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PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 14:22:35 2012

I get out to the Bay Area once a year or so on work related trips and each time I always make sure to include a ride on the Caltran Caltrain that runs between San Jose and San Francisco. Like I have said before it is easily the best commuter operation west of the Mississippi that was rebuilt in 2005 with new track, signals and a peak period express service that cuts 30 minutes off the normal trip time and completed the 50 mile journey with only 3 or 4 intermediate stops. Furthermore, the use of gallery cars provides a superb railfan view, although it is now quite frequently marred by bug splat.

Anyway this would be by 4th "survey" style photo set of the Caltrain system starting out from the Milbrae Station, which connects with the San Francisco International Airport, heading to San Jose then taking the train all the way back to San Francisco. Since I had already completed my standard def video compilation of the line I opted for only a few short clips on the return trip which is generally too backlit for standard photography at 4:30 in the afternoon.

New this year was an extended wait at the Millbrae station because BART eliminated the direct SFO to Millbrae connection during the day instead forcing people to connect with a Red Line train at San Bruno that in turn caused me to miss the hourly headway southbound Caltrain by 2 or 3 minutes. Yup, it seems like even out west public transit agencies can't seem to co-ordinate their schedules.

Anyway, you can view the entire set of photos here. What differentiates this set from those that came before is that I FINALLY got sunny weather for the initial southbound trip.

We begin at San Francisco International Airport where I get to sit around while a poorly scheduled BART service is screwing me out of my Caltrain connection. Here we see a 'C' car #430 sitting at the outbound end of the stub terminal.



After getting off BART, which is practically useless to railfan we see the still newish Millbrae intermodal transportation center, which was constructed in conjunction with the Caltrain rebuild and BART extension to the airport.



The granite benches were pretty cool with various images of rail transportation etched into them.



While burning through my small-large lateness penalty I managed to photograph Rohr 'A' car #1263, which are rather uncommon outside of peak periods. The streamlined nosecone of the 'A' cars are a BART trademark which have been increasingly marginalized since the delivery of the flat cabbed 'C' cars, that are preferred due to their ability to be used in the middle of a consist. This car was originally numbered 263, but had a 1 added when it was rebuilt with AC traction in the 1990s.



Being extremely bored I wandered over to the old Southern Pacific train station which is now a local transportation museum.



On display was some old signaling equipment and some locomotive controls...you know...for kids.



After about 40 minutes a "Baby Bullet" trainset finally showed up with Bombardier split-level #115 leading and MP36PH-3C #923 providing power on the rear.



Here is a photo of #923.



Finally after nearly an hour a southsound set of Gallery cars arrived with F40PH-2CAT #904 providing power.



Once on the road my train encountered #919 pushing another local northbound south of San Carlos.



Finally got a nice sunny picture of the truss bridge at Palo Alto.



Here we see some VTA LRV's at the Mountain View Station.



Another Baby Bullet trainset with #924 at Sunnyvale.



Crews were out building the new platform and pedestrian duckunder at Santa Clara. The new plotform which has since opened will eliminate the older holdout style platform as well as allow ACE and Amtrak trains to make stops here.



#907 is in the wash stall at the Caltrain San Jose maintenance depot.



#920 and some friends are hanging out in the layover yard for the evening rush. Trains like these used to layup at the San Jose station, but the storage yard there is being converted into new station platforms.



Here we see the two new platforms being constructed adjacent to gallery cab car #4026. Caltrain is installing stunted mast signals at the end of the station tracks instead of the more sensible dwarf signals present on the existing tracks.



#904 again after having pulled into San Jose on track 3.



Amtrak Superliner cab car #8303 laying up on station track #4 on the head of a Capitol Corridor trainset.



Skipping ahead a few hours I returned to find Amtrak P59PHI providing power for another Capitol Corridor trainset this time accepting passengers on track 1.



Caltrain #920 was now on track 3 with the 4:24 departing northbound "baby bullet" express train. This train is special because it makes baby bullet stops, but uses gallery car equipment with a railfan window.



Amtrak Superliner cab car #6963 on the head of that Capitol Corridor train on track #1.



For my trip north I would be on Cab Car #4008 which is equipped to hold a great many bicycles.



The Amtrak trainset pulled out just a minute or two ahead of us on track one. Here you can see the Clear indication on our track #3 drawf signal. The Amtrak train was getting an Advance Approach on its signal on the gantry at CP-JULIAN.



We on the other hand had a Clear indication on the same signal bridge, shown here framing a Southwest 737 on final approach to San Jose international.



The original Caltrain engine #900 waiting for a track slot at San Jose after having pulled out of the yard.



The extreme backlighting compromised the quality of all of my late afternoon northbound pictures, however video was less affected so here is a short clip taken through the Santa Clara terminal area showing the new platform work there.



Here we see the run on the southern 4-track segment that was constructed to allow express trains to pass locals. Each segment is about 4 or so miles long.



