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Old 05-16-2011, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
32,260 posts, read 54,960,967 times
Reputation: 15287

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As Ive stated before, I would rather see an intra-SoCal high speed rail with a possible line to Las Vegas.

For NorCal Id prefer to see BART modernized and totally ring the Bay going down into San Jose and up into the North Bay and possibly out into San Joaquin County. That would be a far better use of money imo. How about canceling Amtrack and putting together express BART lines to Sacramento?

For the central valley? Perhaps a Light rail in Fresno and Bakersfield.

$43 Billion is a TON of money being spent on one project.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:16 PM
 
2,093 posts, read 3,924,108 times
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Quote:
As Ive stated before, I would rather see an intra-SoCal high speed rail with a possible line to Las Vegas.

For NorCal Id prefer to see BART modernized and totally ring the Bay going down into San Jose and up into the North Bay and possibly out into San Joaquin County. That would be a far better use of money imo. How about canceling Amtrack and putting together express BART lines to Sacramento?
For you, maybe. The HSR isn't going to want to spend money on routes that already exists. It makes better sense to lay tracks to connect the major cities in California to improve our local economy. Not sure why you want a rail to Las Vegas.


Quote:
$43 Billion is a TON of money being spent on one project.
Then blow the entire project up and refund whatever money is leftover back to the federal government instead of just the bay area and Los Angeles. The funding was meant to benefit the entire state as a whole, not just the select few areas that already have existing public transportation.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Business ethics is an oxymoron.
1,849 posts, read 2,253,336 times
Reputation: 3865
As if this project at face value isn't bad enough, consider this as well. The chosen alignment more-or-less parallels the BNSF route through the Valley. This track both hauls a lot of freight and passes mainly through lightly populated areas. Between Bakersfield and Fresno, it goes through just the following towns: Shafter, Wasco, Corcoran, and Hanford. Add Laton to that list if it qualifies as a town. That's it.

The more logical choice would've been along the UP route which for much of its length runs alongside Hwy 99 and goes through Famoso, McFarland, Delano, Earlimart, Pixley, Tipton, Tulare, grazes Visalia, Goshen, Kingsburg, Selma, and Fowler before reaching Fresno. Obviously a much bigger population base and probably more direct route. But oops. Union Pacific not only said "no", but HELL NO to Amtrak, never mind HSR. Surely something could've been worked out, considering...

That a perfectly intact (for now) rail right of way is languishing alongside the eastern San Joaquin Valley. Tulare County is just begging to see it rebuilt and used for local and perhaps through freight for local trackside busineses who would ostensibly ship by rail. If only they could.

Union Pacific already owns that corridor (but the San Joaquin Valley Railroad-which is largely a front company for A+K Rail Materials, who is in the business of dismantling rail lines and reselling/recycling the scrap is the one that tore it out following blessing from the STB, which, incidentally, was allowed when the SJVR was able to "prove" that there was no business. UP owns the land. SJVR owned the tracks and appurtanances. What wasn't taken into account was that the SJVR deliberately embargoed the line with a thousand dollar per car surcharge on top of the standard tariff. yeah, no wonder there was no traffic. The line served it's true purpose to SJVR and A+K when they pulled it up.).

Perhaps something could be worked out that the State can rebuild the East Side line for UP, since through trains can still get by and take the Hwy 99 corridor for the HSR. There is precedence for this. In SoCal, the Metro Gold line was (and will be if phase II ever starts)built along the former Santa Fe Railroad Pasadena Line. Until 1994, that route served as a regular rail line just like BNSF and UP do now, where everything from Amtrak to long trains stacked with piggyback trailers or intermodal containers traversed it between San Bernadino and LA. When Metro was in negotiations to obtain that corridor, they paid for the Santa Fe to double track their other main line (which is the line through Fullerton today) in exchange for the Pasadena route. So everyone won. Santa Fe got to maintain capacity, offload an additional right of way, and the County got the Pasadena line for the Gold Line. So it can be done.

Would probably cost about the same or perhaps less when all the lobbying and other costs are factored in. It would make sense. And everyone would be happy. Perhaps we can even get a feeder Light rail or Amtrak/CalTrain/Metrolink type commuter rail to augment the HSR for local stops between Bakersfield and Fresno. Understandably, many (but of course not all) residents in the SJV aren't too keen on HSR as currently presented. And why no? We are totally getting shafted because we will, in effect, have virtually no access to it. And what little we do get, it would make more sense to just say "screw it" and drive.

