California High Speed Rail

Per a conversation on here a few months back, I’ve been thinking a lot about how differently this project would be perceived and how much more immediately utility it would have if the focus had been on developing regional HSR networks before trying to link NorCal and SoCal. Here’s how I imagine a fully built out SoCal commuter rail network might look (gold stations and thicker routes indicate HSR)

This is how you get millions of people to ditch their cars every day, not by connecting two cities at opposite ends of the state.

1 Like

Connecting two cities like LA and San Fran eliminate short distance air travel. Thats much more achievable than trying to get people to ditch cars. We are gonna have to eliminate low density suburbs if we ever want to achieve that (which will take a generation).

1 Like

https://sfcityguides.org/tour/salesforce-transit-center/

Transbay terminal offering tours. The bottom floor will be where CHSR meets in SF.

1 Like

The saga lol

1 Like

I’m not talking about people giving up cars entirely, just providing an alternate form of transit for their commutes. The LA and Bay Area regions have the longest commutes in the US, including hundreds of thousands of “supercommuters” (people who spend 3+ hours commuting per day). Because of the cost of living in cities, they’re living and driving from as far away as San Bernardino and Bakersfield to LA, and from Merced and the Sacramento suburbs to SF/SJ.

Metrolink and Caltrain/ACE/Capitol Corridor are painfully slow – they’re not currently a superior alternative to driving for most people. But let’s imagine you replaced Metrolink with HSR – take San Bernardino to DTLA as an example (~60 miles). That’s currently timetabled at an hour-and-forty-minutes, compared to roughly an hour-and-a-half by car. But with CAHSR’s rolling stock averaging about 180mph, you could do that same trip in ~20 minutes. You think people would still opt to drive?

I’m not saying reducing short flights and intra-state traffic on I-5 isn’t meaningful. But based on CAHSR’s own analysis, there’s only about 50K people traveling between NorCal and SoCal each day, compared to millions traveling between adjacent counties to their places of work each day. So focusing on intra-regional instead of inter-regional should have been the priority.

1 Like

I’m sure people will be taking CHSR from Merced to San Fran or Sacramento or Bakersfield to LA quite a lot. (Though I’d love to take a one way ride on HSR from San Fran all the way to Las Vegas.)
I’m not gonna speak on what should have been done first or should not have though, the project has already long been started.

Also a side note I noticed. Even if CHSR was never completed (it will be) it would still be beneficial to the state. Those grade crossings that are eliminated won’t just benefit CHSR, but the freight trains and the people in cars as well. (And pedestrians).

Same thing will those stations, The Transbay terminal will serve not only CHSR but Caltrain and SF buses as well. (And will also serve as public space for the city)

1 Like

Excerpts from the video

1 Like

From their Instagram

Side note. They should make the transbay terminal have run through tracks that go from SF up and then around to connect in Sacramento. Would just be better for the whole system. Though currently a pipe dream.

1 Like

The second Transbay tube to Oakland, whenever it actually happens, is planned to include HSR and conventional commuter rail in addition to BART. Getting from Oakland to Solano County is tricky, but not impossible.

1 Like

Well regardless of what actually happens, they never should have made it a terminus. It should have always had the option for going through. I’m so tired of the inability for any of these organizations, companies, agencies or whatever to look into the future and plan for it.

I’m all for working a line item into the budget for our leaders to see he benefits of high speed rail.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-14/rahm-emanuel-can-t-stop-talking-about-japanese-trains?utm_campaign=instagram-bio-link&utm_medium=social&utm_source=instagram&utm_content=citylab

1 Like

^ That’s what I like to see.

https://www.masstransitmag.com/rail/news/21271378/ca-53-billion-san-jose-to-san-francisco-highspeed-rail-costs-balloon-by-over-200