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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?


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Date: 08/21/18 16:45
Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: mdo

Author: stash Spare the civics lesson. Voters approved it. Governor and most other politicians bought into the passenger railroad. If and when it's all up and running you'll probably ride the trains. Like the anti-BART people eventually did. 

What do you want? Tie it up in court forever? (That's a great Sierra Club tactic.) But lawyers cost taxpayers money too. I don't care for the route but like everything political there is horse trading. 

It'll make for a fast ride from SF to Bakersfield. Easy to rent a car there and foam the Loop! All in one day.

mdo Wrote: 
------------------------------------------------------- 
> Morgan Hill, CA 
> Tom's Trains 

> Why the negativity .   What did you expect of a 
> new transportation initiative comparative to the 
> new construction of another Interstate between Los 
> Angeles and San Fransisco.   No matter what route 
> it might take? 

He might not be able to articulate why CA HSR seems hopeless compared to the magnificient Shinkansen system in Japan, but I'm sure his "negativity" is based on his personal experience riding in Japan hundreds of times. I can respect your knowledge and expertise based on what you've posted and what you've accomplished, but what is your understanding of how the Shinkansen system works over there? 

While I'm a foamer and not even close to be considered an "expert," I did have a chance to read the trials and tribulations of the Shinkansen Project, especially in 2014 when the Japanese were celebrating the system's 50th Anniversary of revenue service. Many materials and publications were made avaiable that year, which I've read. Some of that information is in English, searchable on the Internet. While the classic "we are not them" argument can be used to dismiss comparisons, they didn't make that excuse when they adopted our quality control practices, especially for their thriving automotive industry. 

Anyway, stash got right to the point. As it stands, California voters got ripped off by Prop 1A. I don't expect people to smile and celebrate when they realized they got tricked. So, of course there's negativity. :-)Margaret_SP_fan Wrote: 
------------------------------------------------------- 
> mdo, sir -- 
> I am merely stating that I do not agree that CA 
> HSR is woth doing -- because no one has yet shown 
> it is worth doing. If that coems across as 
> "negative," so be it. 

> With Clara, I ask (metaphorically), "Where's the 
> beef?"  If CA HSR is so well worth doing,  
> please post a link to one -- just one! -- 
> travel-deand study that was not done by or paid 
> for by the CHSRA that shows good, solid evidence 
> that there IS real demand for CA HSR. 

> ALL I am asking for is a LINK to a study, NOT a 
> restatement of the whole doggoned study. 

> IF such a study exists, it should be very easy for 
> someone to post a link to it.  Does such a study 
> exist?  I do not think so, or someone would have 
> posted a link to it long ago. 

> Facts, please.  Thank you! 

Everything built with tax $$ must have strong demand before one penny is spent. I wasn't alive for it but the history books say that the interstate highway system was built largely before there was much private demand. Now where is my eye roll emoji...  

Apparently someone doesn't think their tax dollars should be spent on "build it and they will come". There is nothing wrong with this opinion. I just don't agree.  

I was born and raised in Redwood City, CA. Outside of 3 years, I have lived on the Peninsula or in the south bay. It is obvious that nobody is going to fix the housing crisis that has been getting worse over the last 20 years. I understand that soon a family with income around 100k a year will quailfy for section 8 housing help in San Jose. This is how absurd the housing market has gotten down here.  In NYC people moved farther away as NYC got more expensive over the years. Out here people have been moving to more outlying areas but since the tranist\road infrastructure is woefully inadequate to those outlying areas many are moving out of state instead. Some seem to be stuck with the idea that all of our tax $$ must be used only for projects that benefit "me" immediately. How does that help those who can no longer afford to live in CA? CA is already losing companies to neighboring states due to the better overall quality of life offered by other states. 

Is CAHSR done badly or a boondoggle? Probably. 

It is going to cost waaaaaay more than anyone thought(even the extreme doomsayers)? Again probably.  

Saying "STOP" or "NO" to CAHSR isn't a solution to the wider issues in California.  

So far those who want to see CAHSR stopped seem to have no comment about how they would solve the larger longer term transportation issues that have been ignored by most for 20+ years. 

