Dan Richard vs. CWD over bullet train, via James Fallows

Wait, there’s still more from the suddenly feverish debate over the bullet train.

The head of California High-Speed Rail Authority takes on my July 11 CWD post knocking Jim Fallows for his support of the project point by point.


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  1. Queeg
    Queeg 15 July, 2014, 13:29

    Your head could explode……no mas!

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  2. Robert S. Allen
    Robert S. Allen 15 July, 2014, 14:22

    My main concern is grade crossings and public access to trainways. The 1999 Bourbannis Amtrak train accident was at a grade crossing on 79 mph track – the same limit as with Caltrain. HSR aims for 120 mph on Caltrain track. HSR needs fenced, grade-separated, secure track, which Caltrain ain’t.—

    San Jose makes a logical interim terminus of HSR to the Bay Area, with seamless transfers there to Caltrain, Capitol Corridor, VTA rail, and BART.—

    Further extension via an up-graded East Bay Amtrak route should follow via Mulford to Oakland and Sacramento. A passenger transfer station at the BART overhead in Oakland would be six minutes away from Downtown San Francisco’s Embarcadero Station with headways of four minutes or less.—

    2008 Prop 1-A bonds were for “Safe, Reliable” HSR. HSR on Caltrain tracks would be NEITHER SAFE NOR RELIABLE.

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  3. Kathy Hamilton
    Kathy Hamilton 17 July, 2014, 07:20

    Dan Richard says the first 130 miles will pass the muster as a useable segment. He points to a Leg. Counsel opinion. ands it does say they think it would pass. That opinion went way off the track in defining what could and could not be built. They said if you build a little with conventional rail using it first, those pesky A-K requirements in 1A don’t count. But the project is for high-speed rail only, it must be built high-speed rail ready and the use of conventional rail was while they waited for all segments to be connected together. I attended those meetings in 2009 regarding the intent. The LC opinion on that subject starts with “One could argue” which leaves no doubt they know that someone else would offer another opinion.

    There are other reasons that opinion is not a valid one. Number one, Judge Kenny had this opinion and he didn’t pay any mind to it. He said the useable segment was as defined by the Authority, 300 miles. Number 2, the senators (DeSaulnier and Simiitian) who requested it didn’t have confidence in the end product because they voted no to the funding. Number 3, there are documented quotes by board members and a deputy AG that says that says the Initial construction segment is not a useable segment.

    The board assumed the courts would allow this little at a time approach and so far they weren’t buying it. The appellate decision has to be made in the next 40 days or so. While I personally attended Apellate court hearing and was not optimistic about the results based on the banter, the longer it takes, the more I think perhaps it will have some favorable elements. Courts though are not immune to political pressure but keeping my fingers crossed.

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  4. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 17 July, 2014, 16:29

    Wow! Who says CWD has no impact? Good job Chris…
    At least one kudo to the rail authority for trying to be responsive/non-imperious….

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