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  #121  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2015, 1:42 AM
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Originally Posted by electricron
But, I believe it would be more appropriate for any public funding to be spent on providing more public transit. Either commuter rail,light rail, or rapid bus lines, with many intermediate stations along these new transit corridors. There are far, far more passengers wanting to travel slowly between east Fort Worth, west Dallas, Arlington, and Grand Prairie than from any of these locations wishing to travel extremely fast to Houston.
Can't it be both, though? Upgrade the TRE corridor to share with Texas Central, as San Francisco is upgrading the Caltrain corridor for CAHSR. Allow for higher speeds and possibly additional local stations on TRE service, with nonstop trains on the same tracks between Dallas and Ft. Worth.

Even better, allow for integrated ticketing. A rider at Dallas Union Station who wants to go to downtown Ft. Worth could get on a Texas Central train for a speedier trip, at the same fare as he would pay for TRE. Texas Central should like this, since it puts butts in seats that would otherwise become empty after passengers exit at Dallas Union.
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  #122  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2015, 6:45 AM
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I haven't been following. However, the future of HSR as a serious investment in the United States of America rests on your shoulders Texas. I hope you don't fuck up. Good luck and make a good impression. Don't be the next Florida or California.
Believe me when I say that I want it to work also.
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  #123  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2015, 6:54 AM
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Can't it be both, though? Upgrade the TRE corridor to share with Texas Central, as San Francisco is upgrading the Caltrain corridor for CAHSR.
High-speed trains enter the traditional network at the last feasible point. Commuter and high-speed rail services are mutually exclusive.

California high-speed rail, as planned, is not at all a model to emulate, and their track-sharing plans with Caltrain are already a disaster.
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  #124  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2015, 8:09 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Can't it be both, though? Upgrade the TRE corridor to share with Texas Central, as San Francisco is upgrading the Caltrain corridor for CAHSR. Allow for higher speeds and possibly additional local stations on TRE service, with nonstop trains on the same tracks between Dallas and Ft. Worth.

Even better, allow for integrated ticketing. A rider at Dallas Union Station who wants to go to downtown Ft. Worth could get on a Texas Central train for a speedier trip, at the same fare as he would pay for TRE. Texas Central should like this, since it puts butts in seats that would otherwise become empty after passengers exit at Dallas Union.
It can't be both if Texas Central employs the full Japanese HSR system to go with their trains as they have stated in the past. TRE and Texas Central trains will be using an entirely different and incompatible signal systems; TRE will still be using an automated signal system of static track blocks with trackside signals enforcement - Texas Central will be using a signal system with moving blocks to maintain train separations without any trackside signals. That's why Texas Central needs to build a brand new exclusive corridor all the way for its trains to run on.
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  #125  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2015, 12:20 PM
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You know too that if the State were the ones doing it, they'd repurpose old tracks and try to integrate it to shave off a few bucks...and our "high speed rail" would hit 90mph tops. I'm grateful that a private business is willing to, at least thus far, do it right. I hope they keep it up.
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  #126  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2015, 7:09 PM
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It can't be both if Texas Central employs the full Japanese HSR system to go with their trains as they have stated in the past. TRE and Texas Central trains will be using an entirely different and incompatible signal systems; TRE will still be using an automated signal system of static track blocks with trackside signals enforcement - Texas Central will be using a signal system with moving blocks to maintain train separations without any trackside signals. That's why Texas Central needs to build a brand new exclusive corridor all the way for its trains to run on.
Qualifying Texan railroad corridors should be upgraded, if they even have the ability to be upgraded, to a stage of advancement that provides them the same electrical and signaling systems as that of Texas high-speed rail.

While HSR will not use the lines for high-speed service unless huge track capacity measures are constructed to ensure schedule reliability, our secondary lines nonetheless need substantial investment, too.

This is not a disagreement; more so, it is an addition to your comments.
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  #127  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2015, 4:29 AM
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Sorry, duplicate post.
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  #128  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2015, 4:34 AM
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Qualifying Texan railroad corridors should be upgraded, if they even have the ability to be upgraded, to a stage of advancement that provides them the same electrical and signaling systems as that of Texas high-speed rail.

