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  #1801  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2021, 8:09 PM
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Originally Posted by homebucket View Post
That's it as far as expanding BART in that area I guess? The electrification of Caltrain makes it similar in service, if I am not mistaken. VTA services a large area too.
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  #1802  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2021, 8:44 PM
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I don't think there are any active plans to connect BART up to Milbrae. The San Mateo County and Peninsula NIMBYs made sure of that a long time ago. It would be nice of course to have a single system complete connection, so passengers wouldn't need to transfer at say Diridon Station from BART to Caltrain. But yes, with electrification, Caltrain will be faster, with increased frequency of service, and quicker start/stop.
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  #1803  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2021, 9:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TWAK View Post
That's it as far as expanding BART in that area I guess? The electrification of Caltrain makes it similar in service, if I am not mistaken. VTA services a large area too.
As shown here, the final BART San Jose extension connects it to CalTrain/HSR at Diridon Station, allowing cross-platforming for a complete circle of the Bay. No need for additional BART construction northward on the west side of the Bay. And yes, you are correct, once electrified CalTain service will be similar to BART but there will probably be both local and express service from Diridon to SF.


https://futuretravel.today/bay-area-...p-ab83b22d3d8b
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  #1804  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 4:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
As shown here, the final BART San Jose extension connects it to CalTrain/HSR at Diridon Station, allowing cross-platforming for a complete circle of the Bay. No need for additional BART construction northward on the west side of the Bay. And yes, you are correct, once electrified CalTain service will be similar to BART but there will probably be both local and express service from Diridon to SF.
It would be good for the BART infrastructure to have a loop, and they built a very nice wye. It's not actually realistic though, I don't think, just because of how expensive it usually is. It's cheaper to electrify standard gauge so they should stick with the E-BART system from now on for any future expansion. I wonder if they could "electrify" BART, to make it faster and get rid of the third rail.
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  #1805  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 9:01 PM
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^ Caltrain will be functionally identical to eBART once the Modernization project is complete. You even have the convenient cross-platform transfers at Millbrae and (eventually) a slightly less convenient transfer at Diridon and Santa Clara.

The real reason Caltrain can't be converted to BART is because BART isn't compatible with the HSR trains down to LA. There's only room for one rail corridor down the peninsula, and it needs to accommodate local transit and trains to other parts of the state.
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  #1806  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 11:43 PM
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I love the idea of a single agency such as BART running train service all the way around the Bay, but that won't be necessary with electrified Caltrain. The new Caltrain service will be on par in terms of speed and capacity.
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  #1807  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 6:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
The real reason Caltrain can't be converted to BART is because BART isn't compatible with the HSR trains down to LA. There's only room for one rail corridor down the peninsula, and it needs to accommodate local transit and trains to other parts of the state.
BART and Caltrain are different gauges. Back in the day, BART chose a wide gauge--wider than intercity rail (AMTRAK etc)--so BART trains couldn't run on CalTrain tracks and vice versa.

The present plan as I understand it is to run both CalTrain and HSR on the existing (but electrified) double tracking of the Peninsula rail corridor but early in the planning CA HSR planned to install its own tracks so there seems to be enough room in the right of way to have BART tracks parallel to the double tracking for CalTrain/HSR. It would be expensive, though, and not the best use of available funds. I'd rather see the southern Bay crossing (red--standard gauge--rail line crossing the Bay just north of San Jose in the map I posted above) built. Facebook promised to contribute some funds for this but not near enough to build it; mainly for design work I think. And someday there's a second BART tunnel too build.
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  #1808  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 7:01 AM
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Because San Francisco just has too much money and is looking for more places to use it and we all know Muni especially is overflowing with funds:

Quote:
Supervisor Preston wants free Muni for duration of pandemic
Advocates say SFMTA should use federal relief funds to cover lost farebox revenue
CARLY GRAF
Feb. 28, 2021 6:30 a.m.

Supervisor Dean Preston wants all Muni riders to travel for free for the duration of the ongoing public health crisis, and he’s calling on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to make it happen.

“Free Muni during the pandemic is a crucial step to restore ridership and put money in struggling San Franciscan’s pockets when they need it most,” Preston said in a statement.

The SFMTA announced last week it would provide free round-trip travel for anyone going to get their COVID-19 vaccination, a step the supervisor says he welcomed for its role in reducing barriers, promoting use of public transit and saving riders valuable dollars.

