05 March 2011

The Prescriptive Framework - Update

Last January, the grassroots group CARRD succeeded after a series of Public Records Requests in obtaining another release of key HSR technical memos that form the prescriptive framework for all the engineering design, statewide. The CHSRA probably doesn't like these memos being published because it undermines the effectiveness of the "Decide, Announce, Defend" model of mega-project engineering. This probably explains why these materials aren't, and probably won't ever be, published on the official CHSRA website... and that's precisely why they are posted here for all to see.

The new collection of technical memos builds on the previous collection (also obtained by CARRD), fleshing out various new topics as well as filling in some detail that had been redacted from the old collection--such as some very informative surveys of foreign HSR best practices. Some memos known to have been published are still missing from the list, and CARRD continues their attempts to pry these free; they are grayed out in the table below, based on a comprehensive list of memos and drawings that was published in a July 2009 Program Summary Report on pp. 53-61.

Peninsula stakeholders still eagerly await the release of Technical Memo 1.1.7, "Shared Use Corridor HST Criteria - Caltrain Corridor". Considering that the administrative draft of the peninsula EIR is 98% complete, there can be little doubt that this secretive memo already exists.

The same caveats as before are in order:
  • These documents are guidelines authored by Parsons Brinckerhoff program management staff, ensuring that early designs for each section (performed by HNTB for San Francisco - San Jose) are consistent and compatible. They are not a "design bible" for detailed 100% engineering.
  • The documents cover the entire state, which consists primarily of 220-mph very high speed, dedicated tracks. The peninsula is a different animal, with 125-mph top speeds in a shared corridor with Caltrain and freight trains, so use proper care when applying to or inferring conclusions about specific peninsula situations.
  • The documents are a snapshot in time, as of December 2010.
With that out of the way, here is the raw technical data download. For each memo, a brief summary of the content is provided.

