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Old June 2nd, 2016, 04:16 AM   #1321
00Zy99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 View Post
Right, if they're designed to carry the extra load. My point was only that I don't think the GG was designed as such, but I'm not entirely certain.

The Verrazano has the same issue, I think.
GG is iffy.

Verrazano was designed without any spare capacity-it was double-deck from the start. You can thank Robert Moses for deliberately kicking the subway off.
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 10:55 AM   #1322
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Why?
Consider the slope gradients along the following corridors:

• The pair of roads served by the 1-California called Clay and Sacramento Streets east of Van Ness
• Sections of the 24-Divisadero on Castro and Noe Streets, plus 30th Street east of Mission
• Union Street between Van Ness and Columbus (with the 41-Union and 45-Union/Stockton)
• Clayton & Market, plus portions of Ashbury on the 33

The high-floored nature of those buses allow safer boarding and disembarking for most people, and that their traction for climbing and descending through hills is much better than a low-floored bus. And by the way, the infrastructure has been in place that those lines were built to allow a more "gentle" pace through the hilly neighborhoods of the City.
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 11:01 AM   #1323
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My gut says the best thing would be to run along the 101 median from San Rafael to the incline, then tunnel under the hill (does this hill have a name, btw?) on approach to the Golden Gate, and link the tunnel to the underside of the bridge as pictured above.

Yes, freeway-running trains are kind of lame, but it's not like the SMART needs to weave into the urban fabric of Marin -- most commuters are going to be park-and-riding anyway.
Eh, you already have the Cal Park Tunnel running below US-101 and it uses the old NWP alignment. And then it ends close the Larkspur Ferry, with a bridge ahead of it. As for the Waldo Grade, I'd be better off serving Sausalito directly rather than bypassing it to lure in even more locals and tourists to use the train.

To encourage more rail passengers to SF will require extensive engineering to bring the train under the Golden Gate Strait and have proper alignment through SF and Sausalito in order for the trains to run smoothly.
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 05:56 PM   #1324
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Originally Posted by fieldsofdreams View Post
The high-floored nature of those buses allow safer boarding and disembarking for most people, and that their traction for climbing and descending through hills is much better than a low-floored bus.
Again, why?
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 10:14 PM   #1325
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Eh, you already have the Cal Park Tunnel running below US-101 and it uses the old NWP alignment. And then it ends close the Larkspur Ferry, with a bridge ahead of it. As for the Waldo Grade, I'd be better off serving Sausalito directly rather than bypassing it to lure in even more locals and tourists to use the train.

To encourage more rail passengers to SF will require extensive engineering to bring the train under the Golden Gate Strait and have proper alignment through SF and Sausalito in order for the trains to run smoothly.
I would say that it is possible to have a downtown Sausalito station and still cross the bridge. It would be VERY tight, but it should be feasible.

After running on the surface for some distance along a re-developed waterfront, trains stop at Marinship Way for Sausalito. Then they turn west into the hill, squeezing under Bridgeway (there seems to be just enough room from an eyeball look).

The tunnel clings to the side of the mountain, passing roughly under Langendorf Park and Toyon Lane. There may be an additional stop under Glen Drive, or Main Street.

Entering the headlands, the route swings out to the west portal of the Bunker Road tunnel. It then circles around Slackers Hill, poking out a bit along the side of Kirby Cove, before diving through one last tunnel to come out along Cozelman Road and swing into the approaches of the bridge.

On the San Francisco side, the tracks begin dropping immediately as soon as they enter the famous arch. Following the roadway, they plunge into the ground just before one of the Presidio's walking paths. A station may be possible beneath the bridge plaza, serving the view-points and the Presidio.

Staying underground, the tracks proceed roughly south out of the Presidio. Then they begin a long curve in the direction of Laurel Heights and Anza Vista, before tying into the existing Caltrain Terminal and/or Transbay Terminal approaches at roughly 7th and Townsend.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 01:28 AM   #1326
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Originally Posted by MrAronymous View Post
Again, why?
Okay then, tell me your case for low-floor electric trolleybuses on steep hills. Yes, those are "accessible" on flatter surfaces, but, how about its performance on hilly roads? There is only one hillier route than the 24-Divisadero, which is the 67-Bernal Heights that uses the 30-footer Orion VII low-floored bus. Other than that, the rest use high-floored trolleybuses. Consider the accessibility, traction, power, and wheelbase needed to manage such terrain.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 01:42 AM   #1327
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Originally Posted by 00Zy99 View Post
I would say that it is possible to have a downtown Sausalito station and still cross the bridge. It would be VERY tight, but it should be feasible.