Here we are passing a southbound train with #922 south of San Carlos.



Here we are just north of San Mateo passing southbound #903.



After a little while the train running ahead of us was delayed so we became stuck running on signals for the northern half of the trip. Here we are, crawling along as we are passed by southbound Baby Bullet with #924 at Burlingame.



Riding his tail was a local or limited with #901 on point passing our train around milepost 15. Note the advance approach signal in the first few seconds indicating our train is still stuck behind that local.



You can see the frequency of peak period service as we pass yet another southbound train with #916 in the San Bruno station area.



To help expand capacity a new crossover called CP-BRUNO was under construction north of the San Bruno station. The signals were in place and functional (with LED lamps), but the interlocking was still not fully in service. Again note the Advance Approach signal.



In this last video we see the entire northern 4-track section along with that irritating local that had been delaying my train so long finally pulled over to let us pass. This clip covers the entire segment from CP-SIERRA to 22nd St station which had been interrupted twice before on previous video attempts due to battery or memory card issues. The voices you hear belong to some hippie types that had been standing behind me since Menlo Park. Second half of the clip features the tunnel section of the line including the passing of a southbound train in the tunnel.



Pulling into the 4th and King Street Station in San Francisco we pass the famous Southern Pacific style cantilever mast complete with searchlight signals...



Pneumatically operated double slip switches...



A Budd SPV which apparently can still function in a self propelled fashion along with the Caltrain cabeese....



...and some adorable little searchlight signals.



Finally before reaching the bumper block we pass one more trainset this time with #913 in the lead.



Well I hope you enjoyed this little trip on Caltrain. Next week its time for your daily recommended dose of vitamin Double C, as in Cable Car.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by chud1 on Sun Mar 18 14:38:54 2012, in response to PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 14:22:35 2012.

A+ om da pics, videos and narration.
chud1

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Dutchrailnut on Sun Mar 18 14:45:15 2012, in response to PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 14:22:35 2012.

The SPV car is former FRA car T-10 (a geometry car).

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV


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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 15:10:54 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Dutchrailnut on Sun Mar 18 14:45:15 2012.

I thought so but I wasn't certain. Isn't there another FRA or USDoT owned SPV running around somewhere?

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by salaamallah@hotmail.com on Sun Mar 18 15:13:12 2012, in response to PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 14:22:35 2012.

very nice photos

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by italianstallion on Sun Mar 18 15:24:54 2012, in response to PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 14:22:35 2012.

Nice. They've done a great job with that little 50-mile run from SF to SJ.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by WillD on Sun Mar 18 15:36:37 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by italianstallion on Sun Mar 18 15:24:54 2012.

And much better things are still to come in the next decade:



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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Dutchrailnut on Sun Mar 18 16:13:01 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 15:10:54 2012.

nope this ex T-10 is it, last of 31 SPV's build bu Budd company.
T-10 was 8th car build, after the demo unit and 6 cars for Morroco's royal train

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Dutchrailnut on Sun Mar 18 16:14:13 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by WillD on Sun Mar 18 15:36:37 2012.

maybe, possibly, but not for certain ;-)

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by 167t on Sun Mar 18 16:14:42 2012, in response to PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 14:22:35 2012.

It's an amazingly impressive operation! Did you happen to notice if the "unpatched" SP GP38 is still around at 22nd Street?

Also: Caltrain can be heard live on RailroadRadio.net

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 16:20:44 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by WillD on Sun Mar 18 15:36:37 2012.

Ha ha, keep dreaming. Fist new equipment like that costs money which California can't print and why would I want to rude in some bullshit EMU that I can't see out the front on? At that point I might as well ride BART.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by WillD on Sun Mar 18 16:26:06 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Dutchrailnut on Sun Mar 18 16:14:13 2012.

Of course. But the new HSR business plan does include a billion dollars for improvements to the SF and LA approaches from the initial operating segment. Chances are Caltrain will be running under the wire a while before the HSR system is up and running.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by WillD on Sun Mar 18 16:40:13 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 16:20:44 2012.

Fist new equipment like that costs money which California can't print

It's a hell of a lot cheaper than adding lanes to the Bay Shore and Junipero Serra freeways. Or would you prefer we expand highways so you can keep your precious railfan window?

why would I want to rude in some bullshit EMU that I can't see out the front on?

Because it slashes travel times by as much as a half hour over Caltrain's status quo for a local between SF and Tamien. That is ultimately what matters to commuters.

At that point I might as well ride BART.

What was that you said about California not having the ability to print money? Why would you suggest an alternative which is enormously more expensive for the Caltrain corridor if you're looking to reduce costs?

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by R 36 ML 9542 on Sun Mar 18 16:52:14 2012, in response to PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 14:22:35 2012.

Excellent footage/pics!!!!

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 16:58:12 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by WillD on Sun Mar 18 16:40:13 2012.

