It was a good discussion, and I came away with the following impressions.
Things that surprised me in a good way:
- Caltrain is finally considering the possibility of level boarding, although no funding has been identified.
- Bryan Dykes, from the Transbay project, was quite supportive of shared platforms and further pointed out that a bigger constraint on capacity comes from the excessively long platform dwell times requested by Caltrain and HSR.
- The escalator pits on all three platforms of the Transbay Transit Center are built to accommodate any platform height.
- Ben Tripousis of the HSR Authority stated that fare collection and security issues were not necessarily show stoppers for shared platforms, and that platforms could conceivably be shared provided they are built to HSR specifications.
- Caltrain has not started the waiver process for CPUC General Order 26-D, although they have acknowledged the potential need to do so.
- Marian Lee of Caltrain stated that Caltrain's reasons for wanting to terminate some trains at 4th and King is to serve certain markets there (presumably in reference to Giants games). I didn't have a chance to question further, but they seem to be missing that every Transbay train would also stop (underground) at 4th and King-- it's not an either-or, it's one or both.
- Caltrain seems eager to roll out the red carpet for any "tenant railroad" that comes calling.
- The three agencies are clearly not communicating enough about this issue to support the important decisions that Caltrain needs to make very shortly for its new vehicle procurement.
- HSR is going with high platforms, period. That particular train has already left the station, and there will be no turning back from the joint procurement with Amtrak. If platforms are to be shared with HSR, they will be high platforms.
- HSR cites as justification for the massive station complex in San Jose that numerous tenant railroads (the "downstairs folks" such as ACE and the Capitol Corridor) plan massive expansion that will need a lot of track and platform space.
- People in the advocacy community are not in agreement on the need for platform sharing. Some believe that Caltrain needs low (~25") platforms more than it needs platform sharing with HSR at Transbay or anywhere else.
"HSR is going with high platforms, period."ReplyDelete
Cool. So, given the multiple billions of dollars of cost entailed, there must be some detailed, rigorous, quantitative studies which justify their carefully considered decision, right?
Because nobody would issue such a fiat, entailing eye-watering public expense, without extensive technical and economic analysis, right?
There's a URL with a link to such a study and alternatives analysis on the CHSRA web site somewhere, surely, that we can all debate, naturally?
"HSR cites as justification for the massive station complex in San Jose that numerous tenant railroads plan massive expansion that will need a lot of track and platform space."
And there are detailed operational simulations that clearly justify the two-billion-plus dollar expenditure required, and demonstrate the infeasibility of any number of cheaper alternatives, right?
Maybe we should start another blog where we can cry over spilled milk. Over here, we can discuss what the next move should be in this world, not in an alternate and superior reality.Delete
Here's your URL, for what it's worth: Technical Memo 6.3, Trainset Configuration Analysis.Delete
It has this to say about platform height: The initial selection of platform height is a critical decision as the platform height will limit the type of trainsets that can be utilized on the system. As the majority of the candidate trainsets fall within the range of 45.47” to 51.18”, it may be prudent to set the platform heights to accommodate a trainset within this range, with the expectation that future development of new multi-level trainsets would be designed to accommodate a platform height similar to the single- level floor height dimensions.
"Maybe we should start another blog where we can cry over spilled milk. Over here, we can discuss what the next move should be in this world, not in an alternate and superior reality."
So we're not going to hear anything more about Tejon-vs-Tehachapi here, then??
How about CHSRA (or their contractors) specifying HSR stations as a "flight-level-zero' airline, with separate, security-separated, "ground" and "air" (sic) sides, with holding-pens and overpriced shops on the "air" side? No discussion about that either/
Serious question, Clem. Which ships do _you_ think have already sailed, and which haven't?
Ships that have sailed: HSR high platformsDelete
Ships that haven't sailed:
Tejon vs. Tehachapi, which is at least a decade away and about $20 billion short of funding. Private investors will realize that building a whopping 40 miles of tunnel and spreading Nocal and Socal 13 to 18 minutes further apart just for a stop in Palmdale is a dumb idea, and the project will quite simply not be funded until sanity prevails.
Large airport-like stations are similarly likely to fall victim to fiscal reality, if the entire HSR project doesn't first implode under its own cost.
These are my opinions. Any perceived inconsistencies are rooted entirely in your own opinions!
