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View Diary: Myth of the High Speed Rail "Boondoggle" (302 comments)

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  •  CalTrain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bnasley

    I totally agree that the CalTrain line from Gilroy to SF should be electrified though.  Never understood why it wasn't.

    It would be interesting to do this first and see how ridership would increase.  The time savings alone would be great.

    Unclear what kind of speeds could be achieved here given all the residential areas with so many crossings.

    Do they intend to build underpasses or overpasses to deal with this?

    "And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space" Khalil Gibran

    by bcdelta on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 08:34:29 AM PDT

    •  That is one of my concerns (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bcdelta, ferg, bnasley, Woody

      Caltrain and the CAHSR have been deliberately unclear about what to do with the crossings. We'll have to see, I guess.

      •  I think one can just build overpasses.. (0+ / 0-)

        or underpasses.  You really need this if the train is going 100MPH.

        And I think the cost wouldn't be too bad.

        "And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space" Khalil Gibran

        by bcdelta on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 09:02:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Edmund - one nit (9+ / 0-)

        A.P.Gianninni was the founder of Bank of America, not a branch. Gianninni started the bank in San Francisco's North Beach under the name the Bank of Italy, but later changed the name to Bank of America as branches expanded throughout California. By 1945 it was the largest bank in the US.  

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 09:09:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Another good thing would be shuttles (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling

        NYC has a lot of privately run shuttles that cover routes not handled by the MTA.  They are quick and cheap.

        "And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space" Khalil Gibran

        by bcdelta on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 09:16:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Grade Separation is a high (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        psyched, elfling, BusyinCA, BYw, Calamity Jean

        priority in California.  That is the name for putting an under or overpass, thus separating the two right-of-ways from each other.  Because much of the HSR is going to utilize existing rail right-of-way, there are likely to already be quite a few grade separations in place.

        "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

        by Sychotic1 on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 01:56:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They're been extraordinarily clear on the options. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        psyched, elfling, Woody, BYw

        Check out Clem's blog: Caltrain-HSR Compatibility.  It's quite detailed and clear to the point of wonkishness; odds are that Clem can track down any given crossing and tell you the status of it.

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 02:05:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Under the blended scenario (0+ / 0-)

        with Caltrain. Grade crossing issues will be dealt with on a case by case basis. The problem with the prior plan (which did mandate total grade separation) was that it came from the top, and that local cities didn't have much input.

        At grade crossings can be kept under the current scenario, but grade separations can and will be done in where funding is available, and where proper planning has been taken place.

        I know because I am one of the rail activists and I know the planning and operating folks at Caltrain.  

    •  $1.2 Billion (now $1.4B IIRC) (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bcdelta, chimpy, psyched, Woody, AoT

      This is my understanding:

      CalTrain has had a plan in place for electrification for many years.  They've just been waiting for someone to sign a check for $1.2B (when I first heard about it a couple of years ago) and now about $1.4B.  There was a kerfuffle about how HSR would have destroyed the nice towns up the Pennisula by running the equivalent of an 8-lane elevated superhighway down Main Street AKA El Camino Real.  (History buffs may recall the ill-fated SF Embarcadero Freeway, an analogous idocy.)  The CalTrain electrification plans were put on hold until the HSR plan was worked out.

      The latest HSR has compromised and the current plan is to run on existing CalTrain tracks at moderate speed (85 - 125 MPH IIRC), with parallel tracks added at strategic locations so HSR can pass local CalTrains and the occasional freight train.  Electrification of CalTrain is part of the HSR plan, and will allow CalTrain to run locals between SF and San Jose at the same speed they run "baby bullets" now because the electric trains can start and stop so much faster than diesels.

      The plan is to eliminate all grade crossings to be able to run trains at 85+ MPH.  Many of these crossings are already being replaced with (mostly) underpasses, but some will probably just be blocked off.  For example, downtown Burlingame has grade crossings every block, so you can't replace all of them.  I hope the elimination of many grade crossings won't segregate towns into "good/bad side of the tracks".

      CalTrain is desperate to get electrification done.  A lot of the rolling stock is long past its useful lifetime, and they'd much rather replace it with electrics.

      Better to hide your tax returns and be thought a crook than to release them and remove all doubt. [Adapted from Abraham Lincoln]

      by Caelian on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 12:43:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No at-grade crossings for HSR (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psyched

      Has to be all underpasses and overpasses, which is a large part of the cost. This is something that should be done for general safety anyway.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 01:27:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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