One ‘Valley Rail’ plan really worth a further look

The intent of the California high-speed-rail program is to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco by high-speed train. If all goes according to plan, an express, non-stop train between the former and latter, will cover the 520-rail-mile distance in under three hours. Eventually, Sacramento and San Diego will be brought online. The state high-speed rail … Read more

A mode less traveled – rail: What it affords that roads don’t – Part 2

A concluding thought in “Road expansion or repair: Can either do anything to lower burden on air?” (Part 1) had to do with whether road-based projects – expansion or repair thereof – could have “an air-remedying effect.” Affirmative is the answer. Though “yes,” it’s conditional. A new overpass used to replace a physical intersection, for … Read more

Strange why more passenger-rail pikes in California aren’t being called for more

Today’s thread is a follow-on to “Why moving dedicated HSR funds to California rail ‘bookends’ projects is a bad idea.” Interest in creating a Bakersfield-to-Merced commuter-rail service in the San Joaquin Valley, was budding long before California Proposition 1A (the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century) was voted on and … Read more

Why moving dedicated HSR funds to California rail ‘bookends’ projects is a bad idea

There’s a proposal floating suggesting taking away dedicated monies from high-speed rail in California’s San Joaquin Valley and rededicating those for passenger rail improvement purposes both in the north and south state. The monies would be used for improving existing Metrolink service between Anaheim and Burbank in southern California and Caltrain in the San Francisco … Read more

Driving – with congestion, delay, emissions from, all up – the good news, there is some

As it has to do with mobility, there has been much in the media in recent days and with good reason. Here in America, not only is the number of miles traveled up, but so too is the trend: it appears to be non-stop. Effectively, the more people the more aggregate miles there are, whether … Read more

Four years in, California high-speed rail building keeps on keepin’ on

With a population of 40 million people and growing, and major road-based transportation-corridor traffic often at a standstill, the prospect of riding a 220-mile-per-hour bullet train across much of the state, sounds extremely appealing. Though the question remains, is this the train Californians will get? One day, hopefully, it is! Object of deserved or unfair … Read more

American high-speed-rail: It’s got to be given a chance!

Transportation needs fixing – plainly and simply put, it needs to be overhauled. Carbon emissions from this sector worldwide have now reached 29 percent, thereby contributing the largest percentage of emissions of all emissions-generating sectors, cars, trucks and buses being the primary contributors. In California, meanwhile, as environmental reporter Julie Cart at CALmatters has suggested, … Read more

A missed opportunity light rail and/or streetcar transit need not be

I think it’s silly: There are people who get all worked up over the mention of light rail and/or streetcar transit. What appears to get their gooses more than anything else is the thought of unsightly overhead catenary wire (the electrical distribution system for powering such networks – hint: there are some that operate catenary-free … Read more

On becoming air compliant in the SJV: The big picture and what’s at stake

Living in a part of the U.S. – California’s San Joaquin Valley (Valley) – that year after year experiences some of the worst episodes of air pollution – ozone (O3) and fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) – well, in this regard, there is certainly much to be desired. I speak from experience. So, now that … Read more

California, Texas high-speed rail: Better late than not at all

It has been reported that if high-speed rail were placed on the California ballot today the electorate would vote it down. While that may be true, it would not be a landslide defeat. There are still a considerable number of Californians that continue to support the project, myself included. So, keep in mind that California … Read more