It's a hell of a lot cheaper than adding lanes to the Bay Shore and Junipero Serra freeways. Or would you prefer we expand highways so you can keep your precious railfan window?

It's called none of the above. Stick a fork in California, its done.

Because it slashes travel times by as much as a half hour over Caltrain's status quo for a local between SF and Tamien. That is ultimately what matters to commuters.

They could also add more express service which also cuts half an hour off the running time. I have now been fucked twice by those hourly daytime headways. If they are going to spend money, spend it first on increasing the number of trains

What was that you said about California not having the ability to print money? Why would you suggest an alternative which is enormously more expensive for the Caltrain corridor if you're looking to reduce costs?

Because it already exists to both SFO and Oakland and has been funded to San Jose. Now the credit card is maxed out with those projects there is little need to rebuild the Caltrain line again. Anyway your little electrified grade separated pipe dream will cost just as much as BART so why bother maintaining two systems at that point.

Anyway, BART learned its lesson with MUs that can only work in the leading or trailing position. Let's hope the Caltrain planners will learn from history and purchase vehicles that can be coupled and passed through mid-train so they don't have to run 6-8 car trainsets all day.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by WillD on Sun Mar 18 17:53:01 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 16:58:12 2012.

It's called none of the above. Stick a fork in California, its done.

It's also the largest single economy in the US, the ninth largest in the world if taken independently of the US. California's fiscal troubles are solely the responsibility of their foolish property tax laws which restrict revenue for schools and municipalities. Deferring needed infrastructure improvements into the future only ensures we pay that much more money. But hey, I guess whatever it takes to make sure you can play armchair engineer a few more years.

They could also add more express service which also cuts half an hour off the running time. I have now been fucked twice by those hourly daytime headways. If they are going to spend money, spend it first on increasing the number of trains

Great, so we're going to blow Caltrain's scarce operational funds running more trains without the operational savings electrification would provide. If you want to do away with Caltrain that's about the easiest way to accomplish that.

Because it already exists to both SFO and Oakland and has been funded to San Jose.

... on the wrong side of the Bay. That does nothing to close the 54 mile gap between Millbrae and San Jose that will exist after BART is extended to San Jose. Using BART's Warm Springs extension's $164 million/mile extension that comes to $8.9 billion to extend BART from Millbrae to San Jose (without cars). By comparison Caltrain's latest electrification can be completed for $470 million for the infrastructure, plus around $300 million for the rolling stock. For less than a tenth the cost electrifying Caltrain allows them to maintain the existing local/express service (something BART would do away with) increase speeds, and prepare the corridor for the eventual connection to the high speed rail system.

Anyway your little electrified grade separated pipe dream will cost just as much as BART so why bother maintaining two systems at that point.

As was indicated above, there's an order of magnitude difference between the cost of extending BART and the outlay to electrify Caltrain. It's also worth noting that an electrified Caltrain will not necessarily be fully grade separated right off the bat. That program would be undertaken as required by traffic and the expansion of high speed rail on the corridor. The latest blended HSR/Caltrain plans even indicate that the HSTs could be operating on the corridor over grade crossings in the first few years of operation. Of course now that the FRA has confirmed the UIC EMUs Caltrain proposes to to purchase are functionally identical to the extant Caltrain rolling stock in a collision there is no real requirement to grade separate the line before HSR will utilize it.

Anyway, BART learned its lesson with MUs that can only work in the leading or trailing position. Let's hope the Caltrain planners will learn from history and purchase vehicles that can be coupled and passed through mid-train so they don't have to run 6-8 car trainsets all day.

Why? The problem with BART was that they clung to the US's foolish use of single and married pair cars. They would have been much better off ordering most of their cars in 4 car sets with a few pairs or singles to round out longer trains. Caltrain will likely receive four car, permanently coupled trains.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 18:26:47 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by WillD on Sun Mar 18 17:53:01 2012.

It's also the largest single economy in the US, the ninth largest in the world if taken independently of the US. California's fiscal troubles are solely the responsibility of their foolish property tax laws which restrict revenue for schools and municipalities. Deferring needed infrastructure improvements into the future only ensures we pay that much more money. But hey, I guess whatever it takes to make sure you can play armchair engineer a few more years.

They aren't going to repeal Prop 13 or fix their dysfunctional government any time soon. All your little dreams of a European rail fantasy camp on this side of the Atlantic are not going to happen, deal with it.

Great, so we're going to blow Caltrain's scarce operational funds running more trains without the operational savings electrification would provide. If you want to do away with Caltrain that's about the easiest way to accomplish that.

What operational savings? The maintaining the centenary kind? for The type of service Caltrain offers diesel will be the cheapest option. Hell, even on the east coast commuter rail operators run diesel under wire because all things considered it turns out to be cheaper. Why do you think there has been so many mostly failed efforts into Dual Mode locomotives? Is NJT, LIRR, MNRR, etc all looking for a way to pay more in operational costs? No, they are required to run electrics because of tunnels etc and want to find a way to keep as much of their systems diesel as they can. Electrification has many advantages, but cheaper operations hasn't been one of them since the days of steam.

