The California High-Speed Rail Authority has published an Operations and Peer Review document (ht Caltrain-HSR Compatibility blog). The document envisions operational procedures in the proposed CA High-Speed rail project.
The “Peer Review” is truly depressing. The inescapable conclusion is that this is high-speed rail as envisioned by Amtrak foamers, ignorant of global industry best-practices.
If you read the document, pay particular attention to Table 11: Required Manpower Staffing – Transportation Operations. Labor costs make up a huge chunk of the operational expense of running a passenger railroad. Thus, rail operators who care about operating costs want to minimize manpower overhead as much as possible.
And yet, look at how much staff will be riding on trains in revenue service: two conductors, “Special Services” attendants, and two ticket punchers. Even the non-revenue trains require an on-board conductor. It is just as bad at the stations: the plan envisions ticket sellers, and possibly baggage porters and TSA security.
This level of staffing is typical of Amtrak-style operations, which are notorious for low labor productivity. It makes one wonder how this thing is supposed to achieve operational profitability.