XpressWest Brightline (DesertXpress), Vegas-Victorville

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby jamesinclair » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:44 am

goodnightjohnwayne wrote:
amtrakowitz wrote:[quote="goodnightjohnwayne"Now, what is going to pull those bilevel coaches at 125MPH? No existing diesel locomotive is geared for that speed, and if you did regear one for 125MPH speeds, acceleration would suffer

How greatly would acceleration suffer, in reality? especially since locomotives like the P42DC are currently certified for 110 mph but might be able to hit 125 mph with as-built gearing.


I've seen absolutely no proof that an existing, unmodified Genesis can be used in routine, revenue service at a sustained 125MPH. It's also worth noting that the State of California bought the F59PHI, not the Genesis. I'm not saying the Blomberg trucks aren't good for relatively high speeds, but these locomotives just aren't geared for that speed.
.[/quote]

The report I am talking about it just one of those extensive studies that comes out every 10 years or so and never actually happens. I dont remember if the report assumed the same locomotives or new ones by 2015.

Further, even if the existing trains cant hit 125, if a connection is made between the BNSF line and the HSR line, I see no reason why they couldn't go as fast as possible, even if they max out at something like 107. Better than the existing 79mph.
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby Chafford1 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:29 am

Nothing has been reported on this scheme for the past few months. When is the decision due on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Assessment due?
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby electricron » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:09 am

Recent news on the DesertXpress.
http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/sep/24/desertxpress-likely-further-delayed-federal-agency/
Earlier this month, the Federal Railroad Administration released a supplemental draft environmental impact statement on the 200-mile corridor between Las Vegas and Victorville.
What that means is that enough people with enough concern about enough of the elements of the project commented enough that five federal agencies will revisit the matter. The five agencies are: Bureau of Land Management, the Surface Transportation Board, the Federal Highway Administration and the National Park Service.
Although the differences in the original environmental impact statement and the supplemental are minimal to most, the Federal Railroad Administration thinks there was enough change to warrant a new comment period.
“The federal agencies have not yet determined a federal agency-preferred alternative (on the Las Vegas station site),” Federal Railroad Administration spokesman Rob Kulat said in an e-mail. “The applicant has indicated Las Vegas Central Station B Station Site as their preference."

Looks like the "Record of Decision" by the FRA hasn't been made yet. It's obvious the FRA doesn't like the DesertXpress Las Vegas station site, but can't agree upon another. Just another example how well intention Federal Regulations cripples commercial development in the USA.

Hello FRA, what so wrong with the DesertXpress Las Vegas station site? How about quickly stepping out of the way so a brand new high speed railroad can get built?

And people wonder why unemployment is so high.....
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:47 pm

electricron wrote:The five agencies are: Bureau of Land Management, the Surface Transportation Board, the Federal Highway Administration and the National Park Service.

Um... am I the only one who only sees four agencies? :wink: Presumably the FRA is the fifth.
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby electricron » Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:47 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Um... am I the only one who only sees four agencies? :wink: Presumably the FRA is the fifth.

Whoops, sorry about that.. The fifth of course is the Federal Railroad Administration.
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby kaitoku » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:55 am

Just speculation, but perhaps the FRA doesn't want to have this project break ground before the Florida and/or California project, so as not to steal the thunder from these more publicly funded routes?? Just wonderin'...
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby electricron » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:03 pm

kaitoku wrote:Just speculation, but perhaps the FRA doesn't want to have this project break ground before the Florida and/or California project, so as not to steal the thunder from these more publicly funded routes?? Just wonderin'...


Whatever the FRA's is thinking, there's still months, if not years, of delays for a supposedly privately funded train. The only public financial input is the right-of-way.
It's a publicly owned transportation corridor, what difference does it make if there is a public freeway with heavy vehicle traffic or privately ran high speed railway in it, or both?
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby Finch » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:21 pm

electricron wrote:
kaitoku wrote:Just speculation, but perhaps the FRA doesn't want to have this project break ground before the Florida and/or California project, so as not to steal the thunder from these more publicly funded routes?? Just wonderin'...


