even after it's been shown that we were lied to about the costs, lied to where it would be built and lied to about how long it would take they are still pushing it without a new vote in the matter.
Now come on...did you REALLY believe them? You seem savvy enough to know that if a politician's lips are moving...he's lying about something.

Doesn't matter what side of the aisle they're from...they're ALL fucking liars and cheats.
 

monovillage

Diamond Member
Jul 3, 2008
8,445
0
0
The corporate ass kissers said the same thing about the electrification of the United States.

Luckily the need for infrastructure cast aside that failed message and we became a world superpower instead of keeping a few power companies rich comfortably serving only the elites.

We have since paid for those upgrades many many times over in the benefit to America for generations. Now why anyone even listens to this austerity corporate PR nonsense makes no sense. The definition of insanity is someone who never learns and doubles down on their stupidity.
What part of having the fucking politicians lie to the voters in this State are you in favor of? The costs? Where it goes? or how fucking long it's going to take to build it? or are you in favor of all 3?
 

DCal430

Diamond Member
Feb 12, 2011
6,021
9
81
I actually voted YES for this HSR project, but now I think that was a mistake. We just cannot afford it now. We should have revote on the project.
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
56,275
4,690
126
I actually voted YES for this HSR project, but now I think that was a mistake. We just cannot afford it now. We should have revote on the project.
Good luck with that...too many bureaucrats might lose their jobs...
 

drebo

Diamond Member
Feb 24, 2006
7,040
1
81
The problem with the assertion that HSR could lower housing prices in densly populated areas by increasing commute distances is bunk, imo.

Look at what happened to the Central Valley over the last 15 years. The Dot Com boom in the late 90s had people flocking to the Bay Area for jobs, and where were they living? The Central Valley. As a result, housing prices in Central California skyrocketed. A 90 minute commute to SF was seen as a good sacrifice when you're paying 1/3rd for a house that was much larger.

The problem was that the housing prices in Central California towns (like Modesto, Stockton, and other smaller areas like Ripon) skyrocketed. Prices in SF and Pleasanton never really changed. Now you've got your regular Central California laborers trying to compete with SF-employed people for houses. 3br/2ba 1300sqft houses in Modesto were going for $400k. That same house in Ripon was closer to $700k. That's more than 90% of people in this area can afford.

That made Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties two of the most affected areas in the nation by the bubble bursting in 2007. And you know what? House prices are still too high here, in comparison to average wages.

Adding big-city pay to smaller outlying communities does not make for healthy economies. All it does is fuck over the people whose income is dependent upon those small communities. Big-city workers aren't going to buy from the local mom-and-pop shops. They'll shop in the city.

So, now we're left with over-priced houses, and the Bay Area never really saw a real drop in prices anyway.

No, what we need, where the money should be spent (if it has to be spent at all) is in improving local mass transit. Our bus system in Modesto is appaulingly bad. Some expansion of rail lines like ACE and BART over the Altamont would be great, too...but local mass transit development is really quite necessary. It takes me 30 minutes to drive 10 miles to work in SUBURBIA. That's really quite miserable.

Also, the information infrastructure in California outside of LA and the Bay Area is simply abominable and really needs to be addressed. HSR is really quite low on the things that would help fix the state's economy.
 

Slew Foot

Lifer
Sep 22, 2005
12,387
94
86
Id laugh in the face of all the stupid asshole demorats that wanted HSR if they didn't force me to pay for it.
 

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