... on the wrong side of the Bay. That does nothing to close the 54 mile gap between Millbrae and San Jose that will exist after BART is extended to San Jose. Using BART's Warm Springs extension's $164 million/mile extension that comes to $8.9 billion to extend BART from Millbrae to San Jose (without cars). By comparison Caltrain's latest electrification can be completed for $470 million for the infrastructure, plus around $300 million for the rolling stock. For less than a tenth the cost electrifying Caltrain allows them to maintain the existing local/express service (something BART would do away with) increase speeds, and prepare the corridor for the eventual connection to the high speed rail system.

They could also just not do anything and use the 400 million to pay down the state's massive debt. When you're broke, you don't get new things.

Why? The problem with BART was that they clung to the US's foolish use of single and married pair cars. They would have been much better off ordering most of their cars in 4 car sets with a few pairs or singles to round out longer trains. Caltrain will likely receive four car, permanently coupled trains.

If you can't pass through all open cars then you can't have platforms where only some of the cars platform not to mention it makes finding a seat harder as well as staffing the cars with ticket inspectors. Why do you insist on trying to re-make the US passenger rail system as some form of rapid transit?!?! The whole point of choosing commuter rail is that it doesn't feel like the New York City Subway. Moreover, running something like the New York City subway is highly expensive, even if it may attract more riders. Europe works because of massive government subsidy and a public policy of making road transport far more expensive than it naturally would be. They can pull hole trainsets from service they are given money to buy extras or money to do preventative maintenance. Their rights of way are tailored to match the rolling stock, highly groomed and electrified. Yes, its all great, but it sucks down money like a hoover.

If I could trust Caltrain not to do something retarded like buy European MU trainsets I'd generally supportive of some electrification plan (I don't live in CA after all so its not my money), but no, someone like you got to them and they're going to end up with a fleet of prima donna equipment that will change Caltrain's cost and operating structure from Railroad to Rapid Transit.

Thank god Metra did things right by just sticking a pantograph on a gallery car.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Sand Box John on Sun Mar 18 20:36:26 2012, in response to PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 14:22:35 2012.

How long has bart been putting the car numbers on the roof?



I know many transit agencies do this with their buses but I know of no other transit agency that put numbers on the roofs of their light rail and or subway cars.

John in the sand box of Maryland's eastern shore.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 20:47:27 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Sand Box John on Sun Mar 18 20:36:26 2012.

I've seen that since I first went to SF in 2006.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by WillD on Sun Mar 18 20:48:23 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 18:26:47 2012.

All your little dreams of a European rail fantasy camp on this side of the Atlantic are not going to happen, deal with it.

Except that they're being enacted, with Prop 1A funds going to finance the conversion of Caltrain alongside the construction of the IOS.

What operational savings?

Come on, surely we don't have to go over such basic concepts as the amortization of installed infrastructure over a given number of trains. Yes, it costs money to maintain the catenary, but the marginal cost per train operation is reduced. If you're going to a half hourly midday express schedule alongside at least two trains per hour on the local then you're clearly utilizing the installed infrastructure to ultimately reduce the operational costs compared to diesel operations.

Hell, even on the east coast commuter rail operators run diesel under wire because all things considered it turns out to be cheaper. Why do you think there has been so many mostly failed efforts into Dual Mode locomotives?

Because our acquisition program holds the reduction in capital costs above the operational savings the higher purchase price may avert. That's why we've wound up with so many BRT systems even though LRT results in lower operational costs.

No, they are required to run electrics because of tunnels etc and want to find a way to keep as much of their systems diesel as they can. Electrification has many advantages, but cheaper operations hasn't been one of them since the days of steam.

Completely and utterly false. Even GO Transit has worked out that they would save money by electrifying the Lake Shore and Georgetown routes *without* changing the schedules.

They could also just not do anything and use the 400 million to pay down the state's massive debt. When you're broke, you don't get new things.

Which again means they just get to spend more money in the future. With interest rates being dirt cheap and unemployment being high there's no reason not to build the infrastructure we'll need to move our economy forward now. Four hundred million dollars will not amount to a significant savings in California's budget deficit, but it will enable savings from other areas which would have a bigger impact on their deficit (expanding the 101 and 280 for example).

If you can't pass through all open cars then you can't have platforms where only some of the cars platform

The ADA has already decreed that wheelchair bound passengers must be provided a level boarding position at all points along the train. Mini-highs, lifts, partial platforms, and all the rest are now out. As such your objection applies equally to any other new-build commuter system and your point is moot.

not to mention it makes finding a seat harde

Which is why the new EMUs will carry more people than the Gallery cars they replace.

as well as staffing the cars with ticket inspectors

They already do POP. With any luck they'll transition to OPTO + POP with the new rolling stock and really save some money.