All of of these comments are from mdc #313.
------------------------------------------------------- 


Can the present CHSR project be saved.   Should it be finished?  Endeded short of destination at the end points of LA & SF
Rerouted somehow.  Or should the whole project be scrapped,  all money spent so far just down the drain?   Or considered a sunk cost and let's move on. 

As as you might expect,  I have given this some thought and I have a few suggestions......

1.   By all means the project should be finished,  Altered somewhat to make it better if possible.
2.   More attention should be paid to integrating HSR with the existing, conventional rail systems
3.   Overall scheduling must be readdressed.   Why stick with two hours and forty minutes?
Here is where Margarets independent demand study comes in
4.  Altamont pass vs Pacheco pass should be revisited, particularly in light of BARTS plans to reach Diridon Station in San Jose.

5.  Antelope Valley???

And that's just for starters, too.   There is more.

mdo





 




















 



Edited 11 time(s). Last edit at 08/23/18 13:16 by mdo.



Date: 08/21/18 18:50
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: Margaret_SP_fan

mdo --
You did not make it clear just WHO wrote the text that does not have a > to the left of each line.  Please, sir, when you quote someone, please make it clear to the reader what text is a quote and who wrote it.   Thanks!

CA HSR:
Travel-demand study, please!

No study = no demand = shut it down.  Now.  Stop wasting our money.

The burden of proof is on those who insist that CA HSR is worth the gigantic amounts of money being spent on it.



Date: 08/21/18 22:08
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: CarolVoss

MDO says 

1.   By all means the project should be finished,  Altered somewhat to make it better if possible. 
2.   More attention should be paid to integrating HSR with the existing, conventional rail systems 
3.   Overall scheduling must be readdressed.   Why stick with two hours and forty minutes? 
Here is where Margarets independent demand study comes in 
4.  Altamont pass vs Pacheco pass should be revisited, particularly in light of BARTS plans to reach Diridon Station in San Jose. 

5.  Antelope Valley??? 

And that's just for starters, too.   There is more.

So lets get on with it!! If you were king of the project, how would YOU “alter it somewhat”?
You, the seasoned rail,  tell us the great unwashed how it should and could be done.

Master, we sit at your feet waiting to hang on your every word—-😀😀❤️❤️
C

And a PS, have you seen the grandiose plan as to just how and when BART is going to get from east San Jose to Diridon? It might not even be ready by the time the HSR is finished. 😀😀😀

PS— I still think this needs to be on the passenger and western boards. I dont consider your expertise to be railroad nostalgia.

Carol Voss
Salinas, CA



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/22/18 11:13 by CarolVoss.



Date: 08/22/18 16:17
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: trainjunkie

Uh, I have a solution to "California's longer term transportation problems". Bulid the wall and deport the illegal population. Problem solved.



Date: 08/22/18 17:05
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: PHall

trainjunkie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Uh, I have a solution to "California's longer term
> transportation problems". Bulid the wall and
> deport the illegal population. Problem solved.

Uh, have you been to the border in the past 20 years or so?  That big metal thing sure looks like a "wall" to me.



Date: 08/22/18 17:30
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: CarolVoss

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> trainjunkie Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Uh, I have a solution to "California's longer
> term
> > transportation problems". Bulid the wall and
> > deport the illegal population. Problem solved.
>
> Uh, have you been to the border in the past 20
> years or so?  That big metal thing sure looks
> like a "wall" to me.

And do you realuze how many fly over the border or come up the coast?  You can find abandoned panga boatx everywhere. 
C

Carol Voss
Salinas, CA



Date: 08/22/18 17:52
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: agentatascadero

trainjunkie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Uh, I have a solution to "California's longer term
> transportation problems". Bulid the wall and
> deport the illegal population. Problem solved.

Junkie, You seem to be suggesting that, in California, only "illegal aliens" travel......you cannot be serious.

AA

Stanford White
Carmel Valley, CA



Date: 08/22/18 18:17
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: PHall

CarolVoss Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> PHall Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > trainjunkie Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Uh, I have a solution to "California's longer
> > term
> > > transportation problems". Bulid the wall and
> > > deport the illegal population. Problem
> solved.
> >
> > Uh, have you been to the border in the past 20
> > years or so?  That big metal thing sure looks
> > like a "wall" to me.
>
> And do you realuze how many fly over the border or
> come up the coast?  You can find abandoned panga
> boatx everywhere. 
> C

Those ain't carrying people. And people is what we're talking about.



