Trains.com

California HSR Project now estimated to cost upwards of $105 Billion to complete.

4137 views
41 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September 2017
  • 5,094 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 2:37 PM

Overmod
(I have not missed the actual point you were making, which is that there won't be nearly enough people in an actual hurry that California HSR will achieve when finally built out even to run trains with adequate frequency, let alone pay off all the development bills.  Nearly every high-speed railroad in the worid (and particularly the vanity or overmanaged projects!) shows no sign of coming close to doing so

I don't think either of you OM or Joe) have used HSR or HrSR much, if at all beyond our NEC.

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,455 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 6:57 PM

105 Big Ones!  Man, that kind of money could pay for a lot of, oh never mind.  Whistling

  • Member since
    May 2015
  • 1,827 posts
Posted by 243129 on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 7:22 PM

charlie hebdo

 

 
Overmod
(I have not missed the actual point you were making, which is that there won't be nearly enough people in an actual hurry that California HSR will achieve when finally built out even to run trains with adequate frequency, let alone pay off all the development bills.  Nearly every high-speed railroad in the worid (and particularly the vanity or overmanaged projects!) shows no sign of coming close to doing so

 

I don't think either of you OM or Joe) have used HSR or HrSR much, if at all beyond our NEC.

 

No Charlie, I have not but show me where it would be feasible in the USA. BTW what is HrSR?Confused

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,455 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 9:18 PM

243129
BTW what is HrSR?

I think that's "High-er Speed Rail."  Not as fast as HSR but faster than the typical passenger train. 

  • Member since
    May 2015
  • 1,827 posts
Posted by 243129 on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 10:24 PM

Flintlock76

 

 
243129
BTW what is HrSR?

 

I think that's "High-er Speed Rail."  Not as fast as HSR but faster than the typical passenger train. 

 

Yes

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 1,251 posts
Posted by Erik_Mag on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 11:32 PM

What bugs me is that the amount of money spent on the Cal HSR project might been much better spent improving on existing corridors and connecting transit. I would think the number of passenger miles from getting the terminal to terminal speeds on the LOSSAN corridor up to 60 - 80 MPH would far exceed the passenger miles that would be generated by the Cal HSR system.

An eventual extension of the HSR system was supposed to be Inland Empire to SD via the I-15 corridor, but the estimated time of completion is several decades away.

An 80 MPH terminal to terminal average speed on a Silicon Valley to San Joaquin Valley system would have been a boon as well.

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • 5,094 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 1:09 AM

243129

 

 
charlie hebdo

 

 
Overmod
(I have not missed the actual point you were making, which is that there won't be nearly enough people in an actual hurry that California HSR will achieve when finally built out even to run trains with adequate frequency, let alone pay off all the development bills.  Nearly every high-speed railroad in the worid (and particularly the vanity or overmanaged projects!) shows no sign of coming close to doing so

 

I don't think either of you OM or Joe) have used HSR or HrSR much, if at all beyond our NEC.

 

 

 

No Charlie, I have not but show me where it would be feasible in the USA. BTW what is HrSR?Confused

 

 

Hey Joe!  Many potential cooridors under 300-400 miles.  Already approaching HrSR levels are Chi-StL and Chi-DET.  Chi-MKE is a natural and already quite fast.  Of course all would be better with modern electrification.

  • Member since
    May 2015
  • 1,827 posts
Posted by 243129 on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 9:28 AM

charlie hebdo
Hey Joe!  Many potential cooridors under 300-400 miles.  Already approaching HrSR levels are Chi-StL and Chi-DET.  Chi-MKE is a natural and already quite fast.  Of course all would be better with modern electrification.

I agree. The train has the potential to wrest the 500 mile and under corridors from the airlines but not at the outrageous costs being posited here. 'True' HSR (150mph+) is not happening on the NEC and to try it on other corridors would be a waste of money. Frequent, timely dependable service can be had at far less than these futile forays. The train can own the midtown to midtown corridor service.

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 11,097 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 9:49 AM

One definition heard was-----

1,  HrSR was 111 MPH or more which by FRA standards means a closed track access. No grade crossings fenced etc.  Class 6 track

2.  HSR 161 or greater 

But did congress meddled with some other speed definitions?

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 19,212 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 9:59 AM

HrSR is 'regional high speed' -- the first stage being the 110mph that is permissible with grade crossings, and the second being PRIIA-compliant 125mph.

Most of the indicated corridors don't really benefit from peak speeds higher than the latter figure, if they have the politically-optimal number of stops.  And regular stops are a characteristic of 'regional' service that North American HSR emphatically should not share.

I personally find true HSR delightful.  But much pf its implementation is tremendously expensive, for no gain other than implicitly money-losing passenger service for those willing to pay a premium for less-than-aircraft speed.  The efficient number of corridor destination pairs that benefit from sustained HSR speed, even as low as 186mph, are comparatively few, and the sensible alternatives involve full electrification with peak draws per train as high as 22,000hp equivalent.  110mph is easily sustainable with hydrogen/battery trains, and 125mph achievable with top-and-tail locomotives.  (To put this in perspective, a train with one Charger that goes 100mph needs two Chargers top-and-tail to go 125mph).