Europe works because of massive government subsidy and a public policy of making road transport far more expensive than it naturally would be.

But the Europeans' expenditure on a per-passenger basis is less. Caltrain is on the very edge of what it can economically convey during rush hour. Expanding their current operation to keep up with demand would destroy what little margin they may have in their operational budget.

They can pull hole trainsets from service they are given money to buy extras or money to do preventative maintenance. Their rights of way are tailored to match the rolling stock, highly groomed and electrified. Yes, its all great, but it sucks down money like a hoover.

And Caltrain proposed to operate 4 to 6 TPH during off peak hours on their line. That's more service than most European commuter lines see during midday hours, so even if we accept your ludicrous caricature of the European infrastructure they'll be getting more use out of those tracks and again, offsetting what you erroneously claim to be higher infrastructure support costs.

someone like you got to them and they're going to end up with a fleet of prima donna equipment that will change Caltrain's cost and operating structure from Railroad to Rapid Transit.

Yes, to lower operational costs.

Thank god Metra did things right by just sticking a pantograph on a gallery car.

Yes, and their operational cost per passenger mile has climbed steadily over the past five years. They're doing the exact wrong thing if you want to reduce costs.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Sand Box John on Sun Mar 18 21:09:56 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 20:47:27 2012.

I've seen that since I first went to SF in 2006.

When I was there in 1990 I didn't notice them, but then I was never in a position to see the tops of the cars.

Do you know of any other agency that put the car numbers on the roof?

John in the sand box of Maryland's eastern shore.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Easy on Sun Mar 18 21:50:43 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Sand Box John on Sun Mar 18 21:09:56 2012.

Do you know of any other agency that put the car numbers on the roof?

LAPD


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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Sun Mar 18 21:55:54 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Sand Box John on Sun Mar 18 20:36:26 2012.

years and years. long enough that it was done when cars had 3 digit ## I believe.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Sun Mar 18 21:56:43 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Easy on Sun Mar 18 21:50:43 2012.

AC Transit buses, and SF Muni IINM.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 22:15:56 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by WillD on Sun Mar 18 20:48:23 2012.

Except that they're being enacted, with Prop 1A funds going to finance the conversion of Caltrain alongside the construction of the IOS.

Unless that comes with a revenue source don't believe anything one of those voter approved "props" enact. The good citizens have been cutting taxes and approving mega projects for decades now.

Come on, surely we don't have to go over such basic concepts as the amortization of installed infrastructure over a given number of trains. Yes, it costs money to maintain the catenary, but the marginal cost per train operation is reduced. If you're going to a half hourly midday express schedule alongside at least two trains per hour on the local then you're clearly utilizing the installed infrastructure to ultimately reduce the operational costs compared to diesel operations.

Then why isn't every commuter railroad looking to electrify? Why is NJT buying dual modes? Why is the MBTA and MARC running diesels under wire? Perhaps the cost of MU's is a bit more than the cost of diesel push-pull trains.

Because our acquisition program holds the reduction in capital costs above the operational savings the higher purchase price may avert. That's why we've wound up with so many BRT systems even though LRT results in lower operational costs.

So now Buses cost more to operate than light rail vehicles? Last I checked you can stop maintaining a road and the bus won't derail. Buses can run line of sight and don't need an electric power supply system. On wait, in Europe the state provides all of that pesky infrastructure free of charge!

Completely and utterly false. Even GO Transit has worked out that they would save money by electrifying the Lake Shore and Georgetown routes *without* changing the schedules.

Then why haven't they? Proof of the pudding is in the eating. If electrification was such a big money saver we would have seen much more of it in the last 50 decades.

Which is why the new EMUs will carry more people than the Gallery cars they replace.

Not when cars load unevenly. There are plenty of seats today, the problem is getting stuck in the part of the train where everyone else has chosen to sit. That's why passing through helps.

They already do POP. With any luck they'll transition to OPTO + POP with the new rolling stock and really save some money.

The FRA already nixed OPTO then Frontrunner tried to do it so nice try. Anyway the LA Metro tried to get away with low enforcement level POP and they got burned. Eventually people will learn they can just beat the system at will. Today everyone riding Caltrain gets their ticket checked for most rides which is a pretty good system. To do that you need ticket inspectors that can rome freely about the train without needing to jump between the blind ends.

But the Europeans' expenditure on a per-passenger basis is less. Caltrain is on the very edge of what it can economically convey during rush hour. Expanding their current operation to keep up with demand would destroy what little margin they may have in their operational budget.

The expenditure is less because the trains have a higher utilization, especially in the off peak times. caltrain can easily expand capacity by simply taking on new Gallery cars or buying other used rolling stock. That's the beauty of locomotive hauled services, it the marginal costs of capacity is very low.

