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California DLers......what think you of the California High Speed Rail line?

What do our Californian DLers thing of this engineering enterprise? I think that the idea is great, in theory. It would be good for the environment, and could provide a crucial way to help the overburdened transit systems currently in place. I remember the worst traffic jam of my life - driving from Napa to LA on Thanksgiving day along the I5 - when the whole interstate ground to an almost halt. But on the other hand it seems like the program has been plagued by incompetence and corruption. Costs are estimated to be over $100 billion, and they now say that the earliest date for a working connection between LA and SF will be 2033. It also sounds like it will not be that fast, as there will be sections of track where the train will be required to slow down. So what is in store for the future of this project? Will they get it straightened out?

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by Anonymousreply 28Last Wednesday at 9:51 PM

Certainly, one of the most idiotic ideas ever conceived. At a time when California is hemorrhaging cash, to continue with this project is abjectly criminal. They should just cut the losses, and scrap the entire project. Most people who fly will continue to do so because of time, most people who drive will continue to do so because of the necessity of having a car at the destination, and the people who will be on the trains, which after the initial novelty has worn off will be few, will be olds, going to LA or SF and back, in lieu of a Sunday drive. It will have giant cost-over-runs, and I doubt that it will have a profitable year, or break even, in the course of its existence.

by Anonymousreply 108/30/2020

Honolulu has a smaller scale train disaster going on. Estimated to cost $3.5 Billion for about 15 miles or so, now up to $12 Billion or higher and 5 more years of construction. If you hear politicians say on budget and on time.....you know they are not telling the truth.

by Anonymousreply 208/30/2020

"Hello, death. Hello, oblivion." Edina

by Anonymousreply 308/30/2020

When Boston's Big Dig (putting the freeway downtown along the waterfront underground for 1.5 miles or so and building a bunch of bridges and tunnels to connect it to everything else) was in the planning stages, Fred Salvucci, then the state's Transportation Secretary, estimated the cost to be 2.8 billion dollars. In the end, it cost 24.3 billion dollars.

As Salvucci said after it was finished, allegedly in jest, "If we told them what it was going to cost, they never would have let us start."

by Anonymousreply 408/30/2020

One wonders how anyone developed successful rail systems in complicated cities and terrain. Think the London Underground which opened in 1863. Yet, they did it, built upon it, and it works.

I'm from the Bay Area and remember when BART was developed. Cities on the Peninsula voted against it thinking undesirables from SF would infiltrated their boring suburbia. Now they regret the decision as later rail line additions that were far more costly.

We're dealing with it in the North Bay with the SMART transit system from Sonoma County to the southern edge of Marin County. Much of it is already installed and it's a delightful trip but people voted not to additionally fund improvements last fall and COVID is not helping. For some reason several millionaires spent heavily to kill the increase, not sure why but I guess they don't want the poors to get in their way with railway crossings and such. It has been a big change to cross tracks but you adjust.

I watch the development of the High Speed Rail from a distance, it's not planned to come north of SF to where I live but it sounds like it will be a good thing for future travelers. It's sad how expensive everything is now and transportation infrastructure is particularly expensive.

by Anonymousreply 508/30/2020

In America, it's always about the poors and undesirables (read: blacks and browns) being able to travel into more affluent (read: white) areas. That's why rail lines are always fraught with problems and people being against them.

by Anonymousreply 608/30/2020

I live near Sacramento, and I like to visit LA. I've found that driving there takes less time than flying, and costs a lot less, because it just takes too goddamn much time and misery to get through a modern airport and pick up a rental car at the far end. So yes! I'd love a high-speed rail line, some way to get from northern California to southern, at a pace that feels relaxed and someone else to do the driving, using less fossil fuels and providing for the railway workers, I'd love that to be an option.

So yeah, in general, I think it would be a great service to have available... but now is not the time to build it. Put it off, until we see what the hell the pandemic and fucking Trump are going to do to the state.

by Anonymousreply 708/30/2020

Forget bullet trains, I want my hyperloop. Seriously.

by Anonymousreply 808/30/2020

Last I heard Gavin had nixed the southern portion and are now focusing on connecting Central Valley cities to the Bay Area, especially San Jose as Google *was* going to build a huge complex right next to Diridon Station (San Jose’s multimodal transportation hub).

by Anonymousreply 908/30/2020

Mag-lev trains are my dream for this country.