Most subway systems has paid and free zones and they are necessary to handle large volume of people. I envision CAHSR to have similar setup and occasional bag screening. Not necessary airport like security setup, maybe airport-lite?Delete
I agree CAHSR should have high platforms for level boarding, so it is more on Caltrain to decide whether it should have level-boarding at the same height as CAHSR. I don't find them necessary needed to be couple together.
By choosing different platforms you impose incredible operational constraint at Transbay - you literally cast in concrete the number of HSR and CalTrain trains which can access the station, and eliminate the possibility of dynamic allocation of platform capacity in the event of a delayed train, which will inevitably lead to cascading delays.Delete
You mandate miles of viaduct, an "iconic" bridge, and a completely new station to be built above the existing, active station (which must remain open during construction) in San Jose.
As for fare gates, I don't think they are necessary. Nearly every HSR system in Europe gets along just fine with POP - passenger volumes aren't really comparable to a subway anyway. If fare gates are added at Transbay, they should accept HSR and CalTrain fare media (which should be integrated anyway).
Can anyone explain what William claims: that paid and free zones are necessary to handle large volumes? I contend that POP can work for large volumes too.Delete
Besides, as is proved every day in Europe for nearly all forms of rail transport -- HSR can work just fine with free platform access with only on-board ticket inspection.
Caltrain sometimes didn't check for a valid ticket on the trains that leaves SF after a Giants game simply due to sheer number of people. Fare gates has the capacity to deal with this without resorting to letting people ride for free.Delete
I think distance-based ticket price, POP or paid/free zones, train length, train frequency, passenger volume, fare collection fairness, severity of fare evasion all are intertwined questions needed to be answered together and factor in the station design.
And so? POP does not assume or require that all tickets get checked. The secret sauce that makes POP work is that the fine, hassles, penalties & embarrassment associated with getting caught more than make up for the "savings" of getting away with dozens of free (unchecked) rides either before or after getting caught.Delete
POP done right is a matter of ensuring that spot inspection frequency and the penalty fare/fine statistically ensure that fare evaders cannot get ahead.
Think of POP done right as a slot machine done right. Which is to say, while there may be an occasional winner -- the house always wins in the end.
"Caltrain sometimes didn't check for a valid ticket on the trains ..."Delete
Translation: "I understand none of statistics, sampling, nor the concept of a point of diminishing returns, and I never will."
Also: "I love you Cubic long time."
Caltrain sometimes didn't check for a valid ticket on the trains that leaves SF after a Giants game simply due to sheer number of people. Fare gates has the capacity to deal with this without resorting to letting people ride for free.Delete
You need to get out more. BART agents at Coliseum station will often throw open the faregates at special events.
Think of POP done right as a slot machine done right. Which is to say, while there may be an occasional winner -- the house always wins in the end.Delete
That's an awesome analogy and is a fantastic way to explain POP to someone who obviously doesn't get the concept, like William evidently.
Many European systems that adapt smart cards for fares also require passengers to "tap" on the transponder when entered the train, then "tap" again when exiting, either on a train or on a "fare gate". Should this count as POP or Paid/Free system?Delete
Ticket collection is also part of the infrastructure. If one setup a system to sell the ticket and keep record with computers, it is not that far of leap to add fare gates to account for the use of the ticket. Of course you can also have conductors each carrying a wireless ticket scanner and call it POP...
It's not proof-of-payment unless there are fare inspections with fines or "penalty fares".Delete
Ticket collection is also part of the infrastructure.
Not with POP.
Who wants or needs the increased cost of up-front infrastructure, ongoing O&M expense, equipment depreciation/replacement, and perpetually-increased daily rider inconvenience when all you need are a few well-managed, well-trained roving fare inspectors?
Clem wrote "Ships that have sailed: HSR high platformsDelete
Ships that haven't sailed: ..."
I am, as you know, genuinely perplexed by your opinions.
Tejon is a public policy issue with billions at stake and huge political investments made.
Station platform height is entirely inside baseball, a fiat issued by America's Finest Transportation Planning Professionals in a super-sekrit Need To Know internal-consumption-only Technical Memorandum, with exactly zero buy-in from anybody except Parsons Brinkerhoff and Amtrak.
Fixing the Tejon disaster (as with the Altamont disaster) is a decade-plus undertaking, with no HS trains operating anywhere in the meantime.