And Caltrain proposed to operate 4 to 6 TPH during off peak hours on their line. That's more service than most European commuter lines see during midday hours, so even if we accept your ludicrous caricature of the European infrastructure they'll be getting more use out of those tracks and again, offsetting what you erroneously claim to be higher infrastructure support costs.

If they aren't doing that now they aren't going to do it with MU's. A diesel locomotive trainset today does not have significantly different operating costs compared to MUs, and its probably cheaper if you factor in all the associated infrastructure costs. All the fiddly bits that can go wrong are contained in a single unit with diesel push pull. With MU's all the cars have parts that can go wrong and need to be maintained, not to mention the 92 day inspections etc. MU's are cheaper than steam locomotives, that's why railroads electrified in the 20's and 30's, but since then they are not cheaper than push pull services. MU's have higher performance and can support higher capacity, but it increases the costs to move those people.

Caltrain's best option is to electrify and then use push-pull electric locomotives with the existing gallery car stock, plus any additional stock they happen to pick up. With the ALP-44s available they can have a whole electrified service up and running for almost no money. If NJT can move the NEC crowds using push-pulls Caltrain can do the same.

Yes, and their operational cost per passenger mile has climbed steadily over the past five years. They're doing the exact wrong thing if you want to reduce costs.

Um...how is that attributable to their new MU cars? And are you claiming that if they got some Eurotrash MU's (that would probably freeze solid if they got close to a real winter) their costs would somehow magically come down?

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by #5 - Dyre Ave on Sun Mar 18 22:36:10 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Sand Box John on Sun Mar 18 20:36:26 2012.

Here in NYC, the R142, R143 and R160 cars have the numbers on the roofs

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by J trainloco on Sun Mar 18 23:09:21 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 18:26:47 2012.

The whole point of choosing commuter rail is that it doesn't feel like the New York City Subway. Moreover,running something like the New York City subway is highly expensive,even if it may attract more riders.

One doesn't choose to implement commuter rail because they 'don't want it to feel like NYCS.' Your disdain for NYCS aside, its cost per passenger-mile is significantly lower than commuter rail operations and even other rapid transit systems.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by WillD on Sun Mar 18 23:25:23 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 22:15:56 2012.

Unless that comes with a revenue source don't believe anything one of those voter approved "props" enact. The good citizens have been cutting taxes and approving mega projects for decades now.

It was a proposition to allow the sale of bonds to build the initial phases of the HSR project, so yes it has a revenue source.

Then why isn't every commuter railroad looking to electrify? Why is NJT buying dual modes? Why is the MBTA and MARC running diesels under wire? Perhaps the cost of MU's is a bit more than the cost of diesel push-pull trains.

I already said why. We hold the operational savings to be less worthwhile than the capital savings, even when the operational savings will amount to a lower lifetime cost. NJT had plans to fully electrify their system, in part to reduce operational costs, before Warrington came in and ruined it. In any event on the NEC Amtrak's fairly punishing power-at-pantograph metering is enough to reduce the operational cost savings that the commuter lines otherwise would achieve.

So now Buses cost more to operate than light rail vehicles? Last I checked you can stop maintaining a road and the bus won't derail. Buses can run line of sight and don't need an electric power supply system. On wait, in Europe the state provides all of that pesky infrastructure free of charge!

I'm not sure if you understand this, but when we build things, we don't exactly plan on how they'll perform if we don't maintain them. In terms of infrastructure the LRT tracks will last much longer and provide a superior ride quality over a longer time than pavement continually being subjected to the weight of a bus.

But the real killers of a bus as compared to an LRT are in terms of its lower capacity per operator and far higher energy costs. LRTs simply provide superior operational costs per passenger than buses. But again, because we hold capital cost savings as being more valuable than the operational cost savings we end up building BRT systems and ultimately spending more money.

Then why haven't they?

They're working on it. Give them a few years.

If electrification was such a big money saver we would have seen much more of it in the last 50 decades.

Oil glut.

Not when cars load unevenly. There are plenty of seats today, the problem is getting stuck in the part of the train where everyone else has chosen to sit. That's why passing through helps.

Chances are Caltrain would operate a maximum of 8 to 12 TPH during rush hour. To that end they'd be well positioned to operate trains consisting of 8 cars composed of two four car sets. That'd also fit well with their off peak 4 to 6 TPH schedule. During off peak hours the entire train would be fully capable of being walked from one end to another. Peak hour operation would place the impassable point on the train at the center of the platforms, thereby spreading the passenger load, normally concentrated at the center of the platform, across the two trainsets.

Anyway the LA Metro tried to get away with low enforcement level POP and they got burned.

Except that they didn't. The conclusion that locking the fare gates resulted in an increase in revenue does not logically follow when many of the passengers using those stations were transferring from bus lines and would not have paid a fare anyway.

Today everyone riding Caltrain gets their ticket checked for most rides which is a pretty good system.

