Skip to main content

View Diary: Sunday Train: Fighting FUD on the first California HSR segment (76 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Bruce - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deward Hastings

    You have sniped at my concerns from the very beginning.  The reason that the Grapevine is essential is so that there can be a connector between the LA Basin and the Central Valley from which HSR can be expanded.  

    No system anywhere in the world has been built in its entirety from scratch - not Japan, not France, not Germany.  The Central Valley by itself simply lacks the population to make a initial section viable other than as a hugely expensive test run.

    The fundamental disagreement is with your past ridicule of the Grapevine alignment and, more importantly, the concept of a national HSR system.  Trust me, what you call "secondary questions" is going to be pretty darn serious when CHSRA runs out of moolah.

    Your diary is typical of how the left loses in policy implementation.  First the left creates some Rube Goldberg apparatus - often based more on wishful thinking than any hard political and economic reality, then it lacks the ability to tolerate criticism.  My "fundamental disagreement" is with your framing from the outset.

    The current version of CHSRA is heading for oblivion - and that is precisely what the Goppers want.  Had CHSRA designed a direct, minimal cost system without non-rail components of urban redesign - then realistic higher speeds might have been achieved, resulting in shorter travel times, lower projected fares, and higher ridership. That does not even address the multiple issues surrounding shared corridors under lease from Union Pacific - both operational and financial.

    I'll give you a concrete example.  California could have purchased at bargain basement pricing most of the West Side line, the SP Altamont line, and the former WP Oakland Subdivision.  This would have provided CHSRA with an independent ROW and service from the Bay Area to Fresno - certainly a viable first stage.  Connection to San Francisco could have been achieved via dedicated BART service - Ferry Bldg to trainside at Oakland Terminal - rather than a multibillion $$ tunnel and another multibillion station in SF.  The additional costs end up killing the system.  Not to mention that San Jose and San Mateo communities are going to gut the Peninsula alignment.

    Same goes for Central Valley cities.  Nearly every HSR system worldwide achieves necessary speeds by avoiding built-up corridors - not using them.  Thus the routing along the UP Hwy 99 corridor will almost certainly not achieve the speeds proposed and required by CHSRA.  If you have been in Central Valley cities, you should realize that the automobile reigns supreme.  Rather than create a Rapture-like conversion overnight, HSR would be far more likely to capture ridership - and at far lower cost - by developing suburban stations in places like Fresno and Bakersfield, 5 to 10 miles west of the city centers.

    As it currrently stands, nearly every CHSRA projection is inflated and will come crashing down long before any system is in place.  Costs, speeds, ridership, pricing.  Not only does this hurt rail, but it also impacts a much wider range of public participation in the economy and gives ammo to the neoliberals.

    And as a lifelong supporter of rail - I blame those who created this boondoggle agency as much as I do its reactrionary opponents.

    •  So are you claiming that ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, RunawayRose, Judge Moonbox

      ... the Madrid / Barcelona line avoided Zaragoza, Lleida and Tarragana on its way to Barcelona?

      Or are you claiming that the Madrid - Barcelona line does not count?

      As far as HSR ridership modeling being inflated ~ link. There has been a credible critique of the ridership numbers, but the critique does not establish that its biased high. And since the survey work for the ridership study was done at substantially lower gasoline prices, it can easily be biased low.

      And of course, the ridership model can be 50% high and the project is still justified. That's a benefit of starting on a corridor that is so strong.

      As far as "if only California had bought this corridor and that corridor, it would be easier to do the job". Yes, my argument exactly. "If only California had done this instead" is precisely the kind of distraction into the search for the hypothetical perfect system which faces no obstacles that the opponents of HSR wish to see.

      As far as the idea that the Central Valley would not be built until last ~ I think SNCF has more experience about how to build an HSR system than you do, and their multi-phase approach to stage 1 involved going to Fresno in phase 1.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon May 23, 2011 at 09:51:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, Yes - the Ad Hominem (0+ / 0-)

        Nothing quite like an ad hominem attack -
        To end your salient point, eh?

        I'll be getting in touch with you as the morass morasses.