Program Management
TM-0.0aMemoDesign Terms and Acronyms - Decoder ring for alphabet soup and project lingo, to promote consistency and coordination among design teams.2008-09-05
TM-0.1Memo15 Percent Design Scope Guidelines - Guidance for the minimum level of engineering (referred to as 15% Design) required to support the project-specific EIR/EIS process.2008-05-12
TM-0.2MemoTech Memo Review Protocol2008-Q4
TM-0.3MemoBasis of Design - Defines the major components and performance objectives of the high-speed rail system as envisioned by the CHSRA, outlining goals, requirements, and assumptions. Underpins the entire engineering effort.2007-12-20
TM-0.3MemoBasis of Design Policy2009-Q2
TM-0.4MemoProject Development Process2007-Q4
TM-0.5MemoCoordination with Caltrans - Process to be followed when HSR encroaches on Caltrans highways. Discusses the coordination between CHSRA and Caltrans to streamline the approval process.2009-12-30
TM-0.6MemoRisk Register Development Protocol - Common standard for project risk identification, assessment, analysis, management /mitigation, and review.2010-03-01
TM-0.7MemoDesign Submittal and Review Protocol - Defines how contractor teams submit their work in progress and conduct reviews with Parsons Brinckerhoff senior engineering management. Includes flow chart of the entire process, based on PB's ProjectSolve web database interface.2009-07-08
TM-0.8MemoProgrammatic Cost Update Methodology2008-Q3
TM-0.9MemoDraft RPA Protocol2010-Q3
General Design - Infrastructure
TM-1.1.0MemoDesign Criteria - Basic design parameters for preliminary alignment and infrastructure, for the overall corridor. Summarizes a few key design parameters that are extensively described in other memos.2007-03-19
TM-1.1.1MemoCodes, Regulations, Design Standards and Guidelines - System-wide applicable regulations, codes, and design standards. Defines order of precedence, conflict resolution, and protocols for obtaining variances.2009-07-10
TM-1.1.2MemoDesign Life - Minimum design life for permanent and temporary infrastructure and systems elements, defining the initial frame of reference for establishing maintenance activities and frequency.2009-06-04
TM-1.1.4MemoEngineering Survey and Mapping - Requirements for horizontal and vertical datum and control, photogrammetric mapping accuracy, depiction of man-made features and existing property information, digital terrain modelling (DTM), and engineering survey procedures aimed to support design development through the 30% Design level.2010-03-02
TM-1.1.5MemoCADD Guidelines - Guidelines for the development of Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) drawings for the preliminary design. Ensures many different contractors work to the same standards.2010-03-09
TM-1.1.6MemoAlignment Standards for Shared Use Corridors (LA - Anaheim) - Defines track alignment standards for the LOSSAN corridor where HSR operates adjacent to or within a shared right-of-way with conventional passenger railroad lines and freight railroad lines. Does not apply to Caltrain corridor, but may be very similar.2007-12-17
TM-1.1.7MemoShared Use Corridor HST Criteria - Caltrain Corridor2010-Q2
TM-1.1.8MemoDemarcation of Territorial Subdivisions and Milepost Numerics - Rationale for defining discrete sections of the project as “subdivisions” and for further refining into mile posts with designations that will enable the precise location of system resources and assets.2009-09-16
TM-1.1.8MapSubdivision Milepost Map - Shows subdivision names and milepost numbering superimposed on a geographical map.2008-04-09
TM-1.1.8ADrawingSystemwide Track Schematic - Schematic track map of the entire California HSR system, including mileposts, stations, crossovers, subdivision names, etc.2010-03-08
TM-1.1.9MemoFlooding and Drainage2010-Q2
TM-1.1.10MemoHigh-Speed Equipment Structure Gauges - Design Criteria for determination of required clearances around tracks and vehicles, based on existing high speed rail vehicles from Europe and Asia. Includes equipment outlines, static, dynamic, and structural gauges.2010-03-19
TM-1.1.10DrawingHigh-Speed Equipment Structure Gauges - Drawings of required clearances around tracks and vehicles, based on a composite vehicle outline that will accommodate any European or Asian high-speed trains.2010-04-16
TM-1.1.16MemoShared Use Corridor HST Criteria2008-Q1
TM-1.1.18MemoDesign Variance Guidelines - Procedure for identifying, preparing, requesting, and documenting a design variance (i.e. exception or deviation) from a minimum design standard, standard drawing, standard specification, adopted standard, or design guideline.2008-06-02
TM-1.1.19MemoCapital Cost Estimating Methodology for 15 Percent Design - Capital Cost Estimating Methodology (CCEM). Provides guidance for preparing and presenting estimated capital costs for the project’s 15% Design level. Describes the roles and responsibilities for preparing capital cost estimates, defines the estimating tasks, and outlines the procedures and standards to be used.2009-07-20
TM-1.1.21MemoTypical Cross Sections for15 Percent Design - Rationale for the configuration of guideway to be constructed along the high-speed train alignment, including required right-of-way for various conditions: Two Track At-Grade, Intermediate Stations, Rail-Shared Corridors, Elevated / Aerial Guideway, Trench / Retained Cut, Single Track Formations, Four Track At-Grade.2009-04-04
