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Residents mull HSR design options

Original post made on May 4, 2010

In a meeting Monday night about the consequences of high speed rail in Mountain View, local residents found themselves mulling the sort of questions usually left to those with degrees in transportation design.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 4, 2010, 1:51 PM

Comments (14)

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Posted by Margaret
a resident of Willowgate
on May 4, 2010 at 2:55 pm


I think the large goal of rail between San Francisco and Los Angeles would be accomplished by building high speed rail from San Jose to Los Angeles, and leaving the SF to SJ rail as is. This would save unbelievable amounts of money for all of the peninsula towns and SF.

A lot of peninsula residents near the line, like me, are not in favor of it.

Also, it's unrealistic to think that it trains will really be able to go high speed through the peninsula - I bet anything that trains would end up traveling at the same speeds as CalTrain does now.

On a related topic, why are we willing to spend all this money on trains and not on education? Critical thinking, please.


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Posted by HSRnow
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Then get ride of Prop13 there is your money for education...its a local issue not one that should be using half the state budget...And you may not want HSR or voted no on the bond but far more people here in the BayArea voted YES..your living location near busy railroad tracks is/was of course your choice.


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Posted by random reason
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm

If HSR ended in SJ, Caltrain trains would simply not have the capacity for its regular users because Caltrain would be packed with HSR riders. That idea is often stated as if it is some original solution to the problem, which it is definitely not.


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Posted by James
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 4, 2010 at 4:16 pm


There have been a number of HSR accidents, The ICE train in Germany is probably the worst. The TGV has had some derailments, but were not serious due to the train not fishtailing, perhaps due to the stiffness of the articulation. I think the trench is best solution. The creeks can be engineered under the trench.


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Posted by kathy
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 4, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Why was the audit report not mentioned AT ALL last night....that is the big issue, not whether or not a trench or a tunnel is the best option, or how loud it will be. This sums it up....

"Now it's all out there for one and all to see. The grandiose plan for a high-speed rail system stretching from San Diego to San Francisco and Sacramento is a true, unadulterated boondoggle. The California state auditor has issued a scathing report that places the proposal in stark perspective. High-speed rail is a mismanaged financial nightmare waiting to devour the state's already hopelessly decaying budget for decades to come. Simply put, the money isn't there to build this project. Currently, the project's cost is said to be $43 billion. But that number is so ephemeral as to be almost worthless."
Web Link


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 4, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Amtrak v2.0


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Posted by J Cierra
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm

How did Palo Alto get HSR to consider putting the track under San Francisquito, but Mountain View does not get the same consideration for Permanente and Stevens Creek? The depth and size of San Francisquito is much more complex than the creeks in Mountain View? - Another example of our city council refusing to advocate for the citizens.


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Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm

I went to the meeting but found little or no new information. I think the project will fail due to costs, it's really going to cost around $100 billion to finish and then there is the bonds interest cost. Of course like all public transit systems it will not generate enough in fares to pay even operating costs and no change to pay off the bonds. Let's find a way to put a state wide proposition for a future election that will cancel this project. However if it is partially built it must be at grade level or below. If it's built a grade level closing Castro Street will be a good thing, it will become at least partially a mall with more street businesses such as restaurants.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 4, 2010 at 10:04 pm

A train running more than 100 mph plus makes lots of noise.

Just scrap Caltran since its loosing money anyway and dig a tunnel from san francisco to san jose like the european and asian countries would do.







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Posted by Seer
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 5, 2010 at 8:54 am

Making CalTrain a leg of an HSR journey between SF and LA is simply not an alternative. Who would ride a train that takes half its time to get from SF to SJ, and the other half from SJ to LA? The two lines have different purposes: one is local travel, the other long-distance. Caltrain's average speed is in the neighborhood of 20 MPH because it stops so often. Speeding it up would mean adding... another two tracks on the peninsula so that trains could truly bypass "local" traffic. At that point, HSR becomes more practical anyway.

It really isn't an issue of "either-or": you need both local and long-distance transportation. This is why people don't take a bicycle to get to LA from SJ.


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Posted by Mike R
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 5, 2010 at 9:43 am

The HSR bond is specifically to San Francisco. Ending at SJ is not an option.


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Posted by MVMike
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 5, 2010 at 4:50 pm

The reality is that this is a project that will ultimately benefit our grandchildren, but will be an expensive hassle for us. You don't hear anyone complain today about the cost of building the interstate highway system fifty years ago, but it cost $425B (in today's) dollars over 35 years. With an additional 30 million people by 2050, California will have to have an alternative to cars for intrastate transport.

BTW, it's hard to believe that running the HSR along 101 would be more expensive than all of these proposed tunnels.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2010 at 2:26 pm

At the time we voted for the proposition, we had no information about costs. If the ballot proposition had included the facts that are now available, I think it would have failed.


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Posted by MtnView
a resident of The Crossings
on May 14, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Kill HSR - waste of money. Few will ride, all will pay -
especially the peninsula residents.


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