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No matter where I live, though, there will likely be times I wished I lived elsewhere.
California OKs funding for high-speed rail lineBy JUDY LIN Associated PressPosted: 07/06/2012 04:01:47 PM PDTUpdated: 07/06/2012 04:13:21 PM PDTSACRAMENTO, Calif.—California lawmakers approved billions of dollars Friday in construction financing for the first segment of what would be the nation's first dedicated high-speed rail line, eventually connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco.The state Senate voted 21-16 on a party-line vote after intense lobbying by Gov. Jerry Brown, Democratic leaders and labor groups.The bill authorizes the state to begin selling $2.6 billion in voter-approved bonds to build an initial 130-miles stretch in the Central Valley. That would allow the state to collect about $3.2 billion in federal funding that could have been rescinded if lawmakers failed to act Friday.READ MORE AT:http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_21022885/california-oks-funding-high-speed-rail-line
It is suppose to cost 68 billion. That is a TON of money. How many trips will it take to pay it off? Im all about rail but that is too astronomical. Wouldn't it be cheaper to have free flights between the cities? lol
Also I don't think that people can really comprehend just how bad the transportation situation is in California. The airports are difficult to reach for most in the LA and SF areas and driving is totally nuts. Union Station in Downtown LA is becoming more and more accessible with the construction of many new transit lines.
To accommodate California's projected travel growth in the San-San corridor in the coming decades, 3000 lane-miles of new freeway PLUS five new airport runways would need to be built to accommodate the same 117 million passengers per year as the California HSR. That would cost two to three times more than building the California High Speed Rail system. So yes, $68 billion is a lot of money. The alternative is much more expensive and environmentally damaging.This is what the initial, $7.7 billion will accomplish.....> MetroLink's Antelope Valley Line, Los Angeles to Lancaster (77 miles), will be upgraded to 90 mph and with more traffic capacity so it to handle 20+ added daily trains -- Amtrak (to Oakland/Sacramento) and XpressWest (formerly DesertXpress, to Vegas);> A single-track, passenger-only, 80-mile-long rail line from Palmdale to Bakersfield with a single-bore tunnel through the Tehachapi Mountains and designed for 220 mph but diesel-powered trains will travel at much lower speeds;> A new, double-track, high-speed rail line (140 miles) designed for 220 mph from Bakersfield to to Madera> Continued upgrading of Amtrak's San Joaquin route from Madera to Sacramento (145 miles) and to Oakland (178 miles) to offer 110-mph service.> It also includes funding to electrify CalTrain's Bay Area diesel-powered commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose and Gilroy, a 50-mile route which will be used by the California HSR when the Pacheco Pass HSR route is built from Gilroy to Madera.I think this is a very thoughtful approach which best capitalizes on the $3 billion the state has already invested in developing the conventional-speed Amtrak system. And it shows why building conventional-speed trains first before building high-speed rail is so important -- it creates the ridership base, the political constituency and the interim/feeders routes until the entire HSR system can be built. There never is enough money to build everything all at once, as was true with the Interstate highway system. Building HSR in segments without having conventional trains first is like building the Interstate highway system without first providing paved, two-lane roads.
This is very impressive and has me wondering about a few things. One is the possibility of extending the Surfliner route north from San Luis Obispo to Gilroy and on to San Jose and directly into San Francisco as an alternative to the Central Valley route. Another is also in regard to the Surfliner route between Los Angeles and san Diego...I wonder if that will be upgraded to 110 mph as well?
There's also a hairpin bend to go around a mountain in the line just north of San Diego, where a tunnel would speed service considerably.
Then there is the equipment itself. Bilevel California/Surfliner cars are OK, but what's needed is bidirectional tilt trains that can take curves faster, cutting trip times and conveying a modern image.
High-speed rail officials rebuffed proposal from French railwayThe French railway recommended that the state build the rail line along the Interstate 5 corridor and partner with it or another foreign firm to hold down costs.By Dan Weikel and Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles TimesJuly 9, 2012As state officials accelerated their effort to design a high-speed rail system in 2010, they were approached by the renowned French national railway with a suggestion: The project could use the help of an experienced bullet train operator.Until the end of last year, SNCF, the developer of one of the world's most successful high-speed rail systems, proposed that the state use competitive bidding to partner with it or another foreign operator rather than rely on construction engineers to design a sophisticated network for 200-mph trains.The approach, the French company said, would help the California High-Speed Rail Authority identify a profitable route, hold down building costs, develop realistic ridership forecasts and attract private investors — a requirement of a $9-billion bond measure approved by voters in 2008.But SNCF couldn't get its ideas — including considering a more direct north-south route along the Central Valley's Interstate 5 corridor — out of the station.Instead, the rail authority continued to concentrate planning in the hands of Parsons Brinckerhoff, a giant New York City-based engineering and construction management firm. Although they have occasionally consulted with high-speed railways, officials decided that hiring an experienced operator and seeking private investors would have to wait until after the $68-billion system was partially built. Last week, the state Senate approved — by a single vote — $8 billion to get construction underway.
The trip, projected for 2040, is part of the passenger rail agency's $151 billion redevelopment of the Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston, the Inquirer reports. Right now, the trip takes about 70 minutes, but that time would gradually be lowered, according to the Inquirer.By Spencer Platt, Getty ImagesThe faster service would be phased in gradually as tracks, signals, bridges and power lines are improved and as a new high-speed corridor is built to accommodate trains traveling up to 220 mph, according to the news organization.The existing corridor between Washington and Boston is old and crowded and unable to meet today's demand, the Inquirer quotes Amtrak President Joseph Boardman as saying.Amtrak proposes a series of steps on the way to 220 mph trains by 2030, according to the Inquirer. Among them: acquiring 40 more Acela Express passenger cars by 2015, and doubling Acela service between New York and Washington by 2020.
forget the state gov, regional atlanta pursues a more localized targeted tax approach:
In each of the 12 voting regions, 75 percent to 85 percent of the money would go to projects on an unchangeable master list. The remaining money would be given to cities and counties to spend on any transportation needs they might have in the future.I doubt many of the regions pass this, if most of the money is going to Atlanta.