Having Amtrak's and Amtrak's World Class consultant's even come up with specifications is a decade-plus undertaking ... with zero trains delivered to California or for California. Sure, it's expensive make-work, but recall that CHSRA has wasted a billion dollars on consultant expenses so far, with nothing concrete to show for any of it. The Amtrak NEC joint-procurement bat-shit-insanity is peanuts compared to that ... or to Tejon for that matter.
Reconstructing the heights of incorrectly-specified train platforms in Palmdale, Bakersfield, Fresno and Merced (and I'm being optimistic about a grand total of four stations and perhaps 12 platform faces) is a matter of a couple months, especially since no high speed trains will be running through those stations anyway.
Sure, the World's Finest Transportation Planning Professionals may be producing all sorts of CAD drawings with 48 inch (inch!!!!) platforms, and they might, in their world class technical estimation, be absolutely certain that the ship has sailed (right off the edge of the flat earth, as their knowledge of the world ends at the borders of the USA), but then again those same parties have produced far more expensive series of CAD drawings of Soledad Canyon, the Bakersfield Skyway, and San José Intergalactic.
Many European systems that adapt smart cards for fares also require passengers to "tap" on the transponder when entered the train, then "tap" again when exiting, either on a train or on a "fare gate". Should this count as POP or Paid/Free system?
This is POP. The difference between this and faregates is that people with season passes or transfers don't actually need to tap anything. People who do need to tap can do so after the train or bus has already started moving, and even in systems that require tapping at stations, the lack of faregates means it is much faster to move because you can tap and go without waiting for the gates to open.
I can't actually think of many examples of POP working with tapping, or of any that do so with trains rather than buses, but this is how it works on buses that have POP. Other than the first-in-the-world cost blowers of New York, cities with bus POP do not sell tickets at bus stops - instead, either there are validators at the stop and you're expected to have a smartcard already (Singapore), or you get on the bus and either do nothing because you already have a season pass or pay the driver up front with paper tickets (Vancouver's B-Line buses, pretty much any urban bus in a large fraction of Europe).
At tonight's Caltrain Citizens' Advisory Committee Meeting, Casey Fromson of Caltrain public affairs gave Caltrain's level boarding presentation to the CAC. Interestingly, she described the 25" platform height as "staff's current recommendation" and also said that "no decisions have been made." Hard to tell, but this seems like a softer position than earlier versions of the presentation given to the Board and Local Policy Maker Working Group.ReplyDelete
Regarding the perplexing 2/6 schedule scenario that Caltrain tested in its set of blended system simulations (in which only two of six peak hour trains went to Transbay, despite expected high demand), Marian Lee said that the reason for such as scenario was *not* a fixed Transbay capacity limit. This doesn't explain why they would simulate such a schedule in the first place, but at least Caltrain isn't saying that they are limited to two rush hour trains to Transbay for capacity reasons.ReplyDelete
The other bit of interesting information is that Transbay and Caltrain are working together on additional studies regarding Transbay capacity, including dwell time. The discussion didn't get into detail about what was being covered - it wasn't clear how far along the studies were - but that is a good sign. Information about factors limiting Transbay capacity would be very helpful in decisions to reduce preventable limits.
Wow. Super awesome words.Delete
Pity Transbay is already cast in concrete though.
Better luck next time!
At Transbay the platforms haven't been built yet, just the box. They have kept their options open with regard to platform height.ReplyDelete
The massive problems with Transbay are "just the box".
It's a nice gesture for the TJPA PR people to take time to reassure you that there's no need to be troubled over little details like that.
They are Aware of the Issues. Please Wait for the Outcome of Future Studies. And in the meantime, please Wdvocate for a Larger and More Stable Source of Funding for Caltrain. KTHXBYE!
Regarding slide 31, I can't find a reference, but doesn't the TGV Duplex have a fairly low boarding height?ReplyDelete
Granted that's a fairly non-standard and expensive train, but I don't think it's quite correct to say that low boarding HSR doesn't exist anywhere.
I couldn't find it in time to include it, but it was just a matter of conjuring the right search keywords: "hauteur plancher"Delete
Entry vestibule 611 mm
Lower deck 321 mm (Upon entry you basically step onto a triangular area that forms part of what you can essentially think of as a spiral staircase. Two steps down to the lower deck.)
