Author Topic: Routing, too Many Stops, required 2 hour 40 min trip time: CA HSR Cost Doubled  (Read 4474 times)

thelakelander

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Sounds like a big mess.
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BridgeTroll

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You can stick a fork in it...  Instead it will connect Merced, Fresno, Bakersfield...lol  ::)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/02/13/california-rail-los-angeles-san-francisco-abandoned-newsom/2856819002/

Quote
California governor abandons $77 billion high-speed train between LA and San Francisco
Sheyanne N Romero, Visalia Times-Delta Published 6:02 a.m. ET Feb. 13, 2019 | Updated 10:09 a.m. ET Feb. 13, 2019

VISALIA, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he’s abandoning a plan to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The project has ballooned to $77 billion.

“Let’s be real,” Newsom said in his first State of the State address on Tuesday. “The current project, as planned, would cost too much and respectfully take too long. There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.”

Newsom, though, said he wants to finish construction already underway on a segment of the high-speed train through the Central Valley. The project would connect a 119-mile stretch from Merced to Bakersfield.

“I know that some critics are going to say, ‘Well, that’s a train to nowhere.’ But I think that’s wrong and I think that’s offensive,” Newsom said. “It’s about economic transformation. It’s about unlocking the enormous potential of the Valley.”

He’s also replacing former Gov. Jerry Brown’s head of the state board that oversees the project and pledged more accountability for contractors that run over on costs.

Assemblyman Devon Mathis has, on many occasions, spoken out against the costly project. This week, he echoed his message to constituents.

“I feel it’s a little silly to continue this boondoggle of a project to just keep federal funding from returning to President Trump. Now we have a train from Merced to Bakersfield; That was not what was sold to the voters," Mathis said. "I’d ask for my money back if I was them.” 

The Kings/Tulare high-speed rail station will be located just a few miles from the Tulare County line.

The governor hopes the project will revitalize the economically depressed region of the state.

"Merced, Fresno, Bakersfield, and communities in between are more dynamic than many realize," Newsom said. "The Valley may be known around the world for agriculture, but there is another story ready to be told."

Newly elected state Senator Melissa Hurtado, who represents Kings County and a portion of Tulare County, is backing the governor's announcement.

"I respect the decision by California voters on the high-speed rail. Moreover, I applaud the governor’s effort to bring transparency and accountability to the HSR project," she said.

High-Speed Rail Authority officials say they also welcome Newsom's new direction. 

“We are eager to meet this challenge and expand the project’s economic impact in the Central Valley," said Brian Kelly, California High-Speed Rail Authority CEO. "Importantly, he also reaffirmed our commitment to complete the environmental work statewide, to meet our 'bookend' investments in the Bay Area and Los Angeles and to pursue additional federal and private funding for future project expansion."

In December, the authority released 2018 highlights which included the hiring of the 2,000th construction worker in the Central Valley.

Despite the progress, State Auditor Elaine Howle released a scathing audit on the rail's overall mismanagement.

Rushed construction and poor management cost the rail authority $600 million in budget overruns, according to the audit.

The 87-page audit also found that the authority's decision to start construction in 2013, before it had secured necessary property and utility clearances, contributed to the overruns.

It could cost another $1.6 billion to complete Central Valley segments alone, Howle's report found. That would bring the total for the initial track to $10.6 billion, about 75 percent higher than the original $6 billion estimate.

Newsom has laid out his vision for California twice already, in his inaugural address and through his first crack at the state budget. He spent his first month in office traveling to different parts of the state promoting his ideas on housing, juvenile justice and the environment.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

Adam White

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lol ::) indeed.
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civil42806

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But we had all those exhaustive, expensive studies showing what a great success it was going to be.  The first leg completed in 2017 the WHOLE system in 2033, look how big californias GDP is, how can it possibly have failed.   Has anyone visited fresno or Bakersfield?  Its been 20 years since I had the misfortune to stay there for a while.  The ridership, if its ever finish, which I doubt, should be interesting. Again the transportation consultants made out like bandits.

Adam White

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But we had all those exhaustive, expensive studies showing what a great success it was going to be.  The first leg completed in 2017 the WHOLE system in 2033, look how big californias GDP is, how can it possibly have failed.   Has anyone visited fresno or Bakersfield?  Its been 20 years since I had the misfortune to stay there for a while.  The ridership, if its ever finish, which I doubt, should be interesting. Again the transportation consultants made out like bandits.