Date: 08/23/18 00:32
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: norm1153

Reference mdo's comment about the interstate highway's origins, at least some of the justification was military use if needed for any situation that might come up.



Date: 08/23/18 08:21
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: trainjunkie

agentatascadero Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Junkie, You seem to be suggesting that, in
> California, only "illegal aliens" travel......you
> cannot be serious.

Don't be ridiculous or try to over simplify or redirect the conversation away from the problem. California's illegal population has put enormous strain on our infrastructure, resources, and funds. There is no denying that. Competition for transportation resources is just one of many problems this population has created. There are simply too many people in this State, and a large percentage of them don't belong here and should not be siphoning off resources from those of us who do belong here. The entire light rail system in Los Angeles was created to support this population, despite politicians telling us it was to "get people out of their cars". Utter nonsense. Without all this competition for transportation resources, we would be just fine with the existing hghway network, airlines, and conventional rail. HSR will do nothing to solve the problem and it will come at a massive cost for many future generations to bear. HSR is nothing more than an incredibly expensive Band-Aid on a sucking chest wound.



Date: 08/23/18 12:25
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: norm1153

Trainjunkie wrote:  "...The entire light rail system in Los Angeles was created to support this population, despite politicians telling us it was to "get people out of their cars...".Boy if you apply that line of thinking to a lot of other issues going on here in California.....   Makes one stop and think.  And I'm guessing now, that this deflection by the bureaucrats has been going on for at least a generation.
 



Date: 08/23/18 13:02
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: mdo

ladies and gentlemen we live in a society together.  Sounds to me like some are suggesting you should only pay taxes if you receive direct benefits     As in I don't have kids so I don't want to pay any taxes that go to schools.

Urban mobility drives the economy of the entire region. Everyone is a participant,  even if you ride only a bicycle.



Date: 08/23/18 13:21
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: kevink

mdo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Urban mobility drives the economy of the entire
> region. Everyone is a participant,  even if you
> ride only a bicycle.

Yes! Someone who understands!



Date: 08/23/18 13:34
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: Narniaman

mdo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ladies and gentlemen we live in a society
> together.  Sounds to me like some are suggesting
> you should only pay taxes if you receive direct
> benefits     As in I don't have kids so I don't
> want to pay any taxes that go to schools.
>
> Urban mobility drives the economy of the entire
> region. Everyone is a participant,  even if you
> ride only a bicycle.

Hmm. . . .

Let's see if I've got you correct. 

Let's use the "RailRunner" system in New Mexico, albeit it quite a bit shorter (97 miles), slower (79 mph), and a whole lot cheaper ($285 million vs. Umpteen hundred BILLION dollars for the CHSR system). It costs about $28 million dollars a year to run the system, and the income from fares is about $2.8 million dollars a year. 

But the RailRunner has been operating ten years now, so it's not something that will arrive sometime off in the future. 

Fortunately, the state of New Mexico is able to fund the deficiency by diverting money from roads maintenance to running their railroad, which is used by about 3000 passengers a day. 

My cousin, who is a civil engineer in New Mexico, predicted this would happen. He reports now that highways all through the state now are suffering because there has been $250 million dollars less spent on them the last decade. 

But you are saying this is all good because the railroad urban mobility "drives the entire region", as opposed to mobility from plain old cars and trucks?? 

In all your consulting, did you factor in how much the California's economy would be affected by the state diverting money from road maintenance to keeping the high speed choo-choo in the black?? 
 



Date: 08/23/18 13:35
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: Margaret_SP_fan

mdo --
Thank you!  We are all in this together, like it or not.  "Bigger picture," folks, please!

Yes, I know -- that is hard to do when the economic "pie" we are allowed to accss is so doggoned small, but, please -- try to realize that most of the things our taxes pay for do not SEEM to ever benefit us personally at the time we pay those taxes, but they DO benefit us a lot, when we look at the entire picture of our very complex society.