While HSR will not use the lines for high-speed service unless huge track capacity measures are constructed to ensure schedule reliability, our secondary lines nonetheless need substantial investment, too.

This is not a disagreement; more so, it is an addition to your comments.
Where I would like to agree with you that a common signal and train control should be used within a geographic area, the reality makes it impossible. Texas Central will be using a Japanese designed system first implemented over 50 years ago. No North or South American rail system uses it even after being available for over 50 years.

While the Texas Central tracks only has to run Texas Central trains, TRE tracks have to also run Amtrak, UP, BNSF, and DGNO trains as well because of various trackage rights agreements made in the past. The signal and control PTC system TRE will be implementing in the future is a Wabco designed system mainly to accommodate all the freight train operators. Implementing Texas Central's Japenese designed system on the TRE traciks will also affect Amtrak, UP, BNSF, and DGNO trains. In the real world, that just isn't going to happen.
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  #129  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2015, 6:00 AM
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electricron, you seem to be pretty well informed on train standards. To go off topic (only slightly) for a bit, do you know anything about Lone Star Rail (planned service from Austin to San Antonio)? Just curious of your thoughts on it.
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  #130  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2015, 7:02 AM
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electricron, you seem to be pretty well informed on train standards. To go off topic (only slightly) for a bit, do you know anything about Lone Star Rail (planned service from Austin to San Antonio)? Just curious of your thoughts on it.
The 118 mile Lone Star commuter rail future depends upon finding funds to pay for UP to build a bypass line around Austin, then buy and upgrade the existing UP line between San Antonio and Georgetown for commuter rail. The projected costs for the upgrades to the 118 mile corridor is from $1.8 Billion to $2.5 Billion. That doesn't include the capital costs for the new bypass. The bypass line is projected cost can't be determined yet because the specific route and length of corridor to be built hasn't been determined. A Federal EIS encompassing both the freight and commuter rail corridors is underway, which should answer the questions of where, how long, and how much? I have no idea when the EIS will be completed because a lot of routing questions will need to be answered.

Assuming Lone Star can get a 50% federal match for capital finances, it will still need to find a more dependable source for the local match, and later operation and maintenance expenses. So far, there isn't a funding source in place to meet all the local financial demands. The federal funds will not come until the local funds are found. They been using TIFF (property taxes increases) funds from local cities to fund all the studies. $10 million is 1% of a $1 Billion, and less than 0.5% of $2 Billion. I don't see local TIFF taxes generating enough funding to pay the local share. Some supporters hope TXDOT will step in and fund a significant share of both the freight rail bypass and commuter rail upgrades. TXDOT to date hasn't spent more than $20 million on many rail project in the past. I think it is foolish to believe TXDOT will suddenly grant Lone Star $1 Billion and solved their local funding problems. Therefore, this project has many hurdles to overcome, I sincerely believe too many.

I suppose I should express an opinion on the OKC to Monterrey HSR (I-35) corridor. Another EIS is underway on it, with TXDOT participating in funding the study. TXDOT recently completed another EIS studying rail upgrades for the US 80 routing of the Texas Eagle too. That study identified curves needing refurbishment on the existing UP corridor to upgrade maximum speeds to 90 and 110 mph, and number of passing siding required for expanded passenger service (like to Shreveport). Costs were estimated depending upon the upgrades to be performed. No capital funding to improve any tracks east of Dallas has been made by TXDOT. None are planned. Likewise, I believe TXDOT will treat I-35 rail routing the same as US-80 rail routing. Specifically, pay for the study, expect someone else to pay the capital costs for any rail upgrades. Therefore, the past results of these EIS studies has been lining up the political, legal, and environmental approvals for federal funds that might be granted to any specific upgrade project, like a new bridge here, improvements at intersections for implementing quiet zones there, adding a specific passing siding over there, etc - matched by local funding sources and not specifically by the state.

I don't see either Texas or Oklahoma spending money on this rail line without a significant increase in the number of passenger trains on this corridor, Two daily trains isn't enough trains to make the costs for the entire corridor worthwhile. Oklahoma recently sold the rail corridor it had owned between OKC and Tulsa. Texas recently paid to fix tracks in an existing freight corridor to Presidio. But, I believe smaller projects to keep the existing trains running as is at a much smaller costs to the states is possible.