I moved to Boston when the Big Dig was really getting underway (ha!). Wherever I lived seemed to be the locus of construction -- the North End, then Charlestown, then Southie, then Chelsea. I couldn't escape it. It is criminal that all those cities directly on the water built highways to allow people to get to the suburbs quickly. If they had invested that money in good subway/light rail/commuter rail we wouldn't be in this jam. Car and airport traffic will be the ruin of this country's environment. I'd love to see what solutions will be put in place, but I'm not going to be around in 50 years.

by Anonymousreply 1008/30/2020

OP, there's talk about a high speed line between Portland and Vancouver, BC, taking only 2 hours to travel the entire distance. I wouldn't be surprised if this one gets built before the California one is fully operational.

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by Anonymousreply 1109/03/2020

There’s a high speed train in the planning/easement acquisition stage to run between Houston and Dallas.

by Anonymousreply 1209/03/2020

An update...looks messy.

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by Anonymousreply 1309/08/2020

I'm all aboard if Porky is the conductor!

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by Anonymousreply 1409/08/2020

What a shithole country without high speed rail line and universal healthcare!!! The Corona is busy killing them and they are still adamant that it is normal flu! Stupid and fat!!!

by Anonymousreply 1509/08/2020

Won’t work on existing rail.

by Anonymousreply 1609/08/2020

The idea was amazing. As someone who lives in LA and loves SF and the Bay Area I was excited. But it's just been a nightmare since day 1. Alas.

by Anonymousreply 1709/08/2020

This idea was pitched to us back in 1998 when I was working at the Glendale (CA) Chamber of Commerce. The developers were looking for business support around California to gain favor with politicians and other funding sources. Their hopes were to have the project started within five years, and perhaps completed in ten. We thought it was a good idea and threw our support behind it. I wonder if they're still touting that support 22 years later.

by Anonymousreply 1809/08/2020

A big problem is the lack of skills needed because projects like this are rare to the US. So you either need to import the skills, or train a local workforce, or both - all three options being very expensive.

A good example is shipbuilding. That requires a set of very specific and unique skills in its workforce. If a shipyard doesn't have work, those workers with those skills will leave to work elsewhere. So when that shipyard does get a job, it needs to either hire the workers back - and pay more to lure them from their new jobs - or hire and train new people. Therefore, ideally, the Navy would plan out their new ships programme decades in advance and ensure shipyards are getting a new stream of orders all the time to avoid losing the talent.

Apply that to infrastructure. It's a big problem we have in Britain because our government keeps funding big infrastructure projects in fits and starts, so we train a workforce up, then lose them because there's no long term planning or vision, so you have to start all over again. And that's without even getting into the loss of institutional memory and so on.

by Anonymousreply 1909/08/2020

The only reason rail lines were built in the US in the first place was because of Chinese slave labor.

by Anonymousreply 2009/08/2020

[quote]Last I heard Gavin had nixed the southern portion and are now focusing on connecting Central Valley cities to the Bay Area

Not a fan of this. The rail line would basically enable LA and SF to turn the rest of the state into their bedroom communities, driving the working class further up and farther down until there's no place left they can afford. It's already happening slowly without the rail line, no need to help it along.

Aside from that, the Central Valley has some of the highest quality farmland in the world - anything takes that land away from farmers is a mistake. Too much of it has already been lost to McMansions and the zillionth strip mall.

by Anonymousreply 2109/09/2020

But, what if it was a.......

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by Anonymousreply 2209/09/2020

I'm with R8 and the hyperloop. Get Elon's Boring Company to put it underground where necessary.

by Anonymousreply 23Last Wednesday at 8:57 PM

[post redacted because independent.co.uk thinks that links to their ridiculous rag are a bad thing. Somebody might want to tell them how the internet works. Or not. We don't really care. They do suck though. Our advice is that you should not click on the link and whatever you do, don't read their truly terrible articles.]

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by Anonymousreply 24Last Wednesday at 9:25 PM

^^^ England has a similar boondoggle going called Hs2. Cost estimates went from $20 billion, to $170 billion (USD), and it threatens to cost big damage to the environment all to save travelers a mere 30-60 minutes off a trip to London.

by Anonymousreply 25Last Wednesday at 9:42 PM

Is there a chance the track could bend?

by Anonymousreply 26Last Wednesday at 9:45 PM

Amtrak couldn't do the connection from SF to LA. Right now, they're trying to pitch a high speed line in Vegas, but get this. It can't go through the mountains so it will stop in Victorville. So you have to drive to Victorville to catch the train to Vegas and vice versa. Talk about a loser idea.

by Anonymousreply 27Last Wednesday at 9:48 PM

It’s a mess and Newsome was right to scale it down. America as a whole simply can’t do big projects anymore.

by Anonymousreply 28Last Wednesday at 9:51 PM
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