So naturally, it has zero chance of happening.

Last edited by Des-Lab; 05-16-2011 at 05:35 PM..
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:30 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
15,422 posts, read 25,310,273 times
Reputation: 8857
Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Montclair View Post
As Ive stated before, I would rather see an intra-SoCal high speed rail with a possible line to Las Vegas.

For NorCal Id prefer to see BART modernized and totally ring the Bay going down into San Jose and up into the North Bay and possibly out into San Joaquin County. That would be a far better use of money imo. How about canceling Amtrack and putting together express BART lines to Sacramento?

For the central valley? Perhaps a Light rail in Fresno and Bakersfield.

$43 Billion is a TON of money being spent on one project.
Your BART scenario alone would easily cost that much and only benefit one part of the state.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:14 PM
 
1,687 posts, read 5,369,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Des-Lab View Post
The more logical choice would've been along the UP route which for much of its length runs alongside Hwy 99 and goes through Famoso, McFarland, Delano, Earlimart, Pixley, Tipton, Tulare, grazes Visalia, Goshen, Kingsburg, Selma, and Fowler before reaching Fresno. Obviously a much bigger population base and probably more direct route.
It wouldn't serve that population base though. The HSR proposition limited how many HSR stations could be built to 24 stations statewide. All of those towns you list would still need to get to a station elsewhere like Fresno or Bakersfield even if the tracks went right thru them.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:59 PM
 
1,687 posts, read 5,369,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Montclair View Post
For NorCal Id prefer to see BART modernized and totally ring the Bay going down into San Jose and up into the North Bay and possibly out into San Joaquin County.
BART construction costs have been running on recent projects about $1 billion for every 5 miles built.

How many miles are you talking then do the math.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 17,407,659 times
Reputation: 4314
Clearly the state should find a way to spend the money on pay raises for teachers and other public workers. Infrastructure doesn't matter.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:58 PM
hsw
 
2,144 posts, read 6,337,346 times
Reputation: 1516
Traffic btwn SF and SV is seamless...some of fastest drives/commutes of any urban region on planet, despite connecting the most economically productive/innovative cos./offices/jobs in world to homes of those yuppies choosing to live in SF, not PaloAlto area

And Apple, Google, etc run own private shuttles to transport their poorest yuppie workers btwn SF and SV...why the hell should taxpayers subsidize lifestyle choices of those who choose distant commutes???

And SV mobile computing tech makes even workers in Luddite LA and SD increasingly able to telecommute most days, avoiding physical commutes...and any truly hungry workers can drive to office by 6AM to avoid any annoying traffic (tricks of our workaholic, high-income friends in Luddite NYC region)

Paving our CA fwys/roads for German-level smoothness costs very little, esp given our lack of snow/salt...far cheaper than any trains/buses which exist only for poors and are unused by any real taxpayer

Trains btwn SF and LA are true rape of taxpayer; airlines are privately financed entities, as should be any trains....business travelers can pay own way...as should private travelers for their leisure travel btwn cities...why should taxpayers subsidize inter-region travel??

And not sure what is economic relevance of commute times of SF's East Bay or LA's Eastern/inland suburbs...time is money; those who are upwardly mobile choose their commute routes/times so they can work themselves up to the classic CA upscale commute: a short drive from one's suburban home to one's suburban office, not some distant commute to a slummy downtown office cube for working 9-5 at a dead-end job....most major high-income jobs in CA have been in industrial/corporate suburbs nr upscale residential suburbs for decades, so the Luddite Eastern US/EU central planning notion of CBD's and mass transit is irrelevant to CA (or TX) commutes and a business world increasingly driven by mobile computing, etc
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Cali
3,904 posts, read 6,180,257 times
Reputation: 2224
Its just a big waste of money. For the time being they should just upgrade the rail lines they have now and run more trains. California really needs to update its canals and aquaducts. Desalination water plants should be considered too.
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:54 AM
 
1,687 posts, read 5,369,318 times
Reputation: 815
Quote:
Originally Posted by hsw View Post
why should taxpayers subsidize inter-region travel??
You mean taxpayers shouldn't be paying for freeways, airports, etc.?

I guess it is time to make I-5 a toll road that pays its own way.
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