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Date: 11/13/12 08:42
Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: MarinCommuter

Interesting story in today's Los Angeles Times, but it's unlikely to quell sizable opposition/skepticism to the project.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-bullet-mountains-20121113,0,4082877.story



Date: 11/13/12 10:04
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: Mgoldman

"When completed and fully operational, the bullet train will need an
estimated 2.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity each day — about
a quarter of Hoover Dam's average daily output."

Wow.

Interesting article - thanks for the link!

/Mitch



Date: 11/13/12 10:36
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: CarolVoss

Mgoldman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "When completed and fully operational, the bullet
> train will need an
> estimated 2.7 million kilowatt hours of
> electricity each day — about
> a quarter of Hoover Dam's average daily output."
>
> Wow.
>
> Interesting article - thanks for the link!
>
> /Mitch


Yep, that electricity estimate caught my eye as well!! Not much has been made of that in all the hoopla.
C.

Carol Voss
Salinas, CA



Date: 11/13/12 10:56
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: navy5717th

CarolVoss Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Mgoldman Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > "When completed and fully operational, the
> bullet
> > train will need an
> > estimated 2.7 million kilowatt hours of
> > electricity each day — about
> > a quarter of Hoover Dam's average daily
> output."
> >
> > Wow.
> >
> > Interesting article - thanks for the link!
> >
> > /Mitch
>
>
> Yep, that electricity estimate caught my eye as
> well!! Not much has been made of that in all the
> hoopla.
> C.


What's all the fuss about? Everybody knows that electricity is spontaneous and ubiquitous. You just flip a switch or plug something into a power socket and -- SHAZAM! -- it's there.

That attitude combined with California's institutional aversion to building new power plants (unless they're solar or wind) and you could almost put a fork in the HSR right now.

A professor of oceanography under whom it was my privilege to study defined an "expert" as someone who ignores the inconsistencies and errors in his argument as he sweeps boldly onward to its grand fallacy.

Power for the HSR? Not to worry. It'll be there just like at home with light switches and TVs -- won't it?

Fritz in HSV, AL



Date: 11/13/12 11:32
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: Wurli1938

Price is a bargain $20 billion for 141 miles - heck, it was $15 billion for under two miles in Boston with the same engineering firm doing the design and estimate. Look out CA, if it happens it will probably be $75 billion and years upon years of construction. Hope your tunnels don't leak or panels fall down like Boston. Now the light fixtures are starting to rust and fall.



Date: 11/13/12 11:34
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: abocanyon

The late Marshall McLuhan said an expert is one who makes not the slightest miscalculation on his (or her's) way to the grand calamity.



Date: 11/13/12 11:39
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: railstiesballast

Three quick thoughts:
The Japanese monitor earthquake faults for movement, and have instantaneous propulsion power cutoff and braking for any segments of the HSR that are at risk for whatever fault may have moved. For a moving train to be endangered would require almost perfect timing.
This is being designed as the ultimate HSR link, but almost without regard to cost. A more cautious approach, and one most likely taken with their own money at risk instead of "free" money from others, would be a more modest speed line at much lower cost as a initial operating segment from LA to Bakersfield that includes Lancaster. This would satisfy the Los Angeles County demand to serve the Antelope valley. It could be single track in the expensive tunnel and viaduct segments as is done elsewhere in the world, pending traffic demand and funding to build more capacity.
The official CAHSRA route, in my opinion, is flawed by the Lancaster diversion. My suggestion is to plan an ultimate line, to very high standards as a more direct line, that cuts many miles and minutes off the Lancaster route as an investment for the future decades, one the network is seen to be serving a valuable transportation utility and may be (can we hope?) constrained by capacity on the initial Lancaster route. Or, if the concept fails, much less money has been sunk into the project if the Lancaster line is built to more modest standards.
I have seen some very narrow thinking on the part of CAHSRA in my little role working on one segment and can only conclude that their designs are very elegant and expensive.



Date: 11/13/12 11:57
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: PasadenaSub

I was impressed by the two photos in Tehachapi by LAT photographer Al Seib. Probably not being a rail photog, he did a good job with the BNSF train at Tunnel 10 and another around Tunnel 2. When I picked up today's paper in the driveway, it seemed like a rail magazine until I thought about it.



Date: 11/13/12 13:03
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: reindeerflame

railstiesballast Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Three quick thoughts:
> The Japanese monitor earthquake faults for
> movement, and have instantaneous propulsion power
> cutoff and braking for any segments of the HSR
> that are at risk for whatever fault may have
> moved. For a moving train to be endangered would
> require almost perfect timing.
> This is being designed as the ultimate HSR link,
> but almost without regard to cost. A more
> cautious approach, and one most likely taken with
> their own money at risk instead of "free" money
> from others, would be a more modest speed line at
> much lower cost as a initial operating segment
> from LA to Bakersfield that includes Lancaster.
> This would satisfy the Los Angeles County demand
> to serve the Antelope valley. It could be single
> track in the expensive tunnel and viaduct segments
> as is done elsewhere in the world, pending traffic
> demand and funding to build more capacity.
> The official CAHSRA route, in my opinion, is
> flawed by the Lancaster diversion. My suggestion
> is to plan an ultimate line, to very high
> standards as a more direct line, that cuts many
> miles and minutes off the Lancaster route as an
> investment for the future decades, one the network
> is seen to be serving a valuable transportation
> utility and may be (can we hope?) constrained by
> capacity on the initial Lancaster route. Or, if
> the concept fails, much less money has been sunk
> into the project if the Lancaster line is built to
> more modest standards.
> I have seen some very narrow thinking on the part
> of CAHSRA in my little role working on one segment
> and can only conclude that their designs are very
> elegant and expensive.


