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Public Responses


High-Speed Safety

Apr 14, 2017

Skip Adam



Engineers on California’s high-speed rail project have worried for nine years about the sort of train wreck

Everyone agrees barriers are needed to keep debris from derailed freight trains from smashing into the fast-moving passenger cars.

an additional $140 million.

Cost increases, after all, have dogged the bullet train for years, and new jumps in price may start surfacing

new safety problems or ones that emerge as more serious than first thought will drive up the cost.

new and difficult trade-offs between cost, performance and safety.

That means crossing 42 highways, a safety risk

you are certainly knocking down the maximum speed and increasing the trip time.”

separate the highway crossings with bridges or tunnels, an effort that could cost additional billions of dollars.

“There are many many trade-offs that have to be made,”

Long tunnels will also require additional safety planning.

Another trade-off will involve trains’ downhill speeds in mountainous areas.

If the trains run at full speed, they may need a new type of brake technology

Recent discussions about the Central Valley barriers show that trade-offs already are driving up costs.

Worn wheels, defective axles, weak crossties and misaligned rails, as well as human error, also cause derailments.

Because Pacific demanded stronger structures, the costs have grown to about $10 million per mile,

he money “simply does not exist for these change requests,”