Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

  by extraordinaire
 
What service pattern are they planning on running?

You should be able to manage a half hourly service on a single track that you have exclusive use of. If you have passing tracks in the right places. Which feels more than ample for this initial section that misses out the biggest population centres.
  by NH2060
 
If they really wanted to cut costs they would ditch the electrification for the time being. Wouldn't make it a "European-style high speed rail" ROW and would be far from flashy, but it would still be a mostly dedicated route mostly free of other rail traffic interference that could still be competitive with driving and flying if Siemens built more Brightline/VIA Rail-like trainsets that could run at 125mph sustained speeds. If ridership and service frequency warrants electrification that can come later.

I don't know if anyone else shares the same view, but an electrified HSR from Fresno to Merced on its own is just a waste of time and money. L.A. and San Francisco need to be a part of the equation for it to begin to work.
  by eolesen
 
Yep, I said pretty much the same on the 'Let's recycle the Acela' thread. Save all the expensive substation and catenary work until the ROW to LA and SF is under way. Run with Sprinters and new coaches from the corridor pool.

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  by lensovet
 
Um there's no diesel trainset in the world that could ever meet the requirements outlined by the bond sales to fund this project so no, they cannot ditch electrification for the time being.
  by eolesen
 
Seems to me they've blown just about every condition of the original bond agreements between timelines, costs, and now scope if they single-track.

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  by lensovet
 
eolesen wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:12 pm Seems to me they've blown just about every condition of the original bond agreements between timelines, costs, and now scope if they single-track.

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do tell, where exactly does the original bond agreement say anything about the number of tracks laid? or the timing of when the service would go live?
  by electricron
 
lensovet wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:25 am do tell, where exactly does the original bond agreement say anything about the number of tracks laid? or the timing of when the service would go live?
Proposition 1A only authorizes California to sell almost $10 Billion in additional General Obligations Bonds. The only limitation was that 90% of those funds must be spent on the railroad itself; limiting management, planning, designing, and oversight costs to 10% or less.

Here's a link to the California Secretary of State official election guide, interesting to see 12 years later what has come to fruition. :-D
https://vig.cdn.sos.ca.gov/2008/general ... pdf#prop1a

Amusing to me was the anti bullet point that the entire project could costs up to $90 Billion is very close to being correct, as of now. :wink:

Which brings my thoughts up I have made several times, CHSR is a project that has been over promising and under delivering since day 1.

They promised an 800 mile HSR system from just an expenditure of $10 Billion from the State's General Funds. That's suggesting they could build HST for an average of $12.5 Million/mile. Light rail systems cost an average of $50-60 Million/mile today. That's a huge over promise, and why they are under delivering so greatly.
  by NRGeep
 
The sidings on this one track cyst um could be dicey?
  by Alphaboi
 
You could run multiple night trains for a fraction of the cost of this project.

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  by west point
 
Repeat my question. How much of this $90B is going to projects that are gold plating highways, waterways, power lines, telephone lines, extra road bridges, relocating some roads, etc ? Why isn't some money coming from the agencies involved ?
  by eolesen
 
lensovet wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:25 am do tell, where exactly does the original bond agreement say anything about the number of tracks laid? or the timing of when the service would go live?
The only real language available publicly is what's in Prop 1A, which guides the process for issuing bonds, but doesn't define the individual bond agreements. Those are typically not available publicly.

And you're right -- Prop 1A doesn't specify the number of tracks. Nor does it mandate that it operates via electricity on Day 1 of operations, but only that it's constructed to eventually achieve electrified travel at up to 220 mph.

What is mandated in the 2010 agreement with the Feds is 120 miles of track completed by Dec 31, 2022. That's now 19 months away.

We all know that isn't going to happen. We've known that before the Trump Admin did the initial withholding on the $928B in remaining Federal funding, and teased trying to claw-back the original $2.5B from ARRA. As hashed out two years ago, the Feds were within the letter of the law to hold back funds and possibly claw back what had already been squandered because of repeated missed milestones and project checkpoints.

With Biden and Pothole Pete restoring the remaining $928B, they're choosing to look the other way on the missed checkpoints, but the settlement announced this week doesn't change the project end dates. Those are still in effect.

2021 Settlement: https://www.railwayage.com/wp-content/u ... May-26.pdf

2017 Amended 2010 Agreement : https://railroads.dot.gov/sites/fra.dot ... ment_1.pdf

And yes, I'm sure the current administration will eventually cut them slack on the 2022 completion date, but that agreement only covers the $3.5B that came from the Feds.

It's less clear what covenants exists in bonds issued by the Agency. If there are similar project milestones, it will be quite interesting to see what those bondholders do in about 19 months.