The Palmdale alignment is 12 minutes longer.



Date: 11/13/12 13:22
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: hazegray

"They will have to maintain that pace all the way to San Jose to fulfill a legal mandate that trains reach San Francisco in less than two hours and 40 minutes."


When I lived in California about 20 years ago, the California Assembly passed another "legal mandate" that required a majority of automobiles sold in the state to be electric powered by the year 2000.
For those TO posters still living in the state, just how did that mandate work out?



Date: 11/13/12 13:28
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: Hoggerdude

hazegray Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "They will have to maintain that pace all the way
> to San Jose to fulfill a legal mandate that trains
> reach San Francisco in less than two hours and 40
> minutes."
>
>
> When I lived in California about 20 years ago, the
> California Assembly passed another "legal mandate"
> that required a majority of automobiles sold in
> the state to be electric powered by the year 2000.
>
> For those TO posters still living in the state,
> just how did that mandate work out?

Electrifying.



Date: 11/13/12 16:29
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: CPRR

Hoggerdude Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> hazegray Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > "They will have to maintain that pace all the
> way
> > to San Jose to fulfill a legal mandate that
> trains
> > reach San Francisco in less than two hours and
> 40
> > minutes."
> >
> >
> > When I lived in California about 20 years ago,
> the
> > California Assembly passed another "legal
> mandate"
> > that required a majority of automobiles sold in
> > the state to be electric powered by the year
> 2000.
> >
> > For those TO posters still living in the state,
> > just how did that mandate work out?
>
> Electrifying.

I have lived here since 1955. I am still waiting for the electric car....I am also waiting for the flying car for the masses (not the one they have now), and still waiting for a rocket that lands on it's legs to take me through the solar system....



Date: 11/13/12 17:17
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: Lackawanna484

I wonder what electric output from Hoover Dam is projected to be? A lot of the older projections assumed higher levels of electricity based on higher levels of water than have been recently observed.

Since the split of electricity is set in contract among the states (and Mexico, indirectly) diverting 1/4 of the total output (about half of California's share) for the railroad could put out the lights in other places.



Date: 11/13/12 17:30
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: SOO6617

The electrical power requirement could be met with 14 GE Gas Turbine power generators running on Natural Gas, though you likely would want one spare.



Date: 11/13/12 18:04
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: DNRY122

Somewhere I read that the power consumption was based on trains running every five minutes (I could be mistaken about the headways). Are there really that many people who want to travel between the various California cities? Remember that a high speed train can carry as many passengers as several jet aircraft.



Date: 11/13/12 18:41
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: railstiesballast

Reindeerflame's citation of the 12 minute time penalty confirms that the Palmdale diversion will take 12 minutes out of the lives of every north-south passenger, quite a price to pay to get commuters from Palmdale to Los Angeles.
Palndale and Lancaster passengers may need better service but this can be done with an upgrade to about 90 MPH on the existing line, still a serious investment but a valuable improvement on its own.



Date: 11/13/12 18:58
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: Lackawanna484

SOO6617 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The electrical power requirement could be met with
> 14 GE Gas Turbine power generators running on
> Natural Gas, though you likely would want one
> spare.

Thanks.

Do you know if the 14 gas turbines are in the project's estimated cost? Or were they planning to buy the elctricity at today's market rates?



Date: 11/13/12 19:06
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: webmaster

railstiesballast Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> the Palmdale diversion will
> take 12 minutes out of the lives of every
> north-south passenger, quite a price to pay to get
> commuters from Palmdale to Los Angeles.

The Antelope Valley now has a population around a half million people. That is a substantial population. I don't think it was a bad choice considering that there is no air competition and if the beast ever gets built it will open a pathway to someday servicing Victorville and on.

Todd Clark
Canyon Country, CA
Trainorders.com



Date: 11/13/12 20:42
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: jbaker

The CAHSR discussion can be resolved by a simple math equation.

CAHSR = (HYPE + BS)/FACTS = DOA

The good people of CA should redirect their efforts to a project that
has real economic benefits and an excellent chance for success in an
emerging market with fantastic growth potential: marijuana farming.



Date: 11/13/12 21:29
Re: Engineering challenges of Calif. high-speed rail
Author: sp5312

webmaster Wrote:
-
> The Antelope Valley now has a population around a
> half million people. That is a substantial
> population. I don't think it was a bad choice
> considering that there is no air competition and
> if the beast ever gets built it will open a
> pathway to someday servicing Victorville and on.


But just try getting a 100 of them to buy a ticket on the weekend "Felony Fliers"



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