TM-1.1.21DrawingTypical Cross Sections for15 Percent Design - Supporting drawings for TM-1.1.21, including trench and tunnel configurations as well as vertical clearances for structures.2010-08-03
TM-1.1.22MemoCapital Cost Estimating Methodology for 30 Percent Design2010-Q3
Track Alignment
TM-2.1.2MemoAlignment Design Standards for High-Speed Train Operation - Basis of design and alignment criteria for dedicated high-speed tracks. Includes review of foreign practice and applicable regulations.2009-03-26
TM-2.1.3MemoTurnouts and Station Tracks - Turnout, crossover, and station connection track geometries, including review of foreign practice.2009-06-29
TM-2.1.3DrawingTurnouts and Station Track Schematics - Turnout, crossover, and station connection track geometry requirements.2010-04-09
TM-2.1.3DrawingTypical Interlocking Schematics - Interlocking (signaling) housing locations at stations and cross-overs. Shows total length of a station with 110 mph turnouts.2010-03-08
TM-2.1.5MemoTrack Design2010-Q1
TM-2.1.6MemoBallast-less Track2009-Q4
TM-2.1.7MemoIntrusion Protection - Basis of design for the safe separation of CHSR lines from adjacent transportation systems, including vehicle intrusion and derailment containment.2008-10-25
TM-2.1.8MemoTurnouts and Yard Tracks - Guidance for the geometric design of turnouts, crossovers, yard lead and yard tracks. Does not cover spacing, length or nature of yard tracks for specific purposes (see TM-5.x).2009-07-17
Station Design
TM-2.2.2MemoStation Program Design Guidelines - Identifies the facilities, designated spaces, design elements, and service amenities to be provided at passenger stations. Does not include platform geometries or station site design.2009-02-19
TM-2.2.3MemoStation Program Site Design Guidelines - Guidelines for site design at high-speed train passenger stations, including layout principles, sizing, access, facility design, and site infrastructure. Does not cover specific sizing or configuration of individual stations.2009-04-10
TM-2.2.4MemoStation Platform Geometric Design - Guidance for high-speed train station platform design, including operations, passenger safety, and regulatory requirements. Establishes station platform design geometry, clearance and functional elements such as drainage provisions. Reviews European and Asian practices.2010-06-30
TM-2.2.4DrawingStation Platform Geometric Design - Cross sections of a generic mid-line station configuration, either at-grade or elevated2010-06-04
TM-2.2.4DrawingStation Platform Geometric Design - Drawings of a generic mid-line station configuration, 6000 feet long with 1300 ft platforms.2009-07-29
Bridge Design
TM-2.3.1MemoAesthetic Guidelines for High-Speed Aerial Structures2009-Q2
TM-2.3.2MemoStructure Design Loads - Defines the permanent and transient load effects used in the design of bridges, aerial structures, and grade separations that directly support high-speed trains. Does not cover non-aerial structure types such as tunnels etc.2010-06-17
TM-2.3.3MemoDesign Guidelines for Aerial Structures - Guidelines for the design of aerial structures, including structural performance, functionality, safety, serviceability, economy and trackside environment. Reviews foreign practice in Europe and Asia. Explains rationale for standard aerial structures shown in drawings.2009-06-02
TM-2.3.3DrawingDesign Guidelines for Aerial Structures - Cross-sections of two-track aerial structures, including sizing of support columns.2009-07-07
Tunnel Design
TM-2.4.2MemoBasic High-Speed Train Tunnel Configuration - Establishes approximate finished dimensions for bored and cut-and-cover tunnels in which high-speed passenger trains run exclusively, for use during 15% Design. Accounts for pressure effects from high-speed operation, which results in larger cross sections.2009-07-30
TM-2.4.2DrawingBasic High-Speed Train Tunnel Configuration - Cross section drawings of a typical bored tunnel and cut-and-cover tunnel, based on the assumptions of the largest rolling stock (Shinkansen bilevel) and a configuration of two separate single-track tunnels.2009-07-30
TM-2.4.5MemoHigh-Speed Train Tunnel Structures - Basic issues related to the structural design of permanent cast-in-place concrete or sprayed concrete liners for mined rock tunnels, including design life, durability, loads and analyses.2010-07-29
TM-2.4.5ADrawingSingle Track Mined Tunnel Cross Section - Cross section drawing of a typical mined tunnel. Shows design features, but no dimensions.2010-06-30
TM-2.4.6MemoHigh-Speed Train Tunnel Portal Facilities - Portal infrastructure to be considered for tunnels used exclusively by high-speed passenger trains, including facilities for ventilation, emergency response, maintenance, noise and pressure wave mitigation, rescue, etc. Not your typical tunnel portal, more like something out of a James Bond movie.2010-06-21
TM-2.4.8MemoService and Maintenance Considerations for Tunnels - Inspection, service and maintenance activities that may be required to be performed within each high-speed train tunnel.2010-06-25
Building Structural Design
TM-2.5.1MemoStructural Design of Surface Facilities and Buildings - Guidance and requirements for the design of surface facilities and buildings that do not provide the supporting structure for high-speed trains (see TM-2.3.3), such as stations, pedestrian and road bridges, wayside structures, maintenance facilities, etc.2010-06-10
