In 2021, we published an unsolicited proposal to the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
In the 1990's, California seemingly made hurried decisions involving High Speed Rail.
Alternative alignment studies were made, according to the 1000-page HSR-Authority
Report, and today still essentially serve as guidelines. Significant difficulties
stem from these inadequately detailed alignment studies, which apparently led to
mistaken decisions. The alignment along Interstate 5 (I5) was calculated with
36% tunnels; via Tehachapi - Palmdale nearly without tunnels and bridges. These
factors led to the decision favoring the Palmdale Tehachapi detour as the Palmdale
Tehachapi route with absence of long tunnels would have been cheaper.
Further planning increased the percentage of tunnels and bridges via Tehachapi Palmdale to 50% - one main reason for increased costs. The current Burbank - Palmdale section creates an alignment planned with 75% percent tunnels. A regional alignment (75 to 125 mph) from Burbank to Palmdale, without tunnels, could follow the landscape contours and the existing freeway, avoiding high costs for speeds of 200 mph.
A modified I5 high-speed alignment would be possible with only 10% tunnels and bridges.
Technical Data of the Alignment, Bakersfield - Burbank:
Distance: 171 to 182 km (106 to 113 miles), dependent on choice of variants
Type of Alignment in Percent of Total Section Length:
- elevated (valleys, rivers and creeks): 3.6%
- underground: 7%
- surface: 89.4%
The maximum gradients are 4.5% in rare situations. In such cases, maintenance of speed is assured through relatively flat, high velocity approach-runs to steeper gradients.
Minimum possible travel time from Bakersfield to Burbank: 40.5 to 42.5 minutes (dependent on choice of variants). Timetable-based travel time: 45 to 47 minutes, allowing for unexpected delays (calculations based on computer simulations for Siemens 'Velaro' with 8.8 megawatt traction power rating).
Estimated total construction and implementation costs, based on European calculation standards: U.S. $40 Million per mile, not including stations. The estimated cost for the Bakersfield - Burbank section via Tehachapi - Palmdale is now at least $20 billion. An optimized I5 alignment is, roughly estimated, according to European-based calculations, at about $4.5 billion, without stations.
Complete topographic site plan, 51 x 106 inches. Viewable using Acrobat Reader Magnifying
Glass function. Printable, only possible on paper roll larger than 24 inches:
Topographic site plan, Northern Segment Plan. Printable on paper roll, 24 inches
Topographic site plan, but for Southern Segment
Elevation Profile Overview, new HSR Alignment Bakersfield - Burbank, normal letter
Elevation Profile, new HSR Alignment Bakersfield - Burbank. Printable on paper roll,
Elevation, Velocity and Electrical Traction Energy Profile, new Alignment Bakersfield
normal letter format
Overview Map LA Bypass, normal letter format