After running on the surface for some distance along a re-developed waterfront, trains stop at Marinship Way for Sausalito. Then they turn west into the hill, squeezing under Bridgeway (there seems to be just enough room from an eyeball look).

The tunnel clings to the side of the mountain, passing roughly under Langendorf Park and Toyon Lane. There may be an additional stop under Glen Drive, or Main Street.

Entering the headlands, the route swings out to the west portal of the Bunker Road tunnel. It then circles around Slackers Hill, poking out a bit along the side of Kirby Cove, before diving through one last tunnel to come out along Cozelman Road and swing into the approaches of the bridge.

On the San Francisco side, the tracks begin dropping immediately as soon as they enter the famous arch. Following the roadway, they plunge into the ground just before one of the Presidio's walking paths. A station may be possible beneath the bridge plaza, serving the view-points and the Presidio.

Staying underground, the tracks proceed roughly south out of the Presidio. Then they begin a long curve in the direction of Laurel Heights and Anza Vista, before tying into the existing Caltrain Terminal and/or Transbay Terminal approaches at roughly 7th and Townsend.
Are those Marin County sections still NWP property or who owns that right-of-way now? Recall that the Golden Gate District divested most of the rail tracks it owned and was transferred to the now Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit authority based in Sonoma County. The major challenges I find with that proposal would be noise and tunneling concerns from various communities, especially with:

- The wetlands immediately east of the Village at Corte Madera
- The residential areas flanked east of US-101 between Larkspur and Sausalito (there is a mobile home park right after the old wooden bridge)
- Branson School relocating from Ross to the area close to the Golden Gate Seminary in Mill Valley
- A new bridge required to span Richardson Bay
- Potential relocation of houseboats located between CA-1 and Sausalito
- The hilly alignment through Sausalito that would require tunneling instead of overground operations
- Forging a deal between SMART, National Park Service, and the Presidio Trust to assess the environmental impact of initial construction and long-term maintenance of a dedicated rail tunnel for the service
- The impact of such rail service to the existing ferry services between Larkspur and San Francisco, and Sausalito and San Francisco, as well as multiple bus services provided by the Golden Gate District

It's never easy to pour in more money for a San Francisco extension, let alone address the multiple complaints (and potential lawsuits) from residents and businesses who may be against that additional service further down to SF via Sausalito. It will require a lot of muscle to even produce an acceptable environmental impact study and report to really make sure that such an extension would be feasible and beneficial to the region.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 01:55 AM   #1328
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fieldsofdreams View Post
Okay then, tell me your case for low-floor electric trolleybuses on steep hills. Yes, those are "accessible" on flatter surfaces, but, how about its performance on hilly roads? There is only one hillier route than the 24-Divisadero, which is the 67-Bernal Heights that uses the 30-footer Orion VII low-floored bus. Other than that, the rest use high-floored trolleybuses. Consider the accessibility, traction, power, and wheelbase needed to manage such terrain.
I'm honestly baffled by your response. How does the bus floor height have to do with anything? It's not like the current buses are jacked up or anything? And if they are, low-floor buses could be too. It's the interior floor that makes a bus a low or high floor model, there's barely any height difference on the outside. You suddenly mention trolley power, which could be better for hills, I don't know, but that again has nothing to do with the height of the floor. Neither does the wheelbase..

Were you talking about "low floor buses" or "the low floor buses", as in a a specific model or configuration which would be unsuitable. Cause I'm pretty sure low floor buses come in all shapes and sizes, trolleys and all too.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 02:19 AM   #1329
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrAronymous View Post
I'm honestly baffled by your response. How does the bus floor height have to do with anything? It's not like the current buses are jacked up or anything? And if they are, low-floor buses could be too. It's the interior floor that makes a bus a low or high floor model, there's barely any height difference on the outside. You suddenly mention trolley power, which could be better for hills, I don't know, but that again has nothing to do with the height of the floor. Neither does the wheelbase..

Were you talking about "low floor buses" or "the low floor buses", as in a a specific model or configuration which would be unsuitable. Cause I'm pretty sure low floor buses come in all shapes and sizes, trolleys and all too.
That additional height does make a difference on how a bus performs overall.

Low-floored vehicles are designed specifically to deal with high-density urban traffic. Its main draws are ease of boarding and ability to operate on busier corridors like a passenger train. Its main flaw, however, is the location of the engines and key components for maintenance: many of those parts are located on top of the vehicles to compromise for the low-floor area that passengers want. Not to mention, the low-floored nature would actually exacerbate wear and tear more quickly than a high-floored vehicle as the components are closer to the ground than high-floored buses.