Drainage and Grading
TM-2.6.5MemoHydraulics and Hydrology Design Guidelines - Design standards for the hydrologic analysis (floods, surface runoff) and design of hydraulic facilities (culverts, channels, drainage, pumps, debris control) within the high-speed train corridor.2010-06-08
TM-2.6.7MemoEarthwork and Trackbed Design Guidelines - Guidance and requirements for earthworks, grading, earth retaining systems, and trackbed configuration to support 15% design. Reviews US and foreign practice. 2009-07-23
TM-2.7.4MemoUtility Requirements for 15% Design - Standards and procedures for the location, assessment, protection and placement of underground and overhead utilities located within and in proximity of the HSR right of way. Also defines justification criteria for utility encroachments.2008-11-20
Safety and Security
TM-2.8.1MemoSafety and Security2009-Q3
Geotechnical Studies
TM-2.9.1MemoGeotechnical Investigation Guidelines - Standardized methodology, terminology and procedures for sub-surface geotechnical site characterization, including exploration and field and laboratory testing.2009-05-22
TM-2.9.2MemoGeotechnical Reports Preparation Guidelines - Defines content and format for the geotechnical reports that will present the findings of the geotechnical investigations and analyses that are performed during preliminary and final design.2009-05-22
TM-2.9.3MemoGeologic and Seismic Hazard Analysis Guidelines - Guidance for the identification, evaluation, data analysis, and presentation of geologic and seismic hazards (fault rupture, liquefaction, landslides, karst terrain, volcanic hazards, erosion, subsidence, flooding, etc.), giving reference to existing guidance and literature.2009-06-15
TM-2.9.4MemoPreliminary Active Fault Locations and Design Considerations2009-Q3
TM-2.9.5MemoPreliminary Design Earthquake Guidelines for 30 Percent Design2010-Q1
TM-2.9.6MemoInterim Ground Motion Guidelines - Guidelines for developing interim (i.e. 30% design) ground motion criteria. Defines design earthquake levels, and seismic performance criteria including the No Collapse Level (NCL), the Safe Performance Level (SPL), and the Operating Performance Level (OPL).2010-03-04
TM-2.9.7MemoAcceleration Response Spectra for Final Design2010-Q4
TM-2.9.9MemoFinal Earthquake Ground Motions for Final Design2010-Q4
TM-2.9.10MemoGeotechnical Design Guidelines - Guidelines for geotechnical analysis and design criteria for high-speed train infrastructure facilities such as bridge and viaduct foundations, slopes, cuts, fills, embankments, retaining walls, excavation bracing, culverts, drainage, etc.2010-06-30
Seismic Studies
TM-2.10.1MemoSeismic Performance Criteria and Design Basis2009-Q2
TM-2.10.2MemoTechnical Advisory Panel Work Plan2009-Q2
TM-2.10.3MemoTechnical Advisory Panel Summary2010-Q2
TM-2.10.4MemoInterim Seismic Design Criteria - Guidance for the seismic design for high-speed train bridges and aerial structures, tunnels and underground structures, passenger stations and buildings, in consideration of the fact that the HSR alignment passes through some of the most seismically active regions of California, including crossings of major fault systems.2009-06-08
TM-2.10.5Memo15% Design Seismic Design Benchmarks - Benchmark guidelines for all structures that directly support track and running high-speed trains including bridges, aerial structures, tunnels and underground structures, passenger stations and buildings. These simple guidelines support only the 15% design level for the EIR/EIS process. TM-2.10.4 applies to later design stages.2010-03-29
TM-2.10.6MemoFault Rupture Analysis and Mitigation - Guidelines for the identification of seismic fault hazard zones near the HSR alignment, methods to determine the rupture displacement characteristics, and a variety of mitigation measures to ensure survivability.2010-06-11
TM-2.10.7MemoFinal Seismic Design Criteria (30 Percent and Final Design)2010-Q3
TM-2.10.8MemoStructures Type Selection Development Procedures2010-Q3
TM-2.10.9MemoFinal Fault Crossing Design Criteria and Guidance2010-Q4
TM-2.10.10MemoTrack-Structure Interaction - Specific requirements for high-speed track and structure interaction for aerial structures and bridges (but not tracks supported on grade), such as dynamic performance, traffic safety, rail-structure interaction, and passenger comfort.2010-06-30
TM-2.10.11MemoPassenger Comfort Design Criteria for Structures2010-Q4
Traction Power - General
TM- Power 2 x 25kV Autotransformer Electrification System - Technical rationale for selection of 25 kV overhead electrification, traction power system configuration, utility interfaces, and voltage limits.2010-03-31
TM- Power Facilities - Drawings of standardized power substations, switching, and paralleling stations to be built along the right-of-way to supply and distribute electrical traction power.2010-06-08
TM- Power Facilities General Standardization Requirements - Standardized sizing, layout and placement of the three kinds of electrical facilities used to supply and distribute traction power: substations, switching stations and paralleling stations.2010-06-10
TM- Contact System and Negative Feeder Feeds2009-Q2
Traction Power - System Analysis
TM- Segment Traction Power System Analysis2008-Q4
TM- System Traction Power System Analysis2009-Q3
Traction Power - Facilities
TM- Power Supply for Traction Power Supply System - Requirements for commercial electric power utility interface to the HSR system, including voltage ranges, redundancy, and space requirements for utility feeds.2010-06-15
TM- Power Supply for Traction Power Supply System - Drawings showing the relationship of utility high voltage power feeds to HSR system traction power substations.2010-06-11
Overhead Contact System
TM-3.2.1MemoOverhead Contact System Requirements - Review of standards and best practices to provide design criteria for the overhead contact system (OCS), the high voltage electrical wires that are strung above the tracks to supply power to trains.2009-07-14
TM-3.2.1DrawingOverhead Contact System - Drawings of standard configurations for the overhead contact system (OCS) including pole, headspan and portal arrangements, key dimensions, nomenclature of component parts, etc.2009-07-07
TM-3.2.2MemoOverhead Contact System Structural Requirements - Defines the structural loads experienced by overhead contact system components and establishes limits on deflections and failure modes, considering all environments and climate, especially wind loading.2010-06-08
TM-3.2.3MemoPantograph Clearance Envelopes - Review of European and Asian practice, and guidance for mechanical and electrical clearances around pantographs (the train-mounted devices that capture electrical power from the overhead contact system). 2009-07-17
TM-3.2.3DrawingPantograph Clearance Envelopes - Dimensioned drawings of pantograph clearance envelopes at two wire heights, with or without curve superelevation, in either open track or in tunnels.2009-07-07
TM-3.2.5MemoOCS Electrical Requirements2009-Q2
TM-3.2.6MemoGrounding, Bonding and Protection From Electrical Shock - Reviews standards and best practices to provide criteria for the traction electrification system (TES) grounding and bonding requirements and for protection against electric shock. Covers traction power systems, overhead contact system, station platforms, structures, and overhead bridge protection.2010-06-11
TM-3.2.6DrawingGrounding, Bonding and Protection From Electrical Shock - Schematics of grounding and bonding for elevated structures, tunnels, station platforms and overhead bridges.2010-06-11
TM-3.2.7MemoOCS Mechanical Requirements2009-Q2
Train Control
TM-3.3.1MemoAutomatic Train Control: Concept of System - Describes the functions of the Automatic Train Control (ATC) system including Automatic Train Protection (ATP), Automatic Train Operation (ATO), Automatic Train Supervision (ATS), and Positive Train Control (PTC). The key requirement is that the technology must already exist as part of an operating system with proven experience worldwide on at least one high speed passenger railway.2010-06-25
TM-3.3.1DrawingAutomatic Train Control: Concept of System - Block diagrams of two possible approaches to ATC: one based on the European ERTMS radio-based solution, and another on the Japanese Digital-ATC cab signal solution.2010-06-25
TM-3.3.2MemoAutomatic Train Control Site Requirements - Identifies the physical area required for train control system equipment such as enclosures and housings, wayside signals (if used), ATC communications infrastructure such as housings and antenna towers, and associated access requirements.2010-06-25
TM-3.3.2DrawingAutomatic Train Control Site Requirements - Drawings showing typical sizes for ATC wayside equipment sites at stations and interlockings, as well as typical wayside signals (dwarf, mast and bridge configurations)2010-06-25
TM-3.3.3MemoAutomatic Train Control Wayside Power Supply Options - Considers pros and cons of various available power sources for automatic train control equipment along the right-of-way, such as utility power drop, cabling from nearest HSR facility, drop-feed and step-down from overhead contact system, and solar/wind plus battery systems.2010-06-25
TM-3.3.4DrawingGround and Bonding for Train Control and Communications - Schematics for grounding and bonding of track circuits in open track, at interlockings, and at wayside signal equipment.2010-06-08
TM-3.3.4MemoGround and Bonding for Train Control and Communications - Describes the grounding and bonding interfaces and criteria required to ensure the correct operation of train control and communications systems in co-existence with high-voltage overhead traction power systems.2010-06-10
TM-3.3.11MemoMeasurement Procedure for EMI Footprint - Standard procedure for measuring the level of EMI (Electro-magnetic interference) in the vicinity of the HSR right-of-way. These measurements are necessary for development of a system-wide EMI footprint and for assessment of electro-magnetic compatibility impacts (arising from HSR as well as impacting on HSR)2010-03-31
TM-3.4.1MemoCommunications System Topology2009-Q4
TM-3.4.2MemoCommunications Systems Site Requirements - Lists the expected communications functions and components required at each type of facility (control centers, stations, traction power substations, wayside train control cabinets, tunnels, yards). Includes drawings of communication facility layouts.2010-07-01
TM-3.4.2DrawingCommunications Systems Site Requirements - Drawings of communications facility layouts (already included in corresponding tech memo)2010-07-08
TM-3.4.3MemoNetwork Management System2010-Q1