Yeah, that's why I was agreeing with BT. The idea of high speed rail in CA that doesn't link LA and SF seems completely pointless. That's not to say that the people of the Central Valley don't need to ride the train, but I cannot see the ridership numbers being very good.

This is, sadly, all too often what happens with massive public works projects like this. The costs and bank account balloon and the taxpayer ends up getting screwed.

“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

Kerry

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They should at least connect it to Sacramento.
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BridgeTroll

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They should at least connect it to Sacramento.

Toss in another 10 billion and they will... or just re elect Jerry Brown...
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

bl8jaxnative

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This is, sadly, all too often what happens with massive public works projects like this. The costs and bank account balloon and the taxpayer ends up getting screwed.

The costs don't balloon.  Those in charge of calculating just keep getting them very, very, VERY wrong.

For example, when RTD went the voters for a referendum for Fastracks, their sales tax income projections not only used a historic high growth rate but it didn't account for at least one recession over 30 years.  Such a time period would normally have 5.

Adam White

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This is, sadly, all too often what happens with massive public works projects like this. The costs and bank account balloon and the taxpayer ends up getting screwed.

The costs don't balloon.  Those in charge of calculating just keep getting them very, very, VERY wrong.

For example, when RTD went the voters for a referendum for Fastracks, their sales tax income projections not only used a historic high growth rate but it didn't account for at least one recession over 30 years.  Such a time period would normally have 5.

Don't they tender? I was of the understanding that they choose the contractor(s) based on their estimates. And then those almost always run over - way over.

I don't know how they do it in CA, but that's happened a number of times where I live.
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bl8jaxnative

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The core issue is the initial cost and income estimates are facile.    The complaints over cost increases are just a cover story. 

Look at Cali HSR.  It originally was going to be high speed rail between the bay area and LA for the entire route.  Soon as the referendum passed, they said "oops, we were wrong" and trimmed 42% of the route back to traditional rail speeds.

 Never underestimate the amount of incompetence out there, especially when politicians are involved.

vicupstate

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Does Europe have this level of problems with rail projects? It seems to either be a primarily US problem or at least the worst examples seem to be.
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Adam White

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Does Europe have this level of problems with rail projects? It seems to either be a primarily US problem or at least the worst examples seem to be.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/dec/10/final-crossrail-bill-could-hit-17bn-with-london-paying-2bn-shortfall
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civil42806

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This is, sadly, all too often what happens with massive public works projects like this. The costs and bank account balloon and the taxpayer ends up getting screwed.

The costs don't balloon.  Those in charge of calculating just keep getting them very, very, VERY wrong.

For example, when RTD went the voters for a referendum for Fastracks, their sales tax income projections not only used a historic high growth rate but it didn't account for at least one recession over 30 years.  Such a time period would normally have 5.

Of course they get them wrong.  If they told the truth they would never have started.  The key is to lie, mislead or more usually use the most optimistic ride numbers with unrealistic cost assumptions to get the funding, then when things inevitably go south proclaim that since they have already started it would either be a waste of money to stop or they have to give money back to the feds(they have been using that one for 30 years on the skyway).  Then of course we have the new standard line that it just wasnt implemented  correctly.  If u could have just taken politics out of a multi billion dollar project (good luck with that) and put the technocrats in charge it would have worked!! I am surprised Newsome had the guts to mercy kill it.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 08:28:54 AM by civil42806 »

Ocklawaha

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America hasn't seen high speed rail since an ICC ruling in 1947. before that railroads such as the Santa Fe, Atlantic Coast Line, Seaboard Air Line, Burlington, Milwaukee Road, Pennsylvania, New York Central and Illinois Central. regularly exceeded 100 mph.

I'll go out on a limb and suggest California will end up with HrSR, following the current routes, with modest modification. 90 mph qualifies as HSR within the FRA and I'd expect to see the speeds approach 100-110 mph.
While they might run some non-stop trains, they'll quickly find out stopping in the intermediate cities, particularly Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, Bakersfield, Palmdale and Santa Clarita. Merced may qualify for a stop as the gateway to Yosemite, where trains are met by tour buses.


California's ridership numbers will continue to soar with the HrSR. Ridership will reach perportions that will send the bean counters back to the bank and everyone will question 'how much better we would have done with pure HSR.'

My crystal ball seems to have nailed it again!

bl8jaxnative

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You do realize that the FRA pulling the $929million could set enough dominoes falling that the project will be ended as is today, unfinished and in the middle of nowhere?   

This project was Gov. Moon Beam's baby.   Newsome has no interest in seeing it survive.  And the FRA pulling that grant is creating the perfect cover story for him to let the project die.