The problem with 150mph is that you have to spend most of the money for true HSR, and put up with most of the design and construction 'shortcomings' including buff and draft requirements, without really seeing much actual time reduction in schedule keeping.  The APT in England, with all its wonderful (contemporary) sophistication, lost out to the HPT for precisely this reason.  There were several attempts, starting in the Carter Administration, to rebuild sections of the NEC to what would ultimately be "150mph" speed... few of which ever eventuated in actual practice until well into the 1980s.  (The expensively-improved sections north of New Haven supposedly capable of this range of higher speed apparently see very little actual running for particularly great distances.)

  • Member since
    May 2015
  • 1,827 posts
Posted by 243129 on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 8:26 PM

This 'assemblage'/ ramble dates back 10 or 12 years when I was crusading against the futility and waste of taxpayer money to achieve 'high speed' rail service on the existing infrastructure.

Here is an example of where Amtrak is today. The New Haven had a freight train 1st Advanced BO-1, the "Jet", which guaranteed delivery from Boston to Chicago in 24 hours. Forty five years later Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited takes almost 22 hours from Boston to Chicago. The Merchants Limited circa 1963, with a fifteen minute switch from electric to diesel locomotive power at New Haven would cover the distance from New York to Boston in 3 hours and 55 minutes. The Acela Express, in the same time slot and far from it's proposed goal of 3 hours, covers the distance in 3 hours and 40 minutes.49 years have passed and countless millions (perhaps billions) spent in track improvements and wire installation and the resulting time cut from the schedule is zero minutes! Is this considered progress? I have seen the high speed trains come and go. The New Haven's two forays into HST's proved to be futile on the existing roadbed just as Amtrak's is today. Europe and Japan were bombed in to rubble in WW II and the Marshall Plan and SCAP rebuilt their infrastructures with an eye on the future. The railroads were built as straight as the geography allowed. The NEC infrastructure dates from the 1800's taking a circuitous route between industries.

 

Outdated Interstate system is responsible for passenger increase not Amtrak's business acumen.

 

Folks want good dependable transportation.

 

Amtrak can wrest the 500 mile and under market from airlines.

 

FY 2012 Regional up 6.6% Acela up 0.5% 2nd best year ever

 

1969 Metroliner 2'30” NYP – WAS

 

2013 Acela 2'45” 5 stops

 

2013Regional 3' 0” 10 stops

 

1963 Merchants Limited w/15 minute engine change @ NH 3'55” NY – BOS

 

 

2013 Acela w/ no stop or engine change @ NH 3'40” NYP - BOS

 

  • Member since
    October 2014
  • 898 posts
Posted by Gramp on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 9:45 PM

243129

This 'assemblage'/ ramble dates back 10 or 12 years when I was crusading against the futility and waste of taxpayer money to achieve 'high speed' rail service on the existing infrastructure.

Here is an example of where Amtrak is today. The New Haven had a freight train 1st Advanced BO-1, the "Jet", which guaranteed delivery from Boston to Chicago in 24 hours. Forty five years later Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited takes almost 22 hours from Boston to Chicago. The Merchants Limited circa 1963, with a fifteen minute switch from electric to diesel locomotive power at New Haven would cover the distance from New York to Boston in 3 hours and 55 minutes. The Acela Express, in the same time slot and far from it's proposed goal of 3 hours, covers the distance in 3 hours and 40 minutes.49 years have passed and countless millions (perhaps billions) spent in track improvements and wire installation and the resulting time cut from the schedule is zero minutes! Is this considered progress? I have seen the high speed trains come and go. The New Haven's two forays into HST's proved to be futile on the existing roadbed just as Amtrak's is today. Europe and Japan were bombed in to rubble in WW II and the Marshall Plan and SCAP rebuilt their infrastructures with an eye on the future. The railroads were built as straight as the geography allowed. The NEC infrastructure dates from the 1800's taking a circuitous route between industries.

 

Outdated Interstate system is responsible for passenger increase not Amtrak's business acumen.

 

Folks want good dependable transportation.

 

Amtrak can wrest the 500 mile and under market from airlines.

 

FY 2012 Regional up 6.6% Acela up 0.5% 2nd best year ever

 

1969 Metroliner 2'30” NYP – WAS

 

2013 Acela 2'45” 5 stops

 

2013Regional 3' 0” 10 stops

 

1963 Merchants Limited w/15 minute engine change @ NH 3'55” NY – BOS

 

 

2013 Acela w/ no stop or engine change @ NH 3'40” NYP - BOS

 

 

The most telling examples to me of fundamental disregard on the NEC was not connecting Boston North and South directly by rail during the Big Dig and OM's observation that tunnel design coming out of the Hudson has been changed that lowers trains' achievable speed clearing the tunnel. Betting on the wrong horse. 

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy