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