Multiple benefits can be seen with high-floored vehicles, from a more centralized engine location (which is also easier to access) to better views for passengers. And by the way, I've been accustomed to high-floored buses much, much more than the low-floored counterparts that riding the former actually lessens the "bumpy ride feel" than the latter.

You can view additional discussion over here from the NYC Transit Forums.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 02:46 AM   #1330
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Here we go... Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit has decided the fare structure. From two sources, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and Marin Independent Journal:

Press Democrat: Santa Rosa to San Rafael round-trip on SMART train? $19
Quote:
Struggling to find a “sweet spot” for ticket prices that will attract riders but also produce sufficient revenue to keep trains rolling, directors of Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit on Wednesday approved a fare structure that was still too steep for some Sonoma County officials.

The fares will include a $9.50 one-way, or $19 round-trip ticket from downtown Santa Rosa to San Rafael when the commuter trains debut at the end of the year. SMART directors approved them on a 9-2 vote.

[...]

“If we start too low, we’re as good as a cable company. The rate doubles in six months. It makes people angry,” said SMART Director and Windsor Town Councilwoman Deb Fudge.

[...]

By comparison, Golden Gate Transit buses charge $8 one-way or $16 round-trip to go from Santa Rosa to San Rafael.
Marin IJ: SMART plans dry runs in September, sets $3.50 one-way base fare
Quote:
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit agency hopes to begin rolling simulated service in early September, rail officials said Wednesday.

[...]

The board decided on a one-way base fare of $3.50, plus another $2 each time a zone is entered.

Last year the SMART board approved a plan to have five zones when it starts service from downtown San Rafael to the Santa Rosa Airport.

Under the structure, a passenger would pay $11.50 one way to pass through all five zones. SMART officials believe the majority of commuters — 61 percent — would pass between two and three zones. There would be a pass that caps a daily fare at $23 to allow more travel if passengers wanted to get off and on the system.

SMART will offer discounts of between 75 cents and $1.50 for passengers using Clipper-enabled North Bay bus systems to get to the train. There would be senior, disabled, youth and veterans discounts as well.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 05:09 AM   #1331
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Originally Posted by fieldsofdreams View Post
Are those Marin County sections still NWP property or who owns that right-of-way now? Recall that the Golden Gate District divested most of the rail tracks it owned and was transferred to the now Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit authority based in Sonoma County. The major challenges I find with that proposal would be noise and tunneling concerns from various communities, especially with:

- The wetlands immediately east of the Village at Corte Madera
- The residential areas flanked east of US-101 between Larkspur and Sausalito (there is a mobile home park right after the old wooden bridge)
- Branson School relocating from Ross to the area close to the Golden Gate Seminary in Mill Valley
- A new bridge required to span Richardson Bay
- Potential relocation of houseboats located between CA-1 and Sausalito
Umm, wait a second.

In a previous post (June 1, 2016), I noted that I would route the line more inland, via Baltimore Park and Alto. The route there is almost completely open, with only a trail in place.

Yes, it runs through a residential area, but SMART already does the same thing through Los Ranchitos and San Rafael, so I wouldn't consider it politically impossible. The RV park would be close by, but with only two spots within fifty feet and 101 on the other side, I wouldn't call the addition of a rail line to be a significant degradation in life quality.

Community Mini-Storage would lose some space, but that could be handled by juggling things with the next-door substation. Wornum Drive would need a diet, and it might be necessary to pinch at the DMV a bit, but not to an extreme amount.

Beyond Tamal Vista Drive there is one pedestrian and one vehicular crossing in Corte Madera (and a few parking spaces at Menke Park). Other than that, it is pretty much free sailing.

The tunnel under Camino Alto is still intact, and could be refurbished.

Past the tunnel, there are exactly two vehicular grade crossings in Mill Valley and one trail. Cutting across the wetlands, there are pre-existing fills that just need short girder bridges.

Going under 101, it comes alongside Shoreline Highway. Clinging to the side of the road, it passes the houseboats without touching them.

Here, however, is where things get tricky. While there is enough room for the most part, there might need to be a few partial or even whole takings from the commercial buildings along Bridgeway. The offenders are Mike's Bikes, Green Toys, and Fed Ex.

Yes, it would mean closing a trail, but it avoids basically all of the above impacts. The total impacts would be very light in comparison to many other urban rail projects of similar magnitude.