Upper deck 2319 mm
All this from 550 mm platforms or "low" platforms. It's not level boarding, and generally difficult to access for wheelchair users. Maybe they could make it ADA compliant with ramps?
Problem solved, then? Kinda?Delete
Though isn't there some ADA requirement that you can't have the vehicle floor level lower than the platform, even if you provide a ramp?
Clem: doesn't the Bombardier Twindexx design now being made for Switzerland have a short ramp down to the lower levelDelete
Unknown: I though that only applied to steps.
The reason Euro bi-levels step down from low-level platforms to lower low-level interior platforms is that the total height of both levels is so low.Delete
A higher lower-level passenger floor ... along with a taller lower level, and a taller upper level, and especially a wider upper level ... makes design and construction so much easier. Next time you visit, notice how sharp the walls of the upper level have to slope in to keep from hitting narrow old European tunnels. Everything is very cramped, especially upstairs.
The step down from the platform is not because it's a good idea; it is because it's the only way to squeeze two passenger levels into a profile that is much much much more smaller than anything in the USA, especially the western USA, especially a brand-new largely-unconstrained passenger line in California.
It would be much easier to build a bi-level car with a lower level that is 550mm above the rail and is level with the platform. Easier engineering, better barrier-free access, lower cost, simpler mechanical systems.
California has all the advantages potentials! Why does it use none of them?
635 mm, not 550... :-)Delete
Going up (floor, roof) is easy. Just add a some blocks of wood to the trucks :-)Delete
Going lower (same amount of stuff, less space) is hard.
So Clem 635mm not 550mm platform: maybe a stupid maybe, but easy to make today and future trains work.
But 465mm not 550mm? Needs engineering and money and might not work.
I like 'em big and stupid!
I have yet to see a rational explanation as to why bi-levels are even needed. The passenger volumes are relatively low. HSR isn't going to use them. And for Caltrain, bi-levels screw up the dwell time.Delete
Their explanation, for everything it's worth, has to do with platform lengths (boxed in by grade crossings at Menlo Park and Burlingame) as well as the limit of 6 trains per hour. The whole bi-level question was already discussed way back in 2010.Delete
This is a picture of the Bi-level TGV entrance. https://plus.google.com/photos/103208878508235396681/albums/5938791633758894401/5938794691180720210?pid=5938794691180720210&oid=103208878508235396681jDelete
Here's another shot from the upper deck and from outside the train. Try it with a wheelchair...Delete
It is 100000:1 odds that no existing HSR design will ever operate in California in commercial service.Delete
In fact, it is 100:1 odds that no existing-in-the-future-outside-the-USA design will operate in California.
So why the fixation on today's particular TGV-Duplex compromises which are due to the historically contingent accidents of French rail loading gauges and platforms?
As Mr Anonymous accurately states above, it is the opposite of effort to go from a cramped god-how-are-we-ever-going-to-fit-all-this-stuff dating from the mid 1980s (yes, that's how old the concept is!) for use on LGV SE to a more relaxed Kal-ee-forn-ee-an train in the mid-to-late 2020s (yes, sadly enough, that's the optimistic very earliest anybody can rationally justify ordering high speed trains hereabouts) with floors that match the (low) platforms and drapes that march the carpets.
Nobody in California in a wheelchair, or otherwise, is ever going to be boarding a TGV duplex, or a TGV Reseau, or for that matter an out-of-the-box AGV or any ICE or any Shinkansen.
Clem: The distance between grade-crossings at the Burlingame and Menlo Park Caltrain Stations is 750 and 950 feet respectively. There appears to be enough un-obstructed trackside length to be able to construct level-boarding platforms long enough to accommodate single level trains with enough capacity to accommodate Burlingame’s 792 and Menlo Park’s 1526 daily boardings. Foregoing the 57% greater seating capacity one gains with two-deck trains doesn’t matter in these two cases.Delete
An article named ‘Going Underground, (from the Jan. 5, 2013 Economist) says 45 thousand passengers per mile of track-way ride the Tokyo Subway. Other examples listed include Moscow 35 thousand, Paris 30 thousand, three cities in China listed at between 20 and 31 thousand and New York at 20 thousand passengers per mile. Compare these examples of single-deck rail technology’s ability to accommodate incredibly dense traffic to Caltrain’s less than 1,000 passengers per mile between San Jose and San Francisco ridership.