TM-3.4.4MemoCommunications Backbone Technology and Protocols2010-Q2
TM-3.4.10MemoElectromagnetic Compatibility Design Criteria2009-Q2
TM-3.4.12MemoSCADA Requirements for Traction Electrification System2010-Q1
TM-4.1MemoLA - Anaheim Concept Level Operational Feasibility Study - Concept level analysis undertaken in 2008 to estimate the number of high-speed trains that could be operated on the LOSSAN Corridor between Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) and Anaheim. This study examined the feasibility of four different track configuration and operational scenarios. Events have since overtaken the conclusions of this analysis, since local agencies favor the shared-track alternative.2008-07-21
TM-4.1 Appx. AAppendixAppendix A Network Schematics - Track network schematics showing how the various LOSSAN alternatives are configured.2008-07-21
TM-4.1 Appx. B1AppendixAppendix B Stringlines - Detailed string line diagrams (showing each train's location versus time) of a typical day's service pattern under the various LOSSAN alternatives.2008-07-21
TM-4.1 Appx. B2AppendixAppendix B Stringlines - Continued from previous file (Appendix B is split into two files)2008-07-21
TM-4.1.1MemoJustification for Two-Track Station Configuration - LA to Anaheim - Extremely short memo mentions the possibility of two-track HSR-only stations in the LOSSAN corridor under the assumption of dedicated HSR tracks, an alternative that was still in favor as of 2009. Mostly overtaken by events since then.2009-07-10
TM-4.2MemoPhase 1 Service Plan - Concept level state-wide HSR service plan and hypothetical timetable that has served as the basis for ridership estimates, stopping patterns, fleet sizing, yard sizing and terminal station sizing. The service plan and ridership studies reinforce each other to justify extremely optimistic assumptions that dictate very generous sizing of HSR infrastucture. This document also includes string line diagrams and a proposed timetable. 2008-11-20
TM-4.3MemoFull Build Service Plan - Draft of concept level state-wide HSR service plan including extensions to San Diego and Sacramento, that has served as the basis for ridership estimates, stopping patterns, fleet sizing, yard sizing and terminal station sizing.2009-01-12
TM-4.3 Appx. A1AppendixAppendix A1 Full Build Stopping Patterns - Stopping patterns for the full-build system including San Diego and Sacramento.2009-01-12
TM-4.3 Appx. A3AppendixAppendix A3 Full Build Stringlines - Detailed string line diagrams (showing each train's location versus time) of a typical day's service pattern in the full-build system. Note junctions whimsically named after PB program management staff.2009-01-12
TM-4.3 Appx. A4AppendixAppendix A4 Full Build Equipment Cycles - Spreadsheet dump of daily operation with trainsets allocated to each service for fleet sizing purposes.2009-01-12
TM-4.4MemoOperations & Maintenance Cost Model2009-Q3
TM-5.1MemoTerminal and Heavy Maintenance Facility Guidelines - Preliminary guidelines for identifying locations and designing the maintenance and layup facilities for the HSR system. Includes extensive analysis of maintenance practices in France (TGV) and Japan (Shinkansen). Defines facility types, functions, layouts and sizing of maintenance facilities.2009-08-25
TM-5.1DrawingTerminal and Heavy Maintenance Facility Guidelines - Conceptual plans of the HMF (Heavy Maintenance Facility) as well as storage and maintenance yards in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Anaheim, Sacramento, San Diego, or combined LA/Anaheim. Shows track layout and facility dimensions.2009-07-22
TM-5.2DrawingMaintenance of Way Facilities - Conceptual plans for small maintenance-of-way facilities to be located at various points along the right-of-way.2009-07-23
TM-5.3MemoMaintenance Facilities Requirements Summary - Defines requirements for maintenance facility access, employee parking, and site location. Also gives sizes in acres of each planned facility. Facility functional requirements are covered in TM-5.1.2009-08-31
Rolling Stock
TM-6.1MemoSelected Train Technologies - Identifies the available range of high-speed trainsets that are or may be capable of 220 mph (350 km/h) operation. Briefly describes the characteristics of each technology that need to be taken into account in infrastructure design. Includes tractive effort diagrams to support train performance simulations.2008-05-30
TM-6.2MemoIntroduction of Euro/Asian Rolling Stock to California2009-Q3
TM-6.3MemoTrainset Configuration Analysis and Recommendation - Examines pros and cons of various HSR trainset architectures (single vs. bi-level, power units vs. distributed traction, availability from multiple vendors) and concludes that California should use single-level, high-platform, electric multiple units (EMUs).2009-09-23
Regulatory Approvals
TM-7.2MemoFRA Criteria Applicability2009-Q2
TM-7.3MemoInternational Rail Standards Comparison - Reviews and compares the various international rail standards. Describes international standards bodies, their interrelationships and how they address high-speed rail. Recommends that US regulatory framework be based on European Technical Standards for Interoperability (TSI).2009-04-27
TM-7.4MemoHazard Identification and Mitigation2009-Q3
TM-7.5MemoFRA System Overview2009-Q4
TM-7.6MemoProduct Safety Plan Outline2009-Q2
TM-7.7MemoRSPP Safety Plan Outline2009-Q2


