03 May 2018

Fleet of the Future


Not bad in blue, huh? This parody of the fragmented state of Bay Area transit is based on an image by Stadler Rail. There should be plenty in this image to offend almost everyone!

113 comments:

  1. I dunno… I think it would be entirely reasonable to re*brand* Caltrain as a BART line (along with integrating schedules, fares, and maps). BART is a good choice for a unified bay area regional rail brand. The public perception of BART is of a regional rail service with show-up-and-go frequencies and decent coordination between its different lines.

    (I'm not saying Caltrain should be *run* by BART, necessarily.)

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    1. a regional rail service with show-up-and-go frequencies and decent coordination between its different lines

      What an irresistible idea!

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  2. Offend? Not at all. There's a big idea at work here.

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  3. White and blue looks so much better than black and red.
    Why would anyone be offended?

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  4. I assume the "offensive" things are the branding, the "gilroy express" electrified and the low-level boarding?

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  5. Seems totally legit. What's to take offense at?

    No passengers on the platform, because they waited 60 years for level boarding and electrified service and are long dead. No problem there.

    Palo Alto only two tracks, because all skip-stop service all the time (except off-peak and weekends, when it's all-local service with 90 minute headways) so no need for confusing overtakes or un-American schedule adherence.

    Platform height at an odd level that seems to lie between both (both, count 'em, two!) heights of doors on the pretty blue EMUs, meaning Caltain started with asphalt spread over ballast, then rebuilt everything to the wrong height of 8 inches over 25 years, next picked a new height incompatible with its "new" fleet (30 years old and past end-of-life at the time this photo depicts) and rebuilt its stations to that depicted height, and is now seeking further funding to re-re-re-build platforms to 48 inch high-high height for Future Compatibility with California High Speed Rail, which might start construction northwards from Bakersfield in "just a few more years".

    The blue and white color and the new logo is nice: Caltrain and MTC spent $58 million on a rebranding consultancy strategic visioning exercise to arrive at just the out-of-the-box blue-sky secret sauce intersectionality of "rapid" and "forward-thinking" and "Silicon Valley entrepreneurship" and "environmental for the ladies while strong enough for alpha male industry titans" while paying homage to traditional regional cultures.

    And most important of all the proud American flag on the train proclaims "Mission Accomplished" and "Heckuva Job" and also "you paid three times as much for this train as anybody else, the 'domestic' factory that it came from was subsidized by huge tax breaks and went out of business immediately anyway, the train has no seats, carries three conductors and two engineers, and costs six times as much per hour to operate as anybody else's does, and will be fully compatible with UPRR PTC at some date T.B.A."

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    1. Right you are, the platform height was just a bit off. All fixed.

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    2. A nice rendering, indeed.

      One thing which kind of surprises me, is that there are no accessibility regulations concerning painting doors in contrast to the rest of the carbody, which would allow people with very bad eyesight to locate the doors without additional help.

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    3. It is surprising, considering that U.S. accessibility regulations (ADA) are among the most draconian in the world.

      I think the bigger issue will be situational awareness about which set of doors will open for passengers inside the train. That's why I previously suggested that the interior of the doors be painted different colors (blue and yellow, for optimal color-blind accessibility) so that passengers could be quickly oriented by screens and audio announcements about which doors would open. I hope they think about this small but important detail.

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    4. nitpick: there should be spacing between platform and the carbody the width of the folding gap filler.

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    5. Hey, I just noticed but the U.S. flag behind the cab is backward! (Isn't the blue star-field supposed to be in the upper left?)

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    6. Ok, so, but then when the train reverses, the flag should have to reverse too so as not to look like it was in "retreat" from the direction of travel. New DOT rule: flags must be displayed on little monitors which flip the flag orientation consistent with the either a) the vehicle direction, or b) with the measured wind movement (e.g. in case of a tailwind in excess of train speed).

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  6. The only thing missing from this picture is the "Solutions that congest you" (TM) logo.