Mandatory RR content --
We all love trains, or we would not read or post on this site.  How on earth did the locomotives we love -- steam, diesel, electric -- ever get designed and built and maintained and repaired if none of the designers or builders or maintenance or repair people could read or write or do basic math?   Do you still think that people who do not currently have kids in public schools should not pay taxes to pay for those schools?

OK, to use mdo's example of public schools -- is it really true that people who do not have kids in public schools never benefit from kids getting educatd in public schools?  Let;'s say you are either very young and have not kids at all or are oler and either have no kids in public schools or have no kids at all.  Do yuo really think that you, personally, ever once benefit from kids being educated in public schools?  Where do you think the computer techs and plumbers and electricians and nurses and doctors, etc., got their basic education?  At home?  On their own?  By osmosis?  Really?  

Whatever one does as an adult in any career -- which benefits a lot of people -- rests on the basic foundation of a good, basic education.  How is anyone going to be able to do any of the millions of things we all need to be done if they never learn to read or write or do basic math,etc.?



Date: 08/23/18 13:44
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: Margaret_SP_fan

What we are arguing about here is priorities.  

The money IS there for what we need -- it is just being spent on the wrong things and is being hoarded by the very wealthy.

And, yes, our taxes are therefore sometimes being spent on the wrong things.  But not everything paid for by our taxes is wrong or bad.  Some tax-supported thngs are essential.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/23/18 14:21 by Margaret_SP_fan.



Date: 08/23/18 13:51
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: trainjunkie

mdo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sounds to me like some are suggesting
> you should only pay taxes if you receive direct
> benefits

No but taxpayers should get a decent return on investment, whether direct or indirect, which HSR, due to its outrageous and exhorbitant cost to build and operate, will not, and can not EVER provide.

Where do you HSR proponents draw the line on cost vs. ROI? We've already passed millions and are into the billions. How many billions before you accept that it's just not economically viable? Do we get into the trillions before you see it for what it is? Seems like the "build it and they will come" crowd doesn't think there should be a cap on cost. The whole thing was passed by voters based on purely fictional numbers and outright lies and the costs continue to balloon.

So do you proponents ever draw the line or not? Of course you don't, which the CAHSRA and its supporting political base know. They know it needs to get over the threshold of being "too big to fail". Once there is enough money wasted on it, we will have no choice but to see it through no matter what. This is the biggest scam thrust on California taxpayers in the history of the State.



Date: 08/23/18 15:22
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: mdo

I suppose that you realize if we accept your reasoning we pull the plug on AMTRAK long hall tonight!

UP cancels the steam program at close of business today.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/23/18 15:26 by mdo.



Date: 08/23/18 15:44
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: Copy19

“Impossible” projects can reap huge benefits.  Consider the financing of Hoover Dam.  An article from the May 31, 1987 Los Angeles Times reported that the $140 million mortgage loan from the U.S. Treasury  was paid in full on that day.  The dam was dedicated by President Roosevelt in 1935.

The loan was repaid by ratepayers of the electricity generated at the dam who paid $5.4 million a year at 3 % interest for 50 years.

My dad worked at the dam for the Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power.  I grew up in Boulder City attending public school there from kindergarten through my senior year in high school.  Thank you everyone!

Railroad content:  I hosted a special Union Pacific passenger train from Las Vegas to Boulder City and back as part of the 1987 anniversary celebration in Boulder City.

JB



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/23/18 15:54 by Copy19.



Date: 08/23/18 16:33
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 314. Can CHSR Succeed?
Author: trainjunkie

mdo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I suppose that you realize if we accept your
> reasoning we pull the plug on AMTRAK long hall
> tonight!

And? Maybe we should. Even so, the difference in the sheer dollars and the ROI are apples and oranges. Amtrak's long-haul activities, despite their mysterious accounting practices, are a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of single-State HSR. Additionally, those costs are amortized across millions of individual and corporate Federal taxpayers, not just those in one State.

> UP cancels the steam program at close of business today.

UP is a publicaly traded, private corporation. It does not use tax dollars to fund its marketing and PR activities. I couldn't give a rodent's behind what they spend their money on. Not my business even though I hold shares. If they see value in that, and my investment continues to perform, I couldn't care less if they pour their own money into their steam program.

Try again Mike.



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