But he says limiting fee-free ridership to vaccination appointments doesn’t go nearly far enough. It still leaves healthcare workers and patients traveling to medical facilities, individuals going to coronavirus test sites and families headed to essential destinations such as the grocery store or pharmacy to pay during a persistent economic crisis.

Providing free service would alleviate a financial burden for many and encourage riders to take Muni in a time where ridership remains more than 60 percent below ordinary levels.

Many transit advocates, some of whom have argued for free Muni for years, seem to agree . . . .
https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/supe...n-of-pandemic/
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  #1809  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 1:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
The present plan as I understand it is to run both CalTrain and HSR on the existing (but electrified) double tracking of the Peninsula rail corridor but early in the planning CA HSR planned to install its own tracks so there seems to be enough room in the right of way to have BART tracks parallel to the double tracking for CalTrain/HSR.
This is not correct. The original circa-2008 hope was to expand the existing two-track conventional diesel railroad to four tracks with overhead electric, with two outside tracks dedicated to HSR and two inside tracks dedicated to Caltrains. Instead, three tracks are now planned in a "blended" service that will be pretty much the same as what four tracks can do except for during maintenance periods. All trains will stop at SFO in order to enable cuing into the Transbay Terminal, which will be accessed by a 3-track tunnel.

The reason why the capacity for both the 3-track and 4-track peninsula configurations is almost the same is because the whole thing's capacity is limited by the 6 platforms at the Transbay Terminal. By default, the HSR trains will terminate their runs in this facility, and so each will need a 30-minute turnaround time for cleaning. Meanwhile, the Caltrains commuter trains will "terminate" in San Jose or Gilroy, and so cleaning will happen there, where there is plenty of room.

When a new Transbay Tube is built, the Transbay Terminal will become a thru station, meaning the turnaround cleaning of HSR trains will happen somewhere in the East Bay, where there will be much more space. This means that HSR trains will idle at the Transbay Terminal for 5 minutes instead of 30. This will profoundly improve the capacity of the entire system.

Also, it should be pointed out that Caltrains will operate at 110mph, which is somewhat faster than BART, and that some Caltrains runs will be express or limited stop, meaning even with a transfer (or two) the planned setup will be faster than any imaginable BART setup, especially if one's destination is near the Transbay Terminal.

Last edited by jmecklenborg; Mar 2, 2021 at 3:48 PM.
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  #1810  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 2:58 PM
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Extending BART from Millbrae would be a waste of money to duplicate service that Caltrain will soon provide.

Would be nice to have double track and electrify to Gilroy in the next couple years since money will likely be available from the Feds. That will mean dealing with UP but with a different admin they might be more agreeable. Caltrain can also then retire its remaining diesels.
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  #1811  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 4:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
BART and Caltrain are different gauges. Back in the day, BART chose a wide gauge--wider than intercity rail (AMTRAK etc)--so BART trains couldn't run on CalTrain tracks and vice versa.
I don't know if that was the main reason. I always thought it had to do with the original plan to build the Marin line on the Golden Gate Bridge, and engineers thought the wider gauge would do better in the strong winds there. Perhaps though that would have also been a convenient reason to want to take over the Caltrain/Southern Pacific ROW as BART was obligated at the time to build a line down to Palo Alto.
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  #1812  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 5:33 PM
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Originally Posted by CharlesCO View Post
I don't know if that was the main reason. I always thought it had to do with the original plan to build the Marin line on the Golden Gate Bridge, and engineers thought the wider gauge would do better in the strong winds there. Perhaps though that would have also been a convenient reason to want to take over the Caltrain/Southern Pacific ROW as BART was obligated at the time to build a line down to Palo Alto.
^I have heard that the bridge thing is a myth.

My theory is that the wide gauge was chosen mainly to ensure that BART would remain a closed system - that there would not be a push to deliver freight to downtown San Francisco and downtown Oakland via the Market St. subway and transbay tube. Freight deliveries would have sacrificed passenger utility AND been competition to area railroads AND trucking companies, back when The Teamsters were a powerful political force.

Broad gauge streetcars weren't unusual in American cities - franchise agreements required broad gauge explicitly to prevent freight deliveries down city streets.

Probably the best-known example of a freight subway was in Rochester, where passengers were booted in the 1950s but freight deliveries to a downtown newspaper press continued until the mid-1990s. In Cincinnati, the never-finished subway included a multitrack underground freight depot, and a ballot issue appeared in the late 1940s to complete the depot and activate the subway exclusively for freight deliveries. The ballot issue passed but the city did not go through with the freight plan because highways became a much greater priority.