  1. You have to admire Elizabeth.

  2. I think this was more of Nadia and Rita's handiwork. You've got to admire them all!

  3. Curious why they haven't released

    TM-2.1.5 Memo Track Design or
    TM-2.1.6 Memo Ballast-less Track

    Hmmm. Presuming the Caltrain corridor will be ballast and once outside San Jose, it will be ballast-less slab track. Wonder if it has to do with noise and possibly the implemtation of sound supression found in Japan.

  4. "Note junctions whimsically named after PB program management staff."

    I think that says it all, really.

  5. Kudos for this batch go to Rita!

    Her tenacity and ability to actually read and organize what we receive has been truly amazing.

    Plus, she has much more patience then I've had in dealing with the myriad of excuses we get from the Authority.

    And Kudos to Clem for posting them and interpreting them!

  6. I agree with your contention that the whole process is one of "Decide, announce, defend"- This is why the high speed rail will never be built. If citizens were involved at every step the local complaints would mostly evaporate because people can't complain if they have had years to digest the plans. Also, if its true that Caltrain has the money for new trains and electrification, nobody I have talked to (not one, not even a conductor on the train) knew about that fact. I guess the plan there too is to decide what trains to buy and get everything set in stone, than make a big announcement with shovel ceremony. No public input of course.

  7. Now that I've looked at the some of the documents, one thing that really jumps out is the complete lack of any mention of the existing higher-speed-rail in America. They mention what the Japanese and French do, and mention that AREMA has standards that are only designed for speeds up to 90 mph. Yet Amtrak operates trains at speeds up to 150 mph, trains which may eventually find their way to the CAHSR corridor (if, for example, a segment is used to provide Amtrak service while the rest is being built). It might have been useful to at least look at what America's only existing sort-of-high-speed rail operator does, and even if you reject their standards, there should be a reason why.

  8. Is there anything in AB3034 (or anywhere else) that gives CHSRA the final authority to overrule any/all local codes and standards OUTSIDE of the ROW, and outside of property they have explicitly taken by eminent domain?

    "The CHSTP design standards and guidelines may differ from local jurisdictions’ codes and
    standards. Because the Authority is an agency of the state government, development of facilities
    within the state’s right-of-way should fall under the jurisdiction of the Division of the State
    Architect (DSA) and the State Fire Marshall along with input and coordination with local
    jurisdictions. In the case of differing values on work outside of the state-owned right-of-way,
    conflicts in the various requirements for design, or discrepancies in application of the design
    standards, the criteria followed shall be that which results in the highest level of satisfaction for all
    requirements or that is deemed as the most appropriate by the California High-Speed Rail
    Authority (Authority)."

  9. @ Anon @ 13:23

    I'm not sure what the law is in CA, but I can imagine that state law preempts local laws, similar to how federal law preempts state law.

  10. I wonder what Talgo did to piss them off. Or maybe the just didn't bribe the right people.

    I mean, talgo coaches seem to work fine in spain and in the pacific northwest - not sure why they're so impossible for California.

  11. Talgo coaches have very low passenger capacity. Siemens even uses that as a marketing point in favor of the Velaro.

  12. The CHST System TM-0.3 Basis of Design states on page 12 under section 3.0:
    “The infrastructure for the CHST System will be designed to maximize the investment, while avoiding and
    minimizing potential negative environmental consequences.”
    The California High Speed Rail planner’s approach to electrifying the San Jose to San Francisco section with 25,000 VAC overhead lines rather than a 1,500 VDC third rail maximizes construction costs and environmental degradation. The 23 foot above track clearance required to accommodate the high voltage distribution lines makes environmentally desirable rail below road crossings prohibitively expensive. Thus Mid-Peninsula lawsuits basically motivated by the appearance, noise, and tree destruction of the proposed above grade right-of-way have so far delayed construction of an extremely useful High Speed Rail track along the Caltrain route. (Note: Most current single level high speed rail car bodies are less than 12 feet above the rail. All now in service high speed rail traction motor driver circuits have a low voltage direct current applied to their supply terminals. In HVAC territory the transformers convert HVAC to low voltage DC. If the power source is low voltage DC current is fed directly to the to the traction motor circuits.)
    One factor that could heavily influence whether High Speed Rail and Caltrain succeeds or fails depends on high technology entrepreneurs continuing to locate their businesses near peninsula rail stations. A noise prone elevated rail structure will drive them away; a rail infrastructure in a shallow open cut will eventually be remarkably quiet if air rights are sold and built upon.
    A chart presented on page 31 of the April 2011 issue of Trains magazine summarizes experience with the high speed rail/air ridership modal split as a function of rail travel time. This chart indicates a rail vs. air preference declines from 91% to 60% as rail travel time increases from 2 to 3 hours. The CHSR projects a minimum running time between San Francisco and Los Angeles of 2:40. That running time along the projected route is questionable given the given the vehement opposition to even 125 mph trains on the Peninsula section and in the future strong opposition to high speed running is likely due to high noise level produced by 220 mph trains running through the most densely populated areas in the San Joaquin Valley. Of course noise can be reduced by sound walls but a significant proportion of that high speed train noise emanates from the pantograph structure used to contact the overhead catenary. How tall would effective sound walls need to be?