The impetus behind building as many as four tracks through intermediate SF Peninsula stations is to enable fast skip-stop trains to pass stopping trains. But a largely 4 track past most stations along the SF to SJ right-of-way has a potential passenger carrying capacity at least 10 times greater than the current 50,000 riders per day usage for the following reasons:
Adhering to transit industry norm separation safety standards while applying a ‘moving block’ train separation control system (surely to become the standard for all new high traffic density line in the near future) maximum train frequency possible for a section of track with no stations is at least 2 to 3 times the number of trains possible for safe passage through a station where all trains must stop on one track. Caltrain’s extraordinarily high 40% reverse commute level (Is there any other transit line in the world that approaches this degree of balanced peak hour loading?) will further support high Caltrain plus CHSR train frequency with little mutual interference. Another factor: A moving-block-signaling system would enable a future Caltrain to safely reduce station close-up times to about 40 seconds. (Note: A recent study of NYC Subway indicates changing to a system-wide moving block train control system would increase capacity by 15% at 2% of the cost of increasing capacity by building parallel subway tracks.) Matching entrance-door-sill height with platform surface height by applying train mounted laser platform-height-sensors driving a train’s air suspension level plus a flexible train-platform gap filler could eliminate any perceptible train floor/platform surface discontinuity. Extended dwell times at high-demand stations could be sharply reduced by combining flat panel displays placed above each door stop position which could indicate where the next train is going, the platform sections where the arriving train is least crowded, plus lockable near platform edge turn-styles in order to stop further boarding if a following train is waiting. Even allowing for SF Peninsula passengers’ probable reluctance to tolerate crowding much beyond a seat offered for all passengers the foregoing rail transit high traffic density examples suggest that a brisk CHSR/Caltrain rail operation on an effectively 4-track capacity right-of-way could comfortably accommodate at least 10,000 to 15,000 passengers per mile on single-deck EMUs. Taking into account the facts listed above reconstructing the SF Peninsula Railway for only single-deck car use would provide ample capacity for any foreseeable traffic volume.
"Their explanation, for everything it's worth, has to do with platform lengths (boxed in by grade crossings at Menlo Park and Burlingame) as well as the limit of 6 trains per hour. The whole bi-level question was already discussed way back in 2010."Delete
Block the damn grade crossings. This line is going to be grade-separated eventually anyway.
Nathanael: Read the first part of my 27 October comment: "The distance between grade-crossings at the Burlingame and Menlo Park Caltrain Stations is 750 and 950 feet respectively. There appears to be enough un-obstructed trackside length to be able to construct level-boarding platforms long enough to accommodate single level trains with enough capacity to accommodate Burlingame’s 792 and Menlo Park’s 1526 daily boardings. Foregoing the 57% greater seating capacity one gains with two-deck trains doesn’t matter in these two cases."Delete
Extra wide vehicles do make a lot of sense. Japanese high speed trains are extra wide off the shelf, and there is the Stadler EMU you brought up on your blog earlier this year. It gives the agency a choice of more capacity or more comfort, which is definitely a win-win. I wonder how much this will reduce the "off-the-shelf" benefit for other manufacturers, ie, can an existing design be modified easily to be 6 (or 8 or 9 or 12) inches wider?ReplyDelete
Shinkasen are nominally 11 feet wide. Standard North America passenger cars are 10'6". They both go to platforms that are nominally 48 inches high.Delete
The ICE-V, ICE-1, and ICE-2 were all wider than UIC standard; the ICE-3 is narrower so it can run into France and through the Chunnel to London. The Velaro RUS (Sapsan), an ICE-3/Velaro variant, is built to Russian loading gauges, which are even wider than North American.Delete
So.. if the vendor wants to, designs can easily be modified for wider loading gauges. Special tooling might up the unit-cost, though. And choosing a different loading gauge than Amtrak would wreck any attempt at economy-of-scale (which is a *dumb* idea in the first place, due to completely different constraints on the two rail systems; but that's a completely different topic).