Whatever the FRA's is thinking, there's still months, if not years, of delays for a supposedly privately funded train. The only public financial input is the right-of-way.
It's a publicly owned transportation corridor, what difference does it make if there is a public freeway with heavy vehicle traffic or privately ran high speed railway in it, or both?

Privately-funded enterprises are not immune from federal regulations. If they were, there would be no environment LEFT. Let's hope things aren't delayed any more than a public project of similar magnitude.
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby Chafford1 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:43 pm

Environmental Impact Assessment completed:

http://www.ktnv.com/story/14322726/dese ... e-34k-jobs
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby Chafford1 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:08 am

Further details on yesterday's announcement:

http://www.cahsrblog.com/2011/03/desert ... completed/

All they need now is the loan to build it. Personally I would have made this a 225mph line which would have reduced the journey time over the 180 miles considerably and encouraged more people to leave their cars at Victorville.
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby jstolberg » Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:36 am

Yes, it is good to see that the final EIS is done. That puts DesertXpress far ahead of many other high speed corridors. I have been reading through some of the long report and attachments.

There is a curve on sheet C124C of Appendix F-C that is mislabeled. The 4875' radius curve just before state route 58 should be rated at about 110 mph, not 150 mph.
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby paulmartinsmith » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:30 pm

This EIS contains some important new language and decisions that effect the development of passenger rail services in the USA.

It sets the precedent for using the Interstate highway system corridors for rail expansion. There are a few short mileage examples of rails within the Interstate bounds already but this is the first long range route to be proposed. Obviously, other states will be reviewing this aspect carefully.

It codifies the lesser impact solution of a rail corridor over adding travel lanes to our Interstates and the environmental dangers of the “no action” solution which would lead to additional vehicle pollution.

It rejects the “Amtrak style” solution of mixed freight and collision tolerant rail cars on existing (even if improved) track in favor of dedicated passenger rails running European style cars with a high power to weight ratio and electric traction. The benefits of building a national system to this standard are obvious.


If this route is actually built as proposed (with its aggressive timeline) we may look back at these decisions as marking the start of a new rail era. Of course, one specialized route does not a network make and I still do not see how Victorville is anything other than a stop gap terminus for a national passenger rail system mark II.
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby bigK » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:00 pm

I just followed the link you provided - perhaps you are perpitrating aan April's Fools joke but the site clearly says fully electric - the trains apear to be the Siemens Velaro 5th gen? HSR trainsets

and in regards to those Bombardier 125 MPH diesel trains - they are self propeled diesel coaches IE: they are DeMUs (Virgin Rail UK) - the FLEX TRAX bogies they use are availabe as a seperate unit for those that want to build their own high speed DeMU like... US Rail Car in Columbus Ohio - Mike Pracht pres. has anounced plans to build such a rail vehicle here in the US complient to FULL FRA regulations - look out Europe American passenger railroading is back!

... now if those bogies can built with a 3rd rail contact shoe and xfer circuitry they could be used by Amtrak and MTA Metro North here on the Hudson line - US Rail Car can build some realy nice rail vehicles - they could build a cafe car like on the metro liners and guess what? we would have a viable (the only) replacement for the TurboLiners and they would use a LOT less fuel at the SAME speed - FYI: I think the Hudson line between here in Poughkeepsie and Rensaelear is only rated for 110 MPH max
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:06 pm

So after 3 years, how much closer is DesertXpress ???
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby paulmartinsmith » Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:10 pm

"So after 3 years, how much closer is DesertXpress ???"

In the words of the EIS:

“this Final EIS will be circulated for a 30-day waiting period commencing on the publication date
of EPA’s notice of availability in the Federal Register, which is expected to be Friday, April 1, 2011.
Following this waiting period, the Lead and Cooperating Agencies will each issue a Record of Decision on
the proposed project. A Record of Decision is a concise public document that formally states the decision
of the federal agency on the project and explains factors considered in reaching the decision. “

So the ROD will be published some time after May 1 2011.

Unless the decision is challenged in federal court, the principals are free to apply for the necessary permits and permissions after that date.
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