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  7. Reposting to correct thread:

    "I have been disappointed to discover how many contractor companies are interwoven throughout Caltrain. Often, it is like a Russian nesting doll of contractor, subcontractor, sub-subcontractor, etc. before you finally find someone doing actual work. This means a lot of middle-managers adding cost but not doing anything obviously useful. Also, many contracts are essentially open time & materials, not fixed price and duration, which creates an incentive to turn molehills into mountains, as they never want to end the money train.

    There is a very wide range of contractor performance, from excellent to worse than a drunken sloth. All contracting companies should consider the coming week to be a final opportunity to demonstrate excellence. Any that fail to meet the Tesla standard of excellence will have their contracts ended on Monday."

    https://electrek.co/2018/04/17/tesla-model-3-production-goal-6000-units-per-week/

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    1. "If, in order to get something done between depts, an individual contributor has to talk to their manager, who talks to a director, who talks to a VP, who talks to another VP, who talks to a director, who talks to a manager, who talks to someone doing the actual work, then super dumb things will happen." (CBOSS anyone?)

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    2. What is the suggestion here, that government agencies expending government funding (and contending with the numerous strings attached to such funding to prevent waste, fraud & abuse; promote unions; create more jobs; scrupulously protect the environment; benefit small and disadvantaged businesses; make things in the U.S.A; comply with miscellaneous thick tomes of procurement regulations) might benefit from adopting the ruthless corner cutting behaviors of the private sector? That sounds great, but this piddly little Caltrain project isn't exactly the mountain you want to die on if your goal is to dismantle the United States Transit Industrial Complex.

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    3. Carshell fabrication continues at the Stadler Altenrhein facility, a renown factory that makes things in the USA, promotes unions, creates more jobs, scrupulously protects the environment and benefits small and disadvantaged businesses. http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/2018/2018-05-03+JPB+FINAL+MEETING+PACKET.pdf (page 116).

      There is a great picture of Stadler’s Utah Manufacturing Facility on page 213 (slide 21).
      Oh & BTW, ever wondered why "Caltrain" don't have a direct link to the PCEP Quarterly presentation?

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    4. Some things you just can’t buy in the USA, and extruded aluminum railcar shells is one of them. You should be thankful that they’re being made with Swiss experience as part of the 40% content (by value) allowed to be foreign-sourced under Buy America rules.

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    5. FWIW, if I remember correctly, it was Alusuisse Engineering which came up with the concept of welded extrusion profiles to build carbodies; the great thing there was that whatever was needed to make welding easier could be made part of the profile. Friction welding (instead of inert gas welding) came later. Their success was that they did not try to emulate construction methods used with steel, but making the best use of the properties of the material (sorry for rambling a bit, but that just reminds me of my time as material engineering student at the ETH-Z…)

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  8. Breaking developments on The Fleet Of The Future:

    "The FRA waiver request pertaining to use of upper level passenger side doors in lieu of exit windows is to go before the FRA Safety Board April 10, and no public comments have been received."

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/2018/2018-05-03+JPB+FINAL+MEETING+PACKET.pdf (page 108)

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    1. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FRA-2018-0003-0003

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    2. Thanks for digging up the FRA docket. In the Caltrain application there is a drawing with official counts for seats & standees, with and without high doors operational. This should satisfy even the most hawkish seat counters, although one must temper this with the knowledge that 6-car EMUs will never operate: they will all be 8 cars as of entry into service.

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    3. One should also temper this with the knowledge that 8-car EMUs will never operate with flip-up seats in front of (NOT "adjacent to") the emergency side doors on the intermediate levels.

      Paging the FRA (and the FTA)...

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    4. I think that would be a fine outcome: Caltrain would not have to overcome the outcry about “removing seats” from a public that largely doesn’t understand the benefits of level boarding. The resistance to converting the first station platforms to level boarding would be lower, and Caltrain might actually stop building 8-inch platforms a decade sooner. Away with these seats!

