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April 04, 2007



All that's happened here is that they've dropped the green belt area south of Ellis from consideration -- everything else in still on the table -- the train, the smoke, the noise, everything as the railroad track itself (which stops at Ellis) is still in play. Anyone living north of Ellis would still be affected, all the grade crossings would still be in use if a passenger train was to still come by X times per day. A station would still need to be built at Ellis and a shuttle system designed to carry those passengers from Ellis to the beach.

This is one BAD idea, and everyone's still waiting for the Bella Terra folks to weigh in as Cathy Green's train will be running right by a new residential complex that's going in alongside the track at the old Montgomery Wards site at Edinger.

Huntington Beach is pulling everyone's chain on this to satisfy Green's ego and idiocy. As an OCTA Director, she should know better -- but then any mention of her always includes the words "dumb" or "stupid" in the same paragraphn


the train, the smoke, the noise

"Concerned:" Is Huntington Beach hoping to corner the nostalgia market (maybe trying to scoop up those Disneyland visitors who don't want the magic to end) by proposing to run steam trains along this route? Does HB now require every car, truck, or bus travelling within its city limits to use noiseless, pollution-free electric motors? If not, I don't quite understand what the handwringing about "the noise!" and "the smoke!" is about, since the small-scale rail line they're talking about here would have all the impact of a bus occasionally driving by.

And if the Bella Terra folks were to get themselves worked up over the smoke and the noise from a podunk, every-so-often light rail train, perhaps someone should remind them that their complex abuts the 405 Freeway.

(That said, I think there are far better things to spend our tax money on than this particular half-assed plan.)


Light rail? Hardly. What was proposed is here: http://www.coloradorailcar.com/dmuhome.htm. That's a full scale diesel locomotive, complete with diesel emissions and a really cool horn. Check this out: Videos.


A full-scale diesel locomotive? Hardly. It's propelled by two 600-horsepower diesel engines; basically, a truck motor at each end of the car. Compare it to the kind of locomotive you'd see at the head of a Metrolink train -- that weighs 268,000 pounds and has a single giant diesel engine that pulls 3,000 hp or more.

Colorado Railcar's brochure (here) claims that their DMU produces 72% less pollution and 78% less noise than a locomotive. (And further, that the DMU can be run only one of its two engines, and that the engines can be shut off at any time, unlike typical diesel locomotives that need to idle while they're stopped.)

As for that 'really cool horn', it never needs to be used -- if this Huntington Beach rail line (or any other) has its road/rail intersections designed to meet certain federal standards (basically, extra crossing-gate protection so that cars can't cut around lowered gates and drive onto the track), that rail line can be declared a no-whistle quiet zone.


Biff, you seem to know quite a bit about this boondoggle. How about an explanation as to why it's even necessary (apart from available Measure M funding, of course).


Biff, got some land and a cheap house to sell you in Huntington Beach -- it's a steal as nobody else is interested in buying it.


redperegrine: While I support the concept of rail transit in general, I don't support this particular project. With its not-really-the-beach to not-quite-Disneyland routing (not to mention the contortions that it makes to connect to Metrolink in Anaheim), it's a poor idea -- once the novelty wears off, the only people riding it will be lost European tourists who made the mistake of assuming that boarding a train would actually get them somewhere. The whole thing smells like a custom-built machine for siphoning off Measure M money to Huntington Beach.

It just bothers me when people come out with these scattershot, railroads-cause-cancer-style arguments against any rail project, hoping that some of them will stick. (My personal favorite? The woman in our neighborhood who opposed Centerline for the children -- why, a defenseless child might stroll into the right-of-way and be hit by a train! Yet somehow her kids knew not to play ball in the middle of Harbor Boulevard ...) Joe Shaw's blog post mentions a local realtor who states that property values along HB's theoretical rail corridor have already become depressed from the specter of light rail -- and maybe that's so, but has that anonymous realtor happened to notice that OC real estate in general isn't doing so hot right now?


"the only people riding it will be lost European tourists who made the mistake of assuming that boarding a train would actually get them somewhere"

Very funny. And very true. I can just see a gaggle of black-socked, open-sandaled Eurotourists from Belgium wandering around the santitation plant on Ellis wondering where they are.


I can't believe that people are agains the idea of removing many cars from the road, thereby reducing pollution in your neighborhod, reducing traffic congestion, reducing road noise and increasing your quality of life. All based on an idea that a train will somehow cause more noise and more pollution. Get it in gear people, we have to reduce our use of oil, it is now 3.90 per gallon in Orange County, or havent you noticed? what are you going to do when the oil runs out or goes over 5 bucks per gallon? I dont think the lots in that area are zoned for horses. Get a clue and start thinking for the future, not just about not wanting something in your personal back yard!


Oh Reggie, really. How many cars do you think this idiotic train would take off the street? Forget the car trips too and from the terminals and any intermediary stations. Who is going to want to go from Angel Stadium to the north side of Huntington Beach - miles from the ocean?

And what about all the pollution caused by idling cars at the dozens of at-grade crossings?

I get the feeling that some folks (not the ones who can't get over their boyhood love of choo-choos) want trains for no other reason than to wallow in the grand gesture - forget the cost. Fortunately that's why we have fiscal conservatives (I hope there are still some around OC).


Wake up, fella. True OC fiscal conservatism (if it ever really existed past the Eisenhower years) is as dead as The Duke. The only thing the OC aristocracy is conservative on is maintaining their own concerns. The rest of us can eat Del Taco twice a day and ride the bus.


"True OC fiscal conservatism (if it ever really existed past the Eisenhower years) is as dead as The Duke"

Good line. I'm gonna remember that one.

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