BART's inception was only 10 years removed from the Cincinnati vote (back when Cincinnati was still a prominent U.S. city, and that news likely made its way 2,000 miles west) and the passenger-to-freight conversion occurred in Rochester just as Bay Area voters went to the polls to give BART the thumbs up or thumbs down.
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  #1813  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 6:00 PM
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Also consider the era BART was being proposed. The ye olde conventional train is the last thing that was considered futurist and thus something they wanted to pursue. I think at least part of the motivation for indian gauge, along with what I believe is a true story about GGB wind concerns, was just to be different, and that unconventional approach would be sold as "novel". The flat wheels were part of this thinking as well.
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  #1814  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 6:06 PM
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I got this from the wiki and lol at "great stability and smoother riding qualities"
Quote:
The Bay Area Rapid Transit system is the only operating railroad in the United States to use 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge, with 120 miles (190 km) of double tracked routes. The original engineers chose the wide gauge for its "great stability and smoother riding qualities"[4] and intended to make a state-of-the-art system for other municipalities to emulate. The use of 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge rails was one of many unconventional design elements included in its design which, in addition to its unusual gauge, also uses flat-edge rail, rather than typical rail that angles slightly inward. This has complicated maintenance of the system, as it requires custom wheelsets, brake systems, and track maintenance vehicles
All this great stuff made it incompatible with everything else and more expensive.
source
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  #1815  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 7:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
This is not correct. The original circa-2008 hope was to expand the existing two-track conventional diesel railroad to four tracks with overhead electric, with two outside tracks dedicated to HSR and two inside tracks dedicated to Caltrains. Instead, three tracks are now planned in a "blended" service that will be pretty much the same as what four tracks can do except for during maintenance periods. All trains will stop at SFO in order to enable cuing into the Transbay Terminal, which will be accessed by a 3-track tunnel.

The reason why the capacity for both the 3-track and 4-track peninsula configurations is almost the same is because the whole thing's capacity is limited by the 6 platforms at the Transbay Terminal. By default, the HSR trains will terminate their runs in this facility, and so each will need a 30-minute turnaround time for cleaning. Meanwhile, the Caltrains commuter trains will "terminate" in San Jose or Gilroy, and so cleaning will happen there, where there is plenty of room.

When a new Transbay Tube is built, the Transbay Terminal will become a thru station, meaning the turnaround cleaning of HSR trains will happen somewhere in the East Bay, where there will be much more space. This means that HSR trains will idle at the Transbay Terminal for 5 minutes instead of 30. This will profoundly improve the capacity of the entire system.

Also, it should be pointed out that Caltrains will operate at 110mph, which is somewhat faster than BART, and that some Caltrains runs will be express or limited stop, meaning even with a transfer (or two) the planned setup will be faster than any imaginable BART setup, especially if one's destination is near the Transbay Terminal.
So you're saying 3 tracks, not the present 2 and not the initially planned 4. Got a reference for that? My understanding is that they were going to make do with the electrified status quo except for some additional sidings so the faster HSR and/or express CalTrains could pass the local CalTrains.

What you are saying means adding a third set of tracks. When are you suggesting they plan to do that?

By the way, the notion of the TransBay Terminal being a "thru station" has been suggested, along with a variety of routes to and from the station in tunnels under San Francisco, but I bet it's "pie in the sky". Due to the limitation of platforms you mention in that terminal, some Caltrains will probably still end their runs at 4th & Townsend as now.

Finally, if there was any really good reason to build BART up the Peninsula between Diridon and Milbrae, they could elevate it over the CalTain/HSR tracks of course. The neighbors would hate that, and probably sue again, but a lot of the route is elevated in East Bay towns and suburbs.
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  #1816  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 9:54 PM
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^ That's about as likely as Mark Zuckerberg apologizing for nearly wrecking humankind for ad revenue.
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  #1817  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2021, 8:06 PM
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^ That's about as likely as Mark Zuckerberg apologizing for nearly wrecking humankind for ad revenue.
Speaking of which, there was a briefly-discussed proposal to bury the Caltrains/HSR tracks through Palo Alto, a distance of 2-3 miles, at a cost of several billion dollars. There are only 6 or 7 grade crossings in Palo Alto. About 150 homes back up to the Caltrains ROW and another 100 or so sit on the other side, although buffered by Alma St.

I don't think it makes much sense to bury the line in this area for purely aesthetic purposes unless there is a commitment to build new housing - and a lot of it - directly above the tunnel, and we sure as hell know that ain't happening!
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  #1818  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2021, 3:06 AM
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A seven car train set of the Stadler KISS double deck Emus for Caltrain has been moved from Stadler's Salt Lake City plant to the TTCI test facility near Pueblo, Colorado.

https://www.railwayage.com/news/calt...r-way-to-ttci/
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  #1819  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2021, 1:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
So you're saying 3 tracks, not the present 2 and not the initially planned 4. Got a reference for that? My understanding is that they were going to make do with the electrified status quo except for some additional sidings so the faster HSR and/or express CalTrains could pass the local CalTrains.
I looked at it last night and didn't realize that the plan changed at some point in recent years. I recall watching animations of a 3-track ROW about 5 years ago south of the tunnels 1-4 section. From what I gleaned from a skim of the 2020 meetings it still looks like several 3-track sections, with a central track acting as a passing siding/express track, are still on the table.

Also, a citizen asked why there is no HSR station planned in Palo Alto. The engineer agreed that it made a lot of sense but responded that Palo Alto and the other cities all told HSR to take a hike about 5 years ago.


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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
Due to the limitation of platforms you mention in that terminal, some Caltrains will probably still end their runs at 4th & Townsend as now.
The approach to Transbay is going to be a 3-track tunnel. It gets a little complicated because there is still a lot up in the air...if there is a new underground 4th/King station then it'll probably have one island and one side platform to accommodate occasions when Caltrains, for whatever reason, enters or leaves Transbay on a track that is usually HSR.


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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
Finally, if there was any really good reason to build BART up the Peninsula between Diridon and Milbrae, they could elevate it over the CalTain/HSR tracks of course. The neighbors would hate that, and probably sue again, but a lot of the route is elevated in East Bay towns and suburbs.
I looked back at the history of the dilution of the 4-track plan to what is now under study and sort-of under construction and and the war against the 4-track plan stemmed from the fear that Caltrains was going to play second fiddle to HSR. First, there was a worry that HSR would be electrified (obviously) but not Caltrains - that's a ridiculous assertion, since Caltrains would need to be electrified in order to reach Transbay - but nevertheless it was an argument. Second, it was feared that HSR would fully grade separate itself but little to nothing would be done to improve Caltrains. For example, even if all four tracks were made to run side-by-side throughout much of the corridor, it was feared that overpasses/underpasses would only be built for HSR. There would also likely be a few spots where HSR would built directly over the grade crossings - sort of like how the highway crosses directly above the Caltrains Tracks north of Tunnel 1, which has grade crossings directly beneath the highway.

So to sum it up, the Blended System was a way to ensure that Caltrains would be improved to a premium commuter rail system, pretty much without equal in the United States, because the success of HSR depends on the character of the corridor.

The crazy thing, in looking back at all of the pre-engineering work that has been done, is that it's probably costing them just as much to engineer the blended system - if not more - as compared to simply 4-tracking the whole thing and not tolerating any grade crossings.

I mean, the amount of manpower going in to studying gate closing times is insane....part of the reason why they're taking so much time is trying to sync it so that opposing trains cross particular intersections at the same time. So in this perfect future two trains will pass during a single gate closure. The placement and length of the center and side passing tracks is largely dependent upon where they will be allowed to do them politically, so they're having to decide where to do battle with these ridiculous small but extremely wealthy cities.

Last edited by jmecklenborg; Mar 4, 2021 at 3:34 PM.
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  #1820  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2021, 3:35 PM
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Also, a citizen asked why there is no HSR station planned in Palo Alto. The engineer agreed that it made a lot of sense but responded that Palo Alto and the other cities all told HSR to take a hike about 5 years ago.
HSR will literally have cross-platform transfers to Caltrain so I'm not sure a mid-peninsula stop is necessary between SJ and SF. You just get off at Diridon and switch to Caltrain to reach your final destination. I've done that plenty of times in Germany and Italy. That said, I've heard talk of doing an HSR stop in Redwood City which is closer to the true midpoint (better for scheduling) and relatively growth friendly (for the Bay Area, that is). Also if rail service is ever restored on the Dumbarton bridge those trains would stop in Redwood City so an HSR stop here could provide East Bay access as well.
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