Which is already POP. If you'd stopped to ask the ticket inspectors you'd find that they are assigned to check tickets within a three to four car set.

The expenditure is less because the trains have a higher utilization, especially in the off peak times.

Then do they need the 2TPH midday express run or not?

caltrain can easily expand capacity by simply taking on new Gallery cars or buying other used rolling stock. That's the beauty of locomotive hauled services, it the marginal costs of capacity is very low.

The marginal capital cost may be low, but the marginal operational cost is MUCH greater than Caltrain's electrified EMU operation.

If they aren't doing that now they aren't going to do it with MU's. A diesel locomotive trainset today does not have significantly different operating costs compared to MUs, and its probably cheaper if you factor in all the associated infrastructure costs.

Again, are you incapable of reading? The GO electrification studies and Caltrain 2025 studies are unambiguous in their statement that diesel hauled trains are significantly more expensive than the electric trains they propose to operate, even with the infrastructure costs.

With MU's all the cars have parts that can go wrong and need to be maintained, not to mention the 92 day inspections etc.

Except that they get down the line as much as a half hour faster than a diesel hauled trainset, which means you're operating fewer trains to provide an equivalent or greater level of service on the line.

MU's are cheaper than steam locomotives, that's why railroads electrified in the 20's and 30's, but since then they are not cheaper than push pull services. MU's have higher performance and can support higher capacity, but it increases the costs to move those people.

Again, the numbers clearly show that the EXACT opposite is the case.

Caltrain's best option is to electrify and then use push-pull electric locomotives with the existing gallery car stock, plus any additional stock they happen to pick up. With the ALP-44s available they can have a whole electrified service up and running for almost no money. If NJT can move the NEC crowds using push-pulls Caltrain can do the same.

The locomotive hauled train's performance is not nearly as great as the EMU and thus the operational savings over the diesel trainset are not as great. Caltrain cannot afford to electrify AND go with a solution which does not result in the greatest operational savings.

Um...how is that attributable to their new MU cars?

If they'd purchased some more rational EMUs then maybe their operational costs would have held flat rather than steadily rising.

some Eurotrash MU's (that would probably freeze solid if they got close to a real winter)

Sure, what could the Europeans like Norway, Sweden, or Switzerland possibly know about a real winter?

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Sand Box John on Sun Mar 18 23:34:08 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jackson Park B Train on Sun Mar 18 21:55:54 2012.

years and years. long enough that it was done when cars had 3 digit ## I believe.

Thank You.

John in the sand box of Maryland's eastern shore.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Sand Box John on Sun Mar 18 23:34:50 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by #5 - Dyre Ave on Sun Mar 18 22:36:10 2012.

Here in NYC, the R142, R143 and R160 cars have the numbers on the roofs

Thank You.

John in the sand box of Maryland's eastern shore.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by mshull on Sun Mar 18 23:38:49 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Sand Box John on Sun Mar 18 20:36:26 2012.


R160B N 8807 entering Coney Island on Track B.


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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Sand Box John on Sun Mar 18 23:39:40 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jackson Park B Train on Sun Mar 18 21:56:43 2012.

AC Transit buses, and SF Muni IINM.

I am aware that many transit agencies put numbers on the roof of buses, WMATA also being one, however WMATA doesn't put numbers on the roofs of the rail cars.

John in the sand box of Maryland's eastern shore.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Sand Box John on Sun Mar 18 23:52:43 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Easy on Sun Mar 18 21:50:43 2012.

Rail cars belonging to transit agencies was what I was looking for.

John in the sand box of Maryland's eastern shore.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Sand Box John on Sun Mar 18 23:53:52 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by mshull on Sun Mar 18 23:38:49 2012.

Thank You.

John in the sand box of Maryland's eastern shore.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Jersey Mike on Mon Mar 19 00:46:26 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by J trainloco on Sun Mar 18 23:09:21 2012.

But what is it revenue per mile? Commuter rail is a premium product that can command premium prices.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Spider-Pig on Mon Mar 19 02:13:08 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by J trainloco on Sun Mar 18 23:09:21 2012.

Operationally yes, but what about capital costs?

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by jace on Mon Mar 19 09:55:32 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by WillD on Sun Mar 18 15:36:37 2012.

Not so sure about the next decade, maybe by 2030 since that's the current projected completion date of the phase I blended portion of CAHSR.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by J trainloco on Mon Mar 19 12:23:12 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Spider-Pig on Mon Mar 19 02:13:08 2012.

Capital costs compared per mode can't really be fairly compared. Within each mode there are extreme variations. For example, what is the cost per mile for East Side Access or ARC versus what it cost to start up a new commuter service in Charlotte?

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by J trainloco on Mon Mar 19 12:25:58 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Mon Mar 19 00:46:26 2012.