        •  You claimed expertise ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden, RunawayRose, Judge Moonbox

          ... on the basis of being involved in rail for thirty years. That, rather than evidence, is presented as the foundation of your argument.

          Its shifting the goal posts to argue on the basis of your own personal authority without appeal to evidence and then complain that I did not critique the evidence based argument that you did not in fact present, but instead addressed what you present as the basis of why we should accept your claims.

          I believe that SNCF has thirty years experience, including success in establishing HSR corridors. So with thirty year experience level, why precisely should we accept your claims over the analysis that SNCF set forth?

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon May 23, 2011 at 11:08:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  ???? (0+ / 0-)

          Bruce:

          I think SNCF has more experience about how to build an HSR system than you do,
          johnny:
          Nothing quite like an ad hominem attack -
          To end your salient point, eh?
          The ad Hominem fallacy is an argument that seeks to undermine another argument by finding fault with the arguer.

          Bruce is saying that SNCF has plenty of expertise. I can't see that argument as fallacious.

          Speaking of ad Hominem attacks, I'm reminded of when I was riding the Coast Starlight in Oct, '09. I picked up a circular in the Oakland station which had so vituperated CaHSRA, I thought the author feared that without all the pejoratives, people would see that the meat of the argument was that UP was too hostile and he wanted everyone to blame CaHSRA.

          Greg McKendry, Linda Kraeger, Dr. George Tiller, Steven Johns. Victims of Wingnut violence

          by Judge Moonbox on Mon May 23, 2011 at 06:59:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The UP Is Extremely Hostile - (0+ / 0-)

            It has held Amtrak hostage on western routes for the past decade.

            The Coast Starlight was delayed up to 24 hours in the past three years due to "track maintenance" - not once, but many times.  How was it that the SP was able to operate 6 passenger trains and far more freight on the Cascade Route during WWII with far less advanced communications technology?

            The answer is that the UP wants to make sure that its legal obglations under NRPCA legislation are minimized.  And yet, CHSRA is going to UP hat in hand trusting that all will be well??

            By mentioning the Coast Starlight and UP, you bring up another major flaw in the CHSRA design - complete dependence on the Union Pacific when it has clearly made its ambivalence known.

            http://www.omaha.com/...

            http://cahsr.blogspot.com/...

            SNCF may have plenty of expertise - and I claim to be no expert, simply a lay person involved in rail issues for 30 years - but its operating environment is a far cry from anything it might experience in California.  SNCF stands for Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer - - note the "nationale" part.  France has a national, government-operated rail system.  Not only did SNCF have a broad, integrated passenger rail system from which to develop HSR, it also owned the ROW, had government eminent domain power to condemn new ROWs (not without controversy), and had a unified planing structure.

            Since you have been uprating BruceMcF's comments - including the one with multiple "bullshit" pejoratives - speaking of vituperativeness - I see little reason having any further discussion with you.  It is clear that you have no desire for dialogue.

    •  On the core argument ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, RunawayRose, Judge Moonbox
      No system anywhere in the world has been built in its entirety from scratch - not Japan, not France, not Germany.  The Central Valley by itself simply lacks the population to make a initial section viable other than as a hugely expensive test run.

      This diary does not claim that the San Joaquin valley segment is a Minimal Operable Segment, so claiming that it is not, does not contradict the argument in the diary.

      Same goes for Central Valley cities.  Nearly every HSR system worldwide achieves necessary speeds by avoiding built-up corridors - not using them.  Thus the routing along the UP Hwy 99 corridor will almost certainly not achieve the speeds proposed and required by CHSRA.

      Characterizing the area between Fresno and Bakersfield as built up is simply absurd.

      Most HSR systems in the world are built in countries were towns such as Zaragoza, Lleida and Tarragona have express intercity passenger rail corridors passing through already. And of course, in Europe and Japan, the rail corridors were established after the cities.

      In the Central Valley, the towns were established by the existence of the rail corridor.

      Obviously not having those express intercity passenger rail corridors already in place is an inconvenience, but there is no evidence that it is an an existential threat to the viability of an Express HSR corridor between SF and LA.

      Unless there is evidence at hand to support the claim, why precisely is the claim credible?

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon May 23, 2011 at 11:43:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site