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    5. But, but, but, whatever happened to the pesky FTA 10% INCREASE in SEATED capacity mandate (can you spell defunding)?
      http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Presentations/2017/2017-02-02+PCEP+Quarterly+Update.pdf (slide 10)

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    6. With 8-car EMUs the 10% bar is easily exceeded even after removing 80 seats that block the upper doors. The capacity issue is overcome by events now that TCIRP funding allows lengthening from 6 to 8 cars before entry into service.

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    7. Kindly review the Bikes on Board spreadsheet and reconsider...

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    8. The Bikes on Board spreadsheet is a pretty good calculation, but makes certain assumptions--the most questionable of which is having a 3rd bike car, on the theory that current board policy for an 8:1 ratio of seats:bikes will be carried forward indefinitely.

      Two extra EMU cars would seat 232, (more if unpowered!) and bring an 8-car EMU to 573 + 232 - 80 = 725 seats with all doors operable.

      The operating scenario would be 4 EMU*8 + 2 Bombardier*7, so that's 725*4 + 910*2 = 4720 seats/hour/direction, or 27% over the existing baseline of 3705 seats/hour/direction.

      Even assuming a third bike car (i.e. additional Car E + Car F), seating in an EMU-8 would drop by 40 seats and the total would work out to 685*4 + 910*2 = 4560 seats/hour/direction, or 23% over baseline.

      In the future scenario where we have all EMU-8 with no 3rd bike car, 725*6 gives 17% more seats; with 3rd bike car it's down to 11%.

      I conclude that under all foreseeable scenarios involving 8-car EMUs, a violation of FTA core capacity requirements cannot occur.

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    9. Please refer to the table at the bottom left of page 4 in https://www.regulations.gov/contentStreamer?documentId=FRA-2018-0003-0001&attachmentNumber=1&contentType=pdf and explain how "Two extra EMU cars would seat 232".

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    10. Don’t be obtuse. I gave you a link to a detailed diagram where you can count each seat yourself if so inclined. Click on it and count!

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    11. How about using an official Stadler document for a change? Click on it and READ!

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    12. My diagram is in complete agreement with the "official Stadler document," although perhaps a brief lesson in remedial seat mathematics is in order.

      Please open your "official Stadler document" and READ the table at the bottom left of page 4, which states that an EMU-6 with the upper doors inoperable can seat 573. Now add another Car E (100 seats) and Car F (bike car with 92 seats), and we get to 765 seats. Next, make all doors operable by removing 80 seats, and we are left with 685 seats for an EMU-8 with 3rd bike storage space and all doors operable, exactly as I stated above.

      Next imagine that instead of containing bikes, the added car F lower deck is filled with seats. I know this is hard to wrap your mind around, but we will call it car G. We agree that car G does not appear in the "official Stadler document," and that it could plausibly exist. We can also observe that all EMU cars fit 8 seats per window bay at 32.5" seat pitch as shown. With five window bays being freed up by removing the bike storage space, we may now add 40 seats to the lower deck which brings the total capacity of car G to 92 + 40 = 132 seats with upper doors inoperable. The two cars we added to the EMU-6, Car E (100 seats) and Car G (132 seats), can together seat 232, exactly as I diagrammed. The EMU-8 without 3rd bike storage space and without upper doors operable would seat 573 + 232 = 805. If you then removed 80 seats to make all doors operable, you would be left with 725 seats exactly as I stated above.

      To recap:
      EMU-8, no 3rd bike storage space, sealed doors = 805 seats
      EMU-8, 3rd bike storage space, all operable doors = 765 seats
      EMU-8, no 3rd bike storage space, opened doors = 725 seats
      EMU-8, 3rd bike storage space, all operable doors = 685 seats
      EMU-6, sealed doors = 573 seats
      EMU-6, all operable doors = 513 seats

      End of lesson.

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    13. I do think an 8-car set needs a second bathroom though...

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    14. Agreed. Another bathroom means 15 fewer seats. Like this.

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    15. Shouldn't line 2 of the recap say "sealed doors"?

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    16. Right! Copy/paste error on my part.

      To recap:
      EMU-8, no 3rd bike storage space, sealed doors = 805 seats
      EMU-8, 3rd bike storage space, sealed doors = 765 seats
      EMU-8, no 3rd bike storage space, all operable doors = 725 seats
      EMU-8, 3rd bike storage space, all operable doors = 685 seats
      EMU-6, sealed doors = 573 seats
      EMU-6, all operable doors = 513 seats

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  9. CBOSS update (how many times do you have to fail until you are successful?): https://www.regulations.gov/contentStreamer?documentId=FRA-2010-0051-0063&attachmentNumber=1&contentType=pdf

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    1. If at first you don't succeed, try again...
      https://www.regulations.gov/contentStreamer?documentId=FRA-2010-0051-0064&attachmentNumber=1&contentType=pdf

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  10. Upcoming Meeting on the Caltrain/HSR Downtown Extension:

    Update on the Rail Alignment and Benefits* (RAB) Study
    Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2018
    Time: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
    Location: Herbst Theater Green Room, 401 Van Ness Street

    Please join us as we summarize the findings from the Rail Alignment and Benefits (RAB) study, including a preliminary preferred alignment for Caltrain and High Speed Rail: the Pennsylvania Avenue DTX + Extended Tunnel. Community members are invited to provide input on the alignment, adjacent land use opportunities, and next steps.

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  11. Replies
    1. This idea is so misguided I can’t stand it. Speed is useless if you don’t also provide capacity, which this can’t and won’t. Wake me up when it can match the throughput of BART’s Transbay Tube.

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    2. @Clem, in the video, Musk's facile answer on capacity is that they can just "stack" more tunnels as deep as they need ... just like adding lanes to a freeway! The Muskian Kool-Aid swilling sycophants in the audience just lap it all up with cheers and applause. The dismissive easy chuckles Musk and his Boring Co. chief weave through their banter hint that it's all easy child's play and that there are no difficult or unsolved cost or feasibility or capacity/scalability or logistical or safety or any other problems with the whole tubes concept. Musk seems to enjoy drawing adulation and energy from a cult-like following of fanboys everywhere. What I don't understand, is that if he's so smart, why does he peddle and indulge such unworkable ideas? Either he's fully aware it's BS and he's a huckster stringing along the gullible, or he's really not so smart ... which is it?

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    3. Smart people often have dumb ideas... Isaac Newton argued that light was made of “particles of different bignesses and swiftnesses.” He is not remembered for this, and neither will Musk be remembered for subterranean tube networks.

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  12. In the "who didn't see this one coming" department, Newsom supports HSR as reported in the Fresno Bee: "Newsom said the high-speed rail, a controversial topic in the Central Valley, will anchor economic development in its first phase: San Joaquin Valley to the Silicon Valley.

    Newsom has long been a proponent of the project, but said he’s been a critic of the past business plans until the most recent one, which he called “honest.”

    The rail’s newest CEO, Brian Kelly, is the “right person at the right time,” to continue moving the project forward, Newsom said."

    Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article211393229.html#storylink=cpy

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  13. FYI:
    General Electric agreed to merge its railroad business with Wabtec, in a deal valued at about $11 billion. GE will receive a $2.9 billion up-front payment in cash and its shareholders will own 50.1 percent of the combined company, while Wabtec shareholders will own the rest, the companies said in a statement.
    Wabtec chief executive Raymond T. Betler will remain president and CEO of the merged company while its Chairman, Albert J. Neupaver has been re-appointed executive chairman. GE Transportation Chief Executive Rafael Santana will become president and CEO of Wabtec’s Freight Segment. The resulting company will have approximately $8 billion in revenues, the companies said.

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  14. Rail Alignment and Benefits(RAB) Study Reports are now available online.

    http://sf-planning.org/rab-citizen-working-group

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    1. They just ruined the best alignment (Mission Bay Alignment) with that stupid "kink" around AT&T Park. Pathetic

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    2. I'm partial to the Bigger than Bertha tunnel! The mission bay alignment was considered with a TBM that is bigger in diameter (60' vs 57') than Seattle's Berta TBM, and goes further (about 2 miles vs 1.7.)

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    3. What could possibly go wrong?

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    4. The Pennsylvania is better than Mission Bay Alignment since it preserves a station at 4th & King rather than relocating it even further from city center. It does have tighter turns, but cost of convenience to thousands of passengers is too high.

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    5. But is the Pennsylvania alignment all that better than the original alignment below the existing ROW? The only benefit seems to be making two grade separations (Mission Bay Drive and 16th) unnecessary. It's a benefit, yes, but at what cost? Could the existing tunnel and right-of-way that would be bypassed be put to use in some way?

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    6. Yes: storage for 8 trains in tunnels 1 & 2
      Grade sep @ 16th is not an option (20-minute gate downtime during peak).

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    7. Compared to any typical busy intersections’ red light time, 20 min. gate downtime per hour isn’t bad at all.

      Oh, that’s right, I forgot: red light time waiting for cars, bikes and peds to pass is OK, while gate downtime waiting for trains carrying far more people to pass is not.

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    8. Exactly, it's just another red light. Which they want to add a bunch of to whatever replaces I-280....

      Anonymous #2484

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    9. The Pennsylvania tunnel adds another $1 billion to the original DTX plan, so you can see it as doing two grade separations for $500 million each.

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  15. http://default.sfplanning.org/Citywide/railyard_blvd/RAB_TechReport_052118_DRAFT-AppendixA.pdf

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  16. Executive Summary:
    Just kill the DTX tunnel project already. Spending 6-10+ billion dollars for all of 1 mile doesn't pass the laugh test. And no worries about 4th/King having limited platform capacity.

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    1. There's probably a sizeable and underappreciated amount of ridership that currently drives because the 20-30 minute connection time between BART or AC Transit to Caltrain makes driving significantly faster despite the ridiculous Bay Bridge travel times.

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    2. It is ten billion dollars Martin. At that price, better to use that money instead to build the second BART transbay crossing (which by the way would connect BART to Caltrain at 4th/King).

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    3. 7th & King

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    4. It's a valuable project, but not for the current inflated price tag. As usual they seem to have not even considered any of the cost-effective alternatives and offered nonsense explanations for many of the cost-inflating aspects (3 track tunnel, duplicating Tunnel #1

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    5. SFCTA is pretty insistent on having 3 tracks.

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    6. Yep, and it's predicated on holding trains right before the station throat when there's a slowdown rather than at Mission Bay where it's cheap to have extra tracks.

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    7. The SMA studies in the appendices are gold!

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    8. Crunch the numbers, could you literally pay everyone of those drivers for .5 hours of their time, every day, for the rest of their careers, for that price tag?

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    9. Eliminate the "30 seconds to clear a switch" requirement and the need for the 3rd track evaporates.

      Q: Why have a Caltrain/HSR alignment capable of smoking Muni's average speed in the Central Subway for $900M when you can crawl at half the speed for $4.7B?

      A: Par-Tay, J-O-B-S and P-L-As!

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    10. Well, it's $6 billion, not 10, and it's amortized over 100 years - or forever.

      I'll personally keep defending the 3 tracks given how frequently trains bunch up when approaching SF due to schedules drifting after 20+ stops. 2 incoming and 1 outgoing tracks will still provide shorter travel times overall. And yes, you could send trains sequentially if you time them right, but that's just spreading out the delays across the whole route.

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    11. Amortizing the cost doesn't change the fact that you have to come up with the cash up-front.

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    12. 6 billion in SFMTA dollars. At current exchange rates that is over 10 billion USD.

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    13. The mother of all par-tays is nigh: "Funding has yet to be identified for the full project, though roughly $1 billion is in place for future engineering studies."

      http://www.sfexaminer.com/three-route-options-presented-downtown-rail-extension/

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  17. Step 1. Eliminate the only realistic or feasible alternatives.
    Step 2. Crayons.
    Step 3. Profit!

    Repeat, forever.

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  18. Award of contracts for the purchase and overhaul of used AEM-7AC electric locomotives for the Peninsula Corridor Electrification Program

    Award two contracts, on a non-competitive basis, to support critical testing of the Peninsula Corridor Electrification Program's (PCEP) electrification system as follows:

    • Contract #1: to Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A), Inc. (Mitsui) of New York, New York, for the purchase of two used AEM-7AC electric locomotives for the total not-to-exceed amount of $270,000.

    • Contract #2: to National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) of Wilmington, Delaware, for Amtrak to provide the following services related to the two AEM-7AC electric locomotives for the total not-to-exceed amount of $340,597: overhaul services and storage; acceptance testing and commissioning; training of Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (JPB) staff, and shipment to Caltrain’s Centralized Equipment Maintenance and Operations Facility (CEMOF).

    The proposed award of both contracts is for a total amount of $610,597, plus up to $150,000 proposed change order authority, if needed.

    Traction power substations and the overhead contact system (OCS) must be verified to be mechanically and electrically compatible with the new bi-level electric multiple unit vehicles (EMUs). Rather than bringing two new systems online simultaneously, PCEP staff determined it would be in the PCEP's best interest to first test the traction power system and OCS using a used electric rail vehicle, and then test the new EMUs. This staged approach will greatly reduce the likelihood of exposing the new EMUs to possible 25 kilovolt-ampere (kVa) traction power abnormalities, and to OCS wire initial installation and validation activities, either of which could damage the pantograph.

    Upon completion of the PCEP electrification system testing, scheduled for 2020, the JPB will dispose of the used locomotives in full compliance with the JPB’s Procurement Policy and Federal Transit Administration rules.

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  19. It looks like Facebook is getting ready to put up big bucks for private-public partnership (PPP) to implement Dumbarton rail & improved bus service.

    SamTrans approved the attached ENA with Facebook at its board meeting today, June 6.

    See the details here starting on PDF page 236:

    EXCLUSIVE NEGOTIATING AGREEMENT FOR STUDY OF POTENTIAL REDEVELOPMENT OF THE DUMBARTON RAIL CORRIDOR

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    1. Wow. They're thinking big, double track electrified 75 - 90 mph. Draw a dotted line over to Tracy through the emerging Tri-Valley San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority, and you could imagine a precursor mini-Altamont HSR line. Maybe the PPP thing could cut through all the inter-agency hostility and paralysis, since the I-580 + Dumbarton corridor traverses Caltrain/ACE/BART/TVSJVRRA/SJRRC territorial boundaries all while throwing shade at CHSRA, which is bogged down at Pacheco Pass.

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    2. I hope they're thinking big enough to seriously consider a bored tunnel ... or bridge high enough to avoid temporarily having to shut down the railroad for every boat that wants to pass.

      First-ever tunnel under SF Bay 5-miles via TBM, 15-foot diameter @ 40-80 feet under Bay floor, $350m budget. Completed in 2015. (BART's transbay tube is merely a tube laid in segments sunk into a trench across the Bay floor and pumped dry),

      SFPUC (aka "Hetch Hetchy") bored Dumbarton corridor tunnel video

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    3. Interestingly, the ENA states the former HSRA Director of Planning and Integration and VTA's Phase I and Phase II SJ BART extension planning program manager are to serve on the "outside project management team":

      "As of the date of this Agreement, the District and the Developer have discussed the retention of Kimley-Horn and anticipates the District's outside project management personnel will include the following individuals: Melissa DuMond as Executive Project Manager, Leyla Hedayat as Senior Professional and an Analyst to be selected by the Executive Project Manager. The District shall consult with Developer before making any change to or replacement of the Executive Project Manager or Senior Professional."

      High-Speed Rail Authority Appoints Melissa DuMond Director of Planning and Integration

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    4. This project is doomed before it has even started...

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    5. For Dumbarton rail commuter service, a single-track DMU alignment going to a new transfer station at Fair Oaks would be the biggest bang for the buck IMO. Even better, close the Atherton station and run 3 tracks through Atherton/Menlo Park all the way to Palo Alto/Stanford. This is where most of the Dumbo traffic is headed anyway. PA/MP might even support this as they get big local benefits (traffic to the bridge is a big problem for them.)

      Later on, electrify and interline with Caltrain leaving the third track available for the "Middle 3-track" overtake for HSR.

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    6. In connection with their ongoing interminable deliberations on Caltrain grade separation design alternatives, Menlo Park's city council has repeatedly stated (and reaffirmed) their opposition to a 3rd track over the last year.

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    7. "Bridge high enough to avoid temporarily having to shut down the railroad for every boat that wants to pass": https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DejaJvGU8AAZ7ka.jpg:large

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    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    9. @Anonymous, thanks. That's the new Antioch Bridge with 135 feet of clearance. The new (vs. the old original in the foreground) Dumbarton Bridge is 50 feet lower, with only 85 feet of clearance.

      Shallower water = shorter boats = lower minimum required bridge clearance? Of course, the Bay and former Palo Alto and Alviso "yacht" harbors south of Dumbarton have silted in even more since the new fixed highway bridge was built ... so maybe a rail bridge could have even less than 85 feet? Dunno. Who decides (dictates) these things? US Coast Guard?

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    10. It's like someone already researched all this over a decade ago...
      http://arch21.org/CaHighSpeed.dir/dumbarton.html

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  20. Caltrain oxymoron of the month: "The cost of operating and maintaining the service has increased due to the challenge of accommodating record-setting ridership demand"

    http://www.caltrain.com/about/MediaRelations/news/Caltrain_New_Monthly_Fare_Rate_To_Take_Effect.html

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    1. So, let’s get this straight, ridership is record setting?

      Wouldn’t that correlate with record setting fare revenue?

      Or are they all riding for free?

      Or has Caltrain and or rail operator TASI (Transit America Services) added significantly more staffing?


      Here is another only from Caltrain statement in the same media release:

      “Caltrain will increase the Monthly Pass rate from 14 to 15 days starting with July pass…
      The Monthly Pass Rate is calculated based on the number of days a passenger would need to make round-trip rides for the monthly pass to result in additional cost savings versus buying standard, daily tickets. The rate has been increased by an additional day.”

      Virtually any other agency states that monthly passes are based on X times the single ride fare, in the case of Caltrain, the monthly pass is being increased from 28 times the single ride fare to 30 times the single ride fare. Is it possible that by using the “number of days” phrase, Caltrain makes it look like the monthly pass might be giving away too much?

      Caltrain misrepresented the monthly pass at the November 5, 2015 fare increase public hearing presentation and printed materials, comparing the eligible discount monthly pass to full priced monthly pass from about 9 other agencies. This caused much concern among JPB Directors that the monthly pass is priced way too low. It wasn’t until some of us astute members of the public pointed out the error. http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Minutes/2015/2015-11-05+JPB+BOD+Minutes.pdf

      It is quite annoying that Caltrain is trashing the monthly pass and its’ most loyal customers.

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    2. You A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y nailed it!!!!

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    3. Maybe you should post your message on the CAHSR blog or Friends of Caltrain?

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    4. Did a quick calculation of ridership/revenue 2007 to 2017

      Fiscal year ending June 2007, ridership: 10,980,802
      Fiscal year ending June 2017, ridership: 18,743,189
      That’s an increase of 70.7%

      Fiscal year ending June 2007, revenue: $92,429,030
      Fiscal year ending June 2017, revenue: $34,852,482
      That’s an increase of 165.2%


      It should also be noted that member agency contributions have significantly decreased over the years.

      Delete
    5. 2007 Administration expense: $8,534,451: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Finance/BUDGETS/JPB/FY2007.pdf
      2017 Administration expense: $23,368,585: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Presentations/2016/FY2017+Caltrain+Operating+Budget.pdf

      Delete
    6. Sorry about the typo above, should have the $34,852,482 for June 2007, revenue and $92,429,030, for the June 2017, revenue.

      Delete
  21. @Reality: I meant the: Anonymous 18 June, 2018 15:56, Caltrain oxymoron of the month message.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sanity prevails:
    http://www.samtrans.com/schedulesandmaps/timetables/Route_SFO.html

    Note that, according to Wikipedia, today marks the 15th anniversary of the BART-SFO extension (6/22/2003)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Now also planned for Pacheco Pass: a new $1b, 319-foot-tall dam north of Hwy 152 near Casa de Fruta:
    Santa Clara Valley Water District to buy site for huge new reservoir, largest in 20 years in Bay Area

    ReplyDelete
  24. Caltrain in the News: https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/Woman-alleges-rape-by-Caltrain-conductor-San-13048029.php

    ReplyDelete
  25. VTA in the News: https://youtu.be/QRAzTAfiMmc?t=49

    ReplyDelete
  26. DTX now at $6 billions... does anyone really care?


    https://www.thebaycitybeacon.com/politics/caltrain-s-downtown-extension-hindered-by-catastrophically-incompetent-management-/article_aec8b03a-83f8-11e8-b9b8-03101906e33a.html


    Caltrain's Downtown Extension Hindered by "Catastrophically Incompetent" Management - Pedestrian Observations

    ReplyDelete
  27. Here is how to get the job done in under 5 years for less than $2B: https://youtu.be/v-QYQJYDTt4

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cute. I'll raise and offer this...
      http://caltraindtx.com/DTX_May2008.mov

      Delete
    2. This file isn't playable. That might be because the file type is unsupported, the file extension is incorrect, or the file is corrupt.

      Delete
    3. It's a low-res 19-minute Apple QuickTime (*.mov) movie on how to fix ("refine") what's wrong with the DTX and plays fine for me using Apple's QuickTime Player and/or on a PC (or Mac) with the free (and excellent) VLC video player. Michael (or someone) did a nice job putting it together.

      Delete
  28. Transbay Block Parrrrtay! Whooo-hooo!

    SF’s long-awaited Salesforce Transit Center sets opening date for Aug. 12

    Service will begin on Aug. 12, a Sunday, for buses traveling between the East Bay and what officially will be named Salesforce Transit Center. The day before, there will be an afternoon block party so people may explore the complex bottom to top — from the art-filled Grand Hall, entered off a new plaza at Fremont and Mission streets, to the lavish 5.4-acre park on the transit center’s roof.

    Visitors also will be able to stroll down bus lanes and out onto the cable-stay bridge across Howard Street that connects the center to the Bay Bridge. That’s a one-day-only attraction.

    The block party, which will include food and music and a display of historic buses, celebrates a long-awaited milestone for a $2.2 billion project, which has had its share of bumps along the way.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Breaking San Bruno News:
    Ominous diagonal cracks started appearing in the southbound platform at the base of the poles right after they hung the double-span stanchions. What happens right after they hang the wires will be beyond fascinating...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing that aesthetically-pleasing gantries cannot fix.

      Delete
  30. Northern California "Planning" Manager: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bruce-fukuji-b8a27013

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://dev.urbandesigninnovations.com/

      Delete
  31. Ugh ... Caltrain is an absolute chaotic collapse now.

    I don't think I have even seen a bilevel car on a train other than a bullet for a while now.
    Every single train at commute time is now absolutely at 100% capacity, shoulder to shoulder.

    It's so bad that I suspect that Uber must be paying them to intentionally leave the Bombardiers out of service and only run 5-car consorts.

    This is not going to be sustainable until electrification is done. There are going to be lawsuits that will send the line into bankruptcy.

    I'm not sure where all the data is sources from for the good graphs that get present on this site.
    I wish there was data available on the total stand/sit capacity run daily/weekly/monthly over time and the number of run-miles of the bilevel cars over the past year.
    I am absolutely certain that both metrics are plummeting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The extent of the chaotic collapse is fully documented here: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/CAC/Presentations/2018/7.18.18+JPB+CAC+2018+Annual+Passenger+Counts.pdf (slides 14 & 15).
      SamTrans' "solution" is to eliminate 200 seats per EMU train "to make more room for standees".

      Are we having fun yet?

      Delete
  32. You might have had a point about the 200 seats back in the day when the EMUs were only going to have six cars. They will have eight, most likely on the very first day you board one.

    ReplyDelete