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The Amtrak crash close to Tacoma, Wash., that killed 3 people this week was one more reminder of the vulnerabilities of our railway systems. What are the risks in California? We named Rod Diridon, who at the moment chairs the advisory board of the United States Higher Speed Rail Association and whose life has been so immersed in trains and public transport in California that they named the San Jose train station right after him. (Our chat has been edited and condensed under.)
Q. Could a similar accident occur in California?
A. In Washington they have been upgrading their Amtrak method to a larger-speed method. Our method down right here, the old conventional Amtrak rail technique, can go 79 miles an hour over some of the track but most of it is slower. It is utilizing the old freight railroad tracks.
Q. You are saying the California method is as well ancient to be harmful?
A. We’ve been operating the Amtrak train up and down the coast and from Bakersfield to Sacramento every single day since the 1880s and there have been extremely few accidents, and none recently.
Q. What is good train handle? And does California have it?
A. The way it works is that there are sensors all up and down the track. If you are going also quickly the computer technique will take handle of the train and will either quit it or slow it down. You do not have it on the freight rail tracks — each and every diesel locomotive on the large Union Pacific system would have to be retrofitted. It is a huge multibillion cost tag and some thing that the freight railroads have not wanted to do.
Q. You have produced the point that traveling by rail is much safer than by vehicle.
A. That tragedy in Washington was avoidable, and it must have been avoided. 3 individuals died. Do you know how numerous folks were killed on roads final year in America? A lot more than 30,000.
Q. You have been a massive promoter of high-speed rail. Where does that fit in?
A. The high-speed rail method, like the one particular we are developing in California, is modeled after the systems that operate in Japan or China, or France or Germany or Italy. It involves all of the safety and operational safeguards that have been discovered about in earlier systems. It is safer than walking on the sidewalk.
California On the web
(Please note: We frequently highlight articles on news internet sites that have limited access for nonsubscribers.)
• Nancy Pelosi, the Home Democratic leader, on the tax plan that passed the Senate and Property on Tuesday: “Simply theft — monumental, brazen theft from the American middle class and from each particular person who aspires to attain it.” [The New York Instances]
• Twelve of California’s 14 Republican members of the Property of Representatives voted for the tax bill. The two who voted against it — Darrell Issa and Dana Rohrabacher — mentioned residents in their wealthy districts would be hurt by the program. [Los Angeles Instances]
• As firefighters brace for the return of stronger winds, the Thomas fire officially became the second biggest fire in contemporary California history, displacing the 2012 Rush fire, which previously held the No. two spot. (The statistic comes with an asterisk Cal Fire is not counting the 44,000 acres that burned on the Nevada side of the border during the Rush fire.) [Los Angeles Occasions]
• Yes, something can be completed about wildfires: Deschutes County, Ore., has turn into a national leader in advertising public education, community outreach, landscape restoration and robust emergency response. [The New York Instances]
• More than five years into San Francisco’s tech boom the quantity of businesses searching to gobble up real estate is growing, and the price of San Francisco’s Class A office space — currently the most costly in the country — is ready to spike once again. [San Francisco Chronicle]
• Uber flipped a developing in downtown Oakland it purchased two years ago. It sold it for $180 million to Los Angeles-based CIM Group. In 2015 Uber bought the developing, a former Sears retailer, for $123.5 million. It was a fixer upper. [San Francisco Company Instances]
• Asexual harassment prevention class for lawmakers in Sacramento: “Some people do take it seriously — and some individuals are on their phones, some folks are cracking jokes. I would say the big majority of men and women are not as attentive.” [Linked Press by means of Sacramento Bee]
• An Orange County family kept their Christmas tree alive for 34 years running. In environmental terms, it’s the equivalent of not burning 1,200 pounds of coal. Or driving two,668 fewer miles in your car. [Orange County Register]
• U.C. Berkeley has settled a sex harassment claim against Nezar AlSayyad, a tenured architecture professor, for $80,000. [San Francisco Chronicle]
• San Luis Obispo has a reputation for becoming a sleepy town in central California identified for its laid-back charm. The number of tech workers in San Luis Obispo County has increased by 20 percent, to 7,800, over the past five years. [The New York Occasions]
• A goose with an arrow stuck in its body has been splashing around a park in San Dimas for at least 3 weeks. Park rangers can not catch up with it to render aid. [Everyday Bulletin]
And Lastly …
The finish of 2017 in California means farewell to the incandescent light bulb. On Jan. 1, California will be the very first state to effectively ban the sale of the bulbs, which have been first patented by Thomas Edison in 1879. Out with the incandescents, in with the LEDs, which use 80 % much less power.
Below a deal reached in Congress for the duration of the administration of George W. Bush, California agreed to adopt a lot more stringent standards for light bulbs two years ahead of the rest of the nation.
There are still an estimated 250 million incandescent bulbs in use in California and replacing them will save $1 billion in electricity fees annually, according to estimates published by the Organic Resources Defense Council, the environmental advocacy group.
“There’s been an LED revolution — your laptop, the headlight in your car, your flashlight, you name it,” stated Noah Horowitz, a senior scientist at the council. “It’s just a superior technologies.”
There are a few exceptions to the ban. Incandescent bulbs will nevertheless be allowed to illuminate the inside of ovens and clothes dryers. Edison’s bulb was inefficient, creating much more heat than light, but it stands up a lot greater than LEDs to higher temperatures.
California Nowadays goes live at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: [email protected].
California Right now is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.
Published at Wed, 20 Dec 2017 14:06:30 +0000