In all these conversation about Level-Boarding and Platform-Sharing, I think we should also discuss whether to allow passengers to wait for trains on the platform as with most intermediate stations, or wait in a separate "waiting room" such in the case of Amtrak NEC (New York Penn, Boston South, etc...) or Caltrain San Francisco.ReplyDelete
Vertical access (stairs and escalators) to the platforms proves to be a huge bottleneck, and this is particularly true of Transbay's botched design. The platforms themselves are standard width by 21st century standards. So it's better to let passengers walk onto the platform as they arrive (and distribute themselves throughout its length) rather than have a stampede down the stairs to a few doors right when the train arrives. I don't think there's any station on CalTrain or HSR where traditional waiting rooms make sense.Delete
"I think we should also discuss whether to allow passengers to wait for trains on the platform"Delete
Do you own or own shares in a construction company? Because that's the only rational class of person who could be interested in such a "discussion".
The people who build stations that involve two or three times the amount of civil engineering are the only ones who benefit from making transportation slower, less convenient, more hostile and more expensive.
All passengers must be allowed to wait on the platform at all stations. Amtrak's current passenger-hostile practices at Seattle, NY Penn, and Boston South need to end. (There's an excuse for prohibiting it at Portland OR, which has grade crossings of active tracks before some of the boarding platforms.)Delete
The purpose of a waiting room is for passengers who are changing from one train to the next, perhaps with quite a long wait -- and for passengers at stations with many platforms, who are waiting for their train before their train has been assigned to a particular platform.
A waiting room in a train station is, fundamentally, for *overflow* from the platforms.
The original waiting rooms built in Britain are backed up right next to the platforms, serving primarily as weather protection. The major terminals continued this design pattern, with the waiting rooms being pretty much an extension of the platforms, but one useable by people who didn't know what track their train would be on yet. This same design is used at Grand Central Station in NY, for instance. Later large waiting rooms built in the US further from the platforms are in some cases like Portland, Oregon, where passengers have to cross the tracks at grade to get to their platform. Or they were at interchange stations where many people were changing from one train to another, requiring long waits, as at Los Angeles.
You don't build a "waiting room" unless the waiting passengers would overcrowd the platform, get cranky waiting for 7 hours outdoors, etc. Even if you do build a waiting room, *you let passengers wait on the platform* and use the waiting room for overflow.
and for passengers at stations with many platforms, who are waiting for their train before their train has been assigned to a particular platform.Delete
This situation should never occur with modern operations. Trains can and should be assigned platforms far in advance (months even, since there's no reason to change it from day to day or week to week). In the event of delays platforms should be reassigned quickly and passengers directed to the correct platform - this isn't Amtrak where hour long delays are common.
Caltrain, Transbay to study capacity issues in Transbay terminalReplyDelete
What do I think? High-floor does simplify train construction a lot, so it seems like a justifiable decision for HSR. The joint procurement with Amtrak means we'll get 48" platforms, which is just fine as high platforms go.ReplyDelete
However, compatible platforms are a *must-have* along a line: it's just goofy to have different platform heights for track-sharing services, and such waste should be minimized.
It's tolerable to have separate 15" (ACE/Capitol Corridor/Amtrak) and 48" (HSR/Caltrain) platforms at San Jose, but it's nuts to also add 25" platforms to the mix. If you're nearby to other train services, picking a standard different from all of them is generally the wrong thing to do. (Hello, BART.)
(Incidentally, there is no conceivable reason to have a two-level San Jose station. There's plenty of room at track level for six or seven platform tracks at least, and no problem with having one pair with high platforms and the rest with 15" platforms.)
As for Caltrain's 25" floor fleet -- did anyone in the US standardize on 25" platforms? Given current wheelchair access rules, the fleet may be an orphan best sold in South America. San Diego is getting good money selling its trains in South America, FWIW.
Here's something interesting I noticed on a website: "Caltrain seeking modernization planning director"ReplyDelete
"The agency is currently seeking a Director, Caltrain Modernization Planning to add to its valued team. This position is responsible for all planning, development, and stakeholder outreach activities related to short and long-range planning to support Caltrain operations, program delivery of the Caltrain Modernization Program, and planning for the Caltrain/high-speed rail blended system."
In the slides, it mentions there is a service impact for gauntlet tracks, and the image shows the train having to deviate to stop at the platform. What if the gauntlets are designed so that freight trains that need to pass the platforms have to deviate; would that mean that the passenger trains can go straight and don't have to slow down as much?ReplyDelete
It might save a couple of minutes, at the cost of having each freight train round trip use the divergent route on more than 100 sets of points. There is nothing good about gauntlet tracks... they are an expensive technical solution to what is fundamentally a regulatory problem.Delete