  13. One correctable run-time extending factor is the planned route between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The proposed CHSR San Francisco to Los Angeles rail route is 447 miles, 66 miles longer than the 381 mile highway route between the same two points or 99 miles farther than the 348 mile great circle route between the same two points.
    Running the two track 220 mph line closely parallel to Interstate 5 through the San Joaquin valley and over the “I5 grape Vine” near Los Angeles could be part of a 66 mile shorter route with few people nearby. A parallel mostly single track at grade 110 mph line connected to the high speed segments near San Jose and Los Angeles with stops in downtown Modesto, Fresno, Visalia, and Bakersfield plus two freeway parking lot stops could adequately serve those towns. Extraordinarily expensive noise suppression walls would not be required for either parallel line. The more direct would require a 1000 foot higher maximum altitude. The delay due to reduced speeds while climbing a 3% grade for trains powerful enough to sustain 220 mph would be 81 seconds.
    Solving the following equation will give an estimate the sustained speed for a train climbing a long 3% grade:
    P(0.001C + WC^3) = 0.031V + WV^3
    On left side of the equation the factor P is the proportion of additional power the traction motors can apply for ten minutes above that required to sustain flatland speed. P in this case is set at 1.3. C is the maximum flat-land cruising speed set at 220mph. The wind resistance factor W = 412.5 x 10^-9 can be derived from a discussion of the railway’s resistance to motion on page 33 of Bernard de Fontgalland’s book ‘The World Railway System. The parameter 0.031 represents the sum of the rolling resistance = 0.001 and the effect of the 3% grade = 0.03. The velocity (V) is the maximum speed (123 mph) that can be sustained for up to 10 minutes going up a 3% grade. A solution to the resultant cubic equation where V is the dependent variable can be obtained using the HP 33s calculator ‘Solve’ program.

  14. John Bacon, you can't use third rail above approximately 100 mph due to trouble with shoe contact; they discovered this in England. So lay off THAT accusation.

  15. John, your proposal for the Central Valley -- a fast route on I-5 with loops to a 100 mph route on SR-99 -- more than doubles land acquisition costs, more than doubles construction costs, more than doubles maintenance costs, more than doubles land footprint, more than doubles the number of NIMBYs to deal with, and increases runtimes to every Central Valley.

    If some people's accusations about PB designing construction pork were true, PB would love your plan. I suspect said accusations are not true, but if they start backing your plan, then we'll know.

  16. "over the “I5 grape Vine” near Los Angeles"

    Oh God, I didn't even catch this bit of idiocy.

    Clem gives good advice. Please don't spoil his blog with the usual bullshit about how we should select the route with no population, where the grades are too steep (7%) to cross the pass on the surface, where the possible tunnel routes all cross faultlines underground, where the geological modeling software could only find a single potentially viable route (this to meter-level accuracy), meaning that there aren't any robustly viable routes.

    Tejon/Grapevine is out, it doesn't work for rail. It barely works for roads.

  17. Adirondacker1280021 March, 2011 09:55

    more than doubles land acquisition costs, more than doubles construction costs, more than doubles maintenance costs, more than doubles land footprint, more than doubles the number of NIMBYs to deal with, and increases runtimes to every Central Valley.

    Well it does slash frequency. Instead of a train stopping in Bakersfield or Fresno every 15 minutes where 100 people get on an off they run one train to Fresno once every two hours where 400 people get off and 400 people get on. A separate train would run to Bakersfield where 400 people would get off and 400 people would get on. Though slashing frequency slashes demand so it may work out to a train once every three hours where 400 people get off and 400 people get on. Maybe even more because the train leaving Fresno for LA doesn't go to Bakersfield. And the train leaving Bakersfield for SF doesn't go to Fresno. The train that does go from Fresno to Bakersfield takes much much longer - the trip out to I-5 and then back from I-5 sucks up time - which slashes demand.......

  18. There's already a mostly single track route that would easily allow for 110 mph service in the Central Valley with relatively minor upgrades: the BNSF line, but of course the HSRA never even considered running their trains on BNSF tracks, or running Amtrak trains on the HSR line.

    As for Grapevine vs. Tehachapi, you have to remember that the HSR project's main goals are to maximize construction pork, feed the ambitions of local politicians, and enable land speculation. And having a stop in Palmdale fulfills that last goal considerably better than the Grapevine route. The two are otherwise roughly comparable, with the Grapevine route having the same ruling gradient as the Tehachapi one, but a lower maximum elevation. It's just barely possible to cross the faults on the surface if you have a 3.5% grade, but that's what the Tehachapi route will have too, at least if I'm remembering the EIR correctly.

  19. InfrastructureWeak06 September, 2023 15:09

    Tomorrow's board agenda still shows April 2024 substantial completion and September 2024 revenue service, but they're reporting that a foundation grounding issue at the "25th [Avenue? In Hillsdale?] Grade Separation" has taken over the critical path. I wonder if they left grounding rods out of the concrete pours for some of the poles. Issue is shown to have started in January 2022, and as of August this year they've agreed on a way to "resolve" the issue, with the fix being installed now through January.