Commuter rail commands higher prices because of the distance it travels. I'm sure that it's revenue on a per-mile basis is probably not too different from Rapid Transit. I don't have figures for it, but the high turnover and short distances travelled might even make rapid transit a higher grossing mode of transport than even commuter rail.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by JohnnyMints on Mon Mar 19 13:37:30 2012, in response to PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 14:22:35 2012.

Excellent photos and narrative! Well done.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Jersey Mike on Mon Mar 19 14:25:52 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by J trainloco on Mon Mar 19 12:25:58 2012.

I'm not opposed to rapid transit in a rapid transit context. I'm opposed to turning commuter rail into rapid transit like Will would like to see happen.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Spider-Pig on Mon Mar 19 17:00:12 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by J trainloco on Mon Mar 19 12:23:12 2012.

But rapid transit has certain minima that need to be met while commuter rail doesn't. So if you need to build a tunnel through a densely built-up city center, there's no cost advantage to commuter rail, but there is when you have an existing surface ROW through a low-density area.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Mon Mar 19 18:31:02 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Mon Mar 19 14:25:52 2012.

I'm opposed to turning commuter rail into rapid transit like Will would like to see happen.

In contrast, I look at the rapid transitization of commuter rail as the ability to bring BART and to a lesser extent WMATA levels of service* to more of the suburbs without the full blown ATO and grade separation of modern rapid transit, or the questionable multi-track layout of a downtown terminal, while also reducing the opportunity costs of suburban riders to travel to the core, or for urban workers to travel to the suburbs for work. As I read your arguments, I'm left with the feeling that under your regime, we're left with either traditional North American commuter rail with limited service or if we want anything better, we end up having to go with a full blown Stadtbahn system to get single person operation and frequent service or BART/SkyTrain if you want ATO.

*Or in an interesting argument, instead of PATCO replacing the PRSL service, the PRSL service just gets improved with PATCO levels of service and lightweight rolling stock with a tunnel into Centre City while the bridge alignment gets re-purposes for say, light rail into urban Camden County.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by orange blossom special on Mon Mar 19 18:40:35 2012, in response to PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 14:22:35 2012.

I guess being a joy to work with has it's perks, you get sent across the country to various places.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by J trainloco on Mon Mar 19 18:42:32 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Mon Mar 19 14:25:52 2012.

I agree with you that rapid transit only works in areas where density supports it. I guess the question is whther or not it makes sense for commuter rail equipment to continue to mimic long-haul passenger equipment, or for it to be something else entirely.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by J trainloco on Mon Mar 19 19:02:56 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Spider-Pig on Mon Mar 19 17:00:12 2012.

That's true, but again, an apples to apples comparison cannot be made. Rapid transit's costs are higher due to a more robust signal system and closely spaced stations. But those costs can be relative to the chosen signal system and how often we place stations. The same factors can come into play with commuter rail. Is the commuter rail utilizing high platforms? Is it electrified? What kind of headway will we expect to achieve? All these questions factor in to the cost.



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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Spider-Pig on Mon Mar 19 19:42:10 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by J trainloco on Mon Mar 19 19:02:56 2012.

Yes, but things like an advanced signal system, high platforms and grade separation are an absolute must for rapid transit. So yes, if you are going for those features, the advantage of commuter rail erodes, but if you can build without them, only commuter rail gets it done.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by WillD on Mon Mar 19 20:23:01 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Mon Mar 19 14:25:52 2012.

I'm opposed to turning commuter rail into rapid transit like Will would like to see happen.

Except that it's not becoming rapid transit any more than the NEC is rapid transit. It will still be commuter rail, just commuter rail that is significantly improved from the passenger's standpoint.

Even if we were to accept your ludicrous premise, then why is that a bad thing? You have singularly failed to make the case that there would be a significant increase in operational costs which Caltrain has thus far not accounted for. No comfort is being sacrificed by going to the UIC EMUs and indeed they'll provide significantly more convenient service on a budget far more economical than a BART or LRT extension.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by WillD on Mon Mar 19 20:58:45 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by jace on Mon Mar 19 09:55:32 2012.

The latest change to the business plan hinted at by the current head of the CHSRA indicates they will allocate around a billion dollars to accelerate the upgrade of Caltrain. With any luck they'll go with ECTS Level II right off the bat and dump the redundant CBOSS thing Caltrain has pursued to this point.

But with the Caltrain corridor electrified earlier in the project service from the Central Valley to San Fran need only wait for the mountain crossing. IMHO Altamont, particularly the alignment laid out by the French engineering firm Setec, is looking like a better alternative than Pacheco. It's unfortunate that Metrolink has been at best apathetic to the efforts of the high speed rail authority because it makes the Sylmar-LAUPT segment a bit useless before crossing either Tehachapi or Tejon.

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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Mon Mar 19 22:42:49 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by WillD on Mon Mar 19 20:23:01 2012.

half a century ago the vaunted Standard RR of the World was also called the Big Red Subway

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