Tag: HSR

Pro-HSR radio ad in Fresno

The Fresno Bee reports that a new ad will be airing on local radio featuring former Mayor of Fresno Alan Autry (Republican). The ad also features comedian Will Durst.

You can listen to the ad here.

The ad touches on a few key points:

-Pro-central valley, local ad, local pride.

-Touches on ways that the media and the population of LA and the Bay area frequently crap on the valley, and the way politicians have been fighting to take the money away.

-Talks about the very real brain drain, as young people who want real careers have no choice but to look for opportunity elsewhere. Click to read more!

The market approach to the Union Pacific problem

Union Pacific is the largest railroad in the US, and they are also strongly against passenger rail. Concerning Amtrak, UP has been a pain in the ass when it comes to requests to allow for more service. For example, when Amtrak sought to increase service on the Sunset Limited (New Orleans to LA) from 3 times a week to daily, UP demanded $750 million in ransom money. This ludicrous amount was simply their way of telling Amtrak to bugger off. The reason behind the astronomical amount is less to do with logical business planning and probably more of political/ideological grandstanding. Click to read more!

Confused about HSR routing through Fresno

I’m a big supporter of the planned High Speed Rail (HSR) line in California, but one thing I was thinking of recently was the curious lack of options given for the routing through Fresno. The only real question was station location, but beyond that, it seemed to be set in stone that the line would run alongside 99….and require hundreds of millions in costs associated with running the length of an urbanized area.

At first, it makes sense. When it comes to transportation corridors, 99 is pretty much the biggest one here. On top of that, it runs next to a very wide Union Pacific line. The problem is, UP is not friendly to passenger rail, and won’t allow any of their space, even the portion the is empty, to be used by anyone else. Click to read more!

High Speed Rail, funding, and short term thinking

You may have seen on the news yesterday something about California’s High Speed Rail (HSR) program. A committee, mandated by the voters to review the program periodically, issued a report essentially stating that the program should be put “on hold” until the funding picture becomes clearer.

The California High Speed Rail blog has the initial news and analysis here, and today the official rebuttal from the HSR organizers, here. The rebuttal goes through the points, line by line, and throws facts in the mix. For example, while the peer review group states that the lack of full funding commitment is a major issue, the HSR people counter with the fact that no transportation program EVER is fully funded before starting. Click to read more!

Rail fares are worth it for the safety benefits alone

This past weekend, I attended a college football game at the LA Coliseum with family to watch USC beat UCLA by an enormous margin. With a kickoff at 7:15pm, the game didn’t end until around 10:30pm. That means we did not hit the highway to leave LA until 11:30pm, for the 4 hour drive back to Fresno.

During that drive, a realization hit me like a wall. A wall of fog. Bad fog. Those who think it gets foggy in San Francisco or London have no idea what it’s like to experience the Central Valley’s Tule fog, which can decrease visibility to zero. Click to read more!

Thoughts from High Speed Rail discussion at Fresno State

Edit: Apparently, the $100bn claims may have been based on some logic indeed, according to tomorrows newspapers. I will leave this post as-is, and turn on the oven to warm up the crow. For that specific section anyway. There are many other claims that still need be addressed.
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A few days ago I posted my full set of notes from a high Speed Rail (HSR) discussion held at Fresno State. I did drop in a couple of comments, but I tried to stick to mostly straight notes.

Here are my thoughts on the speakers, the points they made, and other points about the discussion. Click to read more!

Notes from High Speed Rail discussion at Fresno State

NOTE: This post was edited at 11:45pm Friday to add the section on questions from the audience.

Last night, Fresno State invited four speakers to present their thoughts on the High Speed Rail (HSR) project and answer questions from the audience. The forum was created for students taking a class on HSR, but this presentation was open to the general public.

The format was as follows: Four speakers on the stage were each given 10 minutes to talk about the project. After the speeches were done, questions were asked by the moderator, Bill McEwen from the Fresno Bee, and then the general audience. Click to read more!

High Speed Rail discussion tonight at Fresno State – open to public

Fresno State will be hosting a town-hall style debate tonight on High Speed Rail.

Thursday night at Fresno State, Elizabeth Alexis of CARRD and Daniel Krause, Executive Director of Californians For High Speed Rail will join former Republican Assemblymember Mike Villines for a debate on HSR moderated by Fresno Bee columnist Bill McEwen. The debate is at 7PM in Fresno State’s Satellite Student Union.

California High Speed Rail Blog

The debate is open to the public.

Fresno Bee apparently supports HSR: 15 page special pro-HSR segment in today’s paper

Today’s paper was fatter than usual. Like most American papers, the Bee has shrunk over the past decade. But there was a surprise inside. A 15 page full-color special HSR segment, explaining all the benefits of HSR to the central valley.

Articles inside include:

Downtown Station Could be Regional Hub by the executive director of the Fresno Council of Governments
Japan’s Rail Lines Reliable, Quake-proof by the consulate general from Japan
Making the Case for HSR by Steve Geil

Among many others. A timeline, “myths vs reality” and several local ads by pro-HSR companies are included. Click to read more!