FYI = Oklahoma City to Tulsa = 106 miles.
Lone Star Rail would be a longer rail line.

Last edited by electricron; Sep 1, 2015 at 7:41 AM.
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  #131  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2015, 1:38 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Can't it be both, though? Upgrade the TRE corridor to share with Texas Central, as San Francisco is upgrading the Caltrain corridor for CAHSR. Allow for higher speeds and possibly additional local stations on TRE service, with nonstop trains on the same tracks between Dallas and Ft. Worth.

Even better, allow for integrated ticketing. A rider at Dallas Union Station who wants to go to downtown Ft. Worth could get on a Texas Central train for a speedier trip, at the same fare as he would pay for TRE. Texas Central should like this, since it puts butts in seats that would otherwise become empty after passengers exit at Dallas Union.

The TRE corridor is shared with private freight railroads. We cannot upgrade the TRE corridor to HSR because of this reason. Also, the HSR corridor will need to be elevated in order to accommodate its speeds without land obstructions.
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  #132  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2015, 2:18 AM
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I haven't been following. However, the future of HSR as a serious investment in the United States of America rests on your shoulders Texas. I hope you don't fuck up. Good luck and make a good impression. Don't be the next Florida or California.
How exactly is it accurate to state that Texas is the future of HSR in America? And How is California HSR's fate similar to Florida's?

CAHSR is already partially funded to $6B and committed to the ground, which is already saying much more than that of Texas, and the first 100 miles is being built as we speak (albeit the easiest 100 miles as it goes through the pancake-flat Central Valley). Preparations are currently being made for the construction of viaducts in Madera County. Does Texas HSR have a single shovel in the ground yet?

Also, as with Texas, California's HSR has not ruled out private bidding from Japan or Europe contributing to the remainder of its funding. If anything CAHSR's far larger ridership would be a more reliable guarantor of large international financiers and preliminary results bear this out with robust expressions of interest from many potential investors or future legs and trainset/equipment acquisition.

I think it's great that Texas also has a consortium eager to bring this technology to the states, but let's at least be accurate about what we're saying.
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  #133  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2015, 8:48 PM
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Study finds high-speed rail line an economic shot for Texas

A study commissioned by Texas Central Partners, the company planning a high-speed train between Houston and Dallas, estimates the 240-mile line would have a $36 billion impact on Texas over the next 25 years.
Texas Central CEO Tim Keith said the economic analysis — one of many the company is preparing as part of its federal review and the process of selling communities on the privately funded line — supports the benefits the company has claimed.

“The overall message here is we are on a path to keep our development pace moving quickly,” Keith said.

The company plans to begin construction in 2017, and start ferrying passengers in 2021. A number of regulatory hurdles remain for trains to start whisking riders between the metro areas at more than 200 mph.
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  #134  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2015, 4:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikemike View Post
How exactly is it accurate to state that Texas is the future of HSR in America? And How is California HSR's fate similar to Florida's?

CAHSR is already partially funded to $6B and committed to the ground, which is already saying much more than that of Texas, and the first 100 miles is being built as we speak (albeit the easiest 100 miles as it goes through the pancake-flat Central Valley). Preparations are currently being made for the construction of viaducts in Madera County. Does Texas HSR have a single shovel in the ground yet?

Also, as with Texas, California's HSR has not ruled out private bidding from Japan or Europe contributing to the remainder of its funding. If anything CAHSR's far larger ridership would be a more reliable guarantor of large international financiers and preliminary results bear this out with robust expressions of interest from many potential investors or future legs and trainset/equipment acquisition.

I think it's great that Texas also has a consortium eager to bring this technology to the states, but let's at least be accurate about what we're saying.
basics. i don't see why this is so hard for people to grasp
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  #135  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2015, 3:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikemike View Post
How exactly is it accurate to state that Texas is the future of HSR in America? And How is California HSR's fate similar to Florida's?

CAHSR is already partially funded to $6B and committed to the ground, which is already saying much more than that of Texas, and the first 100 miles is being built as we speak (albeit the easiest 100 miles as it goes through the pancake-flat Central Valley). Preparations are currently being made for the construction of viaducts in Madera County. Does Texas HSR have a single shovel in the ground yet?

