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California Bullet Trains

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Established in 1996, the California High-Speed Rail Authority is charged with the planning, designing, constructing and operating a state of the art high-speed train system.

The proposed system stretches from San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento in the north -- with service to the Central Valley -- to Los Angeles and San Diego in the south. With bullet trains operating at speeds up to 220 mph, the express travel time from downtown San Francisco to Los Angeles is just under 2

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San Diego To LA 1 hour

LA To SF 2 hours

Sacramento To San Jose 50mins

fresno to LA 1hr 50min

burbank to San jose 1hr 50min

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Those numbers are really impressive, but high-speed rail proposals always seem to fail in this country because of costs. Is CA really serious about this? It seems like the best state to start doing it in.

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Would they use the existing CalTrain tracks between San Jose and San Francisco? The map made it seem like there would be branches to connect to the Bay Area.

I hope they get tbe ball rolling on this and show the rest of America that REAL high speed rail is needed. *Cough Cough* Southeast Amtrak rail line.

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It should follow the 5 on the west and go from Riverside to Palmdale to Bakersfield. Expansion to Las Vegas would be easy, and that would be a trip worth taking.

I like the idea, especially if a ticket from SFO to LA is around $30-35 coach. This seems to cut right through the Central Valley - that land is quite expensive. A project of this size will be very expensive.

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Highways are extremely expensive to build and maintain. No one EVER complains about those costs.....Whatever it costs to build the train is well wroth it--especially in car-clogged California...

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I took a Shinkanzen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Kyoto once. The round trip ticket was over $300 so if it was like Japan, the trip from SF to LA would be a lot more expensive than $35 unfortunately.

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I took a Shinkanzen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Kyoto once.  The round trip ticket was over $300 so if it was like Japan, the trip from SF to LA would be a lot more expensive than $35 unfortunately.

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Wow, I had no idea it was that expensive. That is more expensive than flying.

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Train service in Japan is the best in the world, but it is expensive, even for local trips. If you ever go there as a tourist, I recommend purchasing a rail pass before going. It will save you a huge amount of money.

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I'm not 100% sure, but I think the Shinkansen rails are wider than other rails, one of the reasons it's so smooth and stable at higher speeds. I've heard that a Japanese company has been contracted, at least in a consulting capacity. If that's the case, I'd guess California would trains like those in Japan. I don't think they could use the existing rails. Anybody w/more details on any of this?

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Imagine being on a train that derailed going 220 mph. Would you feel safe riding on existing ground level tracks? With drunk drivers, etc. stalled on the tracks. I would only ride a highspeed train that was on an elevated track. Horrifically expensive to build. We could afford it if it weren't for the welfare state and our imperial wars abroad. Imagine what our country could be if we were freed from the bondage of the welfare/warfare state.

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The Governator wants to postpone the bond issue again.

Schwarzenegger asked the Legislature in his 2007 budget to slash money for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. In addition, the governor also wants lawmakers to postpone indefinitely a $9.95-billion rail bond issue that is slated to appear on the November 2008 ballot.

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Good news! In the wake of the Oakland freeway collapse, Governor Schwarzenegger appears to have changed his mind:

In a letter the Governor sent to the Fresno Bee, he said "I strongly support high speed rail for California, and especially for the San Joaquin Valley."

The governor says the recent truck crash that shut down a Bay Area freeway helps make the case for high speed rail. He notes it would also reduce traffic congestion, cut air pollution and create 300 thousand jobs.

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If there's one place where we can get high-speed rail in this country started, it's certainly California. I really hope that this works out.

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Governor Schwarzenegger has publicly expressed his support for high-speed rail, but falls short of funding important preliminary work or allowing a 2008 $10 billion rail bond to be put to a vote, saying private funding should be lined up first.

Here's an update: Mystifying support: Kopp gets the reverse brush-off

Quentin Kopp is chair of the California High Speed Rail Authority. In order to line up private funding as Governor Schwarzenegger wants, he asked the Governor to facilitate a summit to secure this funding, and then after an exchange with Schwarzenegger's scheduler (this is priceless):

So on June 22, Schwarzenegger wrote back to Kopp, claiming to support the project, "hoping the federal government and the private sector will step up to the plate," and offering no support or plan for making that happen.

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Here's an interesting alignment possibility: instead of spending the money to build the high speed rail line all the way into San Francisco and to build a new bridge or tunnel across the bay, put the terminus at the BART station in Union City.

Union City cheap option for train to L.A.

[A draft environmental impact report] found that building the segment for the 200 mph train through the Altamont Pass into the Union City BART station would cost about $6 billion, while generating about $2.7 billion in annual revenue... In contrast, sending the train farther on to San Jose, San Francisco and across the Bay to Oakland through a new Transbay Tube would cost $14.8 billion and generate just over $2.8 billion a year, the report estimated.

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As tempting as the cheaper construction option may appear, I fear that people would continue to drive if it meant traveling for 45 minutes on the BART. A centrally (or at least conveniently) located station is essential for the service to be successful.

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As tempting as the cheaper construction option may appear, I fear that people would continue to drive if it meant traveling for 45 minutes on the BART. A centrally (or at least conveniently) located station is essential for the service to be successful.

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http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/map.htm

On Nov 4 California voters passed a $9.95 Billion high speed rail bond.

Bad ass!!!

the web site is pretty interesting too. it shows animations with route maps and expected, or even proposed developments at the stops along the way. This would be very interesting stuff. they even give ticket prices if you click a staty and end location on the map.

the only thing I find interesting is how much California LOVES DEBT!!

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^ Wow, way to go California! San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2 hours and 38 minutes for $55.00 -- good stuff. If those ticket prices turn out to be accurate, this should be a runaway success.

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I've heard a projected cost of $40 bln for it in total...I would hope it's a success. My reservation is that with the financial condition the state is in now, is this really something that California can afford to have on the front burner right now? An also, with Southwest Airlines' cheap rates, would it necessarily even be a first choice of a lot of people?

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I've heard a projected cost of $40 bln for it in total...I would hope it's a success. My reservation is that with the financial condition the state is in now, is this really something that California can afford to have on the front burner right now? An also, with Southwest Airlines' cheap rates, would it necessarily even be a first choice of a lot of people?

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As far as I know, Southwest has always been one one of the cheapest ways to get down to LA. I remember in high school they were always airing ads for $79 rates from San Jose to LAX, and the actual flight only lasts an hour and change, plus all the security hassles.

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Well, I know for a fact South West can not beat $55.00

and once their long term fuel contract ends they will not be able to come close.

Also I bet travel times would be pretty simular depending on check in and security etc...

the reality is that in the long term this will be a great advantage to the West Coast.

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