Also, as with Texas, California's HSR has not ruled out private bidding from Japan or Europe contributing to the remainder of its funding. If anything CAHSR's far larger ridership would be a more reliable guarantor of large international financiers and preliminary results bear this out with robust expressions of interest from many potential investors or future legs and trainset/equipment acquisition.

I think it's great that Texas also has a consortium eager to bring this technology to the states, but let's at least be accurate about what we're saying.

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basics. i don't see why this is so hard for people to grasp
It is unknowable as-of-yet, but Texas could prove to be the future of American high-speed rail due to several reasons:

1. It maintains a focus on market based high-speed rail with an alignment averse to grandiose civil engineering works, and featuring extensive input from private operators.

2. It will be a terrific, though extreme, model of a public-private partnership.

3. It will be the nation's only high-speed rail corridor, and the first passenger service faster than 110mph outside of the NEC (since the 1930s).

4. It will usefully connect two major American cities in a conservative state that is totally unacquainted with world-class rail services.

5. It will be a high-quality example of successful project management and leadership over a large, complex, multi-jurisdictional rail project.

California may have secured a significant amount of money, but the sum is nowhere near enough to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco. Additionally, the political nature of California's alignment ensures that its costs will either be very pricey (as is the case of the central Bakersfield aerial works and the mainline detour through suburban Palmdale), or prohibitively expensive (as is the case with the disastrous Tehachapi alignment, whose tunnel and viaduct riddled routing has no high-speed rail equal anywhere in the world). Truly, California currently has no control over its project's costs.

Plus, with famously bad alignment issues at San Francisco Transbay, the enormously complicated track-sharing in the Caltrain corridor due to poor route planning (namely the selection of Pacheco Pass over Altamont Pass), and the bitter political fights up and down the corridor with a planning authority that has been beleaguered for years with justified complaints of bullying, zero transparency and incompetent leadership, California is hardly the stable project $10 billion would suggest it being.

California, unfortunately, has a project run exclusively by the government and for-profit civil engineering firms that tries to do too much. The state should have simply accepted SNCF's role, routing, and funding and built the I-5 parallel alignment, as it requested.

Texas High-Speed Rail could be the future of American railroading by virtue of being first. It just needs to be designed intelligently.

So far, all indicators are good.

Last edited by Troyeth; Oct 21, 2015 at 4:00 AM.
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  #136  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2015, 11:30 AM
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http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/m...ward-with.html

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High-speed rail company moves forward with partnership announcement
Oct 20, 2015, 7:58pm CDT

Texas Central Partners, the company tasked with developing the high-speed rail project from Houston to Dallas, named two partners for engineering and pre-construction work during the project's development phase.

Atlanta-based Archer Western Contractors Ltd., a subsidiary of Chicago-based The Walsh Group Ltd., and the U.S. office of Madrid, Spain-based Ferrovial Agroman (BME: FER) have joined to form the joint venture, Dallas to Houston Constructors, in a deal valued at $130 million, according to a statement.
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  #137  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2015, 4:26 AM
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FRA releases a report on TCR routing alternatives.
https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L17203

Looks like the possibility of this HSR line reaching downtown Houston is dead, the Northwest Mall area at I-610 and US-290 intersection looks like where the HSR station will be located.

Most of the route is settled, although there are two sections with multiple alternates still in play.

While not included in this route report, I'd expect a DEIS will be released at some point next year.
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  #138  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2015, 3:53 PM
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It looked to me like the maps showed the line ending near the Amtrak station, which is just outside of downtown. Granted, I didn't read the report (no time), so if it says in the text where the stop will be I will trust that.
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  #139  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2015, 4:13 PM
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Last edited by Troyeth; Nov 12, 2015 at 9:07 PM.
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  #140  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2015, 6:46 PM
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I, too, did not read anywhere in the report about the exclusion of a more central option beyond the mall. Indeed, it looks as though a terminus near the Amtrak station, as referenced by Hatman, is a preferred alternative.
Then you must have missed it. Clearly both TCR and FRA have eliminated any extension beyond Northwest Mall due to environmental impacts and cost.

Downtown Dallas is still the northern terminus.
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