Quote:
- The hilly alignment through Sausalito that would require tunneling instead of overground operations
- Forging a deal between SMART, National Park Service, and the Presidio Trust to assess the environmental impact of initial construction and long-term maintenance of a dedicated rail tunnel for the service
- The impact of such rail service to the existing ferry services between Larkspur and San Francisco, and Sausalito and San Francisco, as well as multiple bus services provided by the Golden Gate District
As I have already acknowledged, yes, there would need to be tunnels on both sides of the bridge. However, given other transportation projects through urban greenery (such as the Doyle Drive replacement), I would consider it to be something that is feasible.

The rail services would likely take away a large part of the ferry traffic, but that would enable ferries to be diverted to other routes in the bay. The bus services could be reorganized to feed the rail line and provide a more intense coverage.

QUOTE]
It's never easy to pour in more money for a San Francisco extension, let alone address the multiple complaints (and potential lawsuits) from residents and businesses who may be against that additional service further down to SF via Sausalito. It will require a lot of muscle to even produce an acceptable environmental impact study and report to really make sure that such an extension would be feasible and beneficial to the region.[/QUOTE]

I never claimed that it was inevitable. However, this is a plan that I feel to be technically feasible and have the least disruption. It is true that people might pass through the towns on their way south where they would have stopped before, but I suspect that it would be more than compensated by the increased traffic coming up from San Francisco. Besides, Cloverdale is about a three hour trip from downtown SF. That's more than most people are willing to commute, so it might well be a case of overlapping commuter runs-which would be very financially lucrative.

In the end, this is a thought exercise to what I think is possible. Nothing more.
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Old June 19th, 2016, 04:55 AM   #1332
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Earlier today, I went to yet another public sneak peek by Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART train), this time at the San Rafael SMART station across from the San Rafael Transit Center. I was not disappointed with what I saw...


IMG_9196 by Anthony Nachor, on Flickr


IMG_9197 by Anthony Nachor, on Flickr


IMG_9198 by Anthony Nachor, on Flickr


IMG_9199 by Anthony Nachor, on Flickr


IMG_9205 by Anthony Nachor, on Flickr


IMG_9210 by Anthony Nachor, on Flickr


IMG_9215 by Anthony Nachor, on Flickr


IMG_9219 by Anthony Nachor, on Flickr


IMG_9224 by Anthony Nachor, on Flickr


IMG_9233 by Anthony Nachor, on Flickr

More pictures available here
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Old June 22nd, 2016, 08:23 PM   #1333
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Hey guys, I just stumbled onto this Bay Area "Best-Case Scenario" Transit Map on Medium by Adam Susaneck.

He's basically taken every proposal currently under consideration by transit agencies around the bay, and incorporated them into a single map as if they were all funded and under construction (taking some liberties to choose from among the various proposals and alignments in each).

Embedding is restricted, so I've only posted a screengrab of the low-res version of the map:



I thought it made for a pretty great overview, and be sure to click through for higher-res close-ups of the different regions, and to read the specific projects he's highlighted.
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Old July 4th, 2016, 04:15 PM   #1334
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From Railway Gazette:

Quote:
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/t...art-train.html

BART unveils Antioch eBART train
04 Jul 2016





USA: The first of eight Stadler GTW 2/6 diesel multiple-units ordered for the East Contra Costa BART Extension Project was unveiled on June 30.

The eBART project was approved in 2007 as a quicker and more affordable alternative to extending the BART metro network into eastern Contra Costa County. It involves the construction of 16 km of dedicated 1 435 mm gauge line from BART’s Pittsburg/Bay Point terminus to new stations at Pittsburg and Antioch, running east along the median of Highway 4 which is being widened as part of a project with an overall value of around $1bn. A groundbreaking was held in October 2010, and BART says the $525m cost of the rail element of the project including standard gauge DMUs has been 60% cheaper than building an electrified line to the BART network’s 1 676 mm gauge

...
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Old July 5th, 2016, 01:04 AM   #1335
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For what it's worth, it looks like the Caltrain EMU project has been awarded to Stadler US, Inc, presumably for their KISS bi-level EMUs. The last Board of Directors meeting indicated that a temporary award would be announced at next month's meeting (July 7) and the minutes for that upcoming meeting show a pending resolution for awarding of the contract.

I don't have enough posts to post a link but it can be found at caltrain [dot] com /about/bod/Board_of_Directors_Meeting_Calendar.html
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Old July 5th, 2016, 06:44 AM   #1336
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BART unveils Antioch eBART train
04 Jul 2016






eBart
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Old July 5th, 2016, 08:52 AM   #1337
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Between the SMART DMUs and the Ebart DMUs and now the Kiss EMUs , the Bay Area is getting some sexy rolling stock..
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Old July 5th, 2016, 07:30 PM   #1338
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Quote:
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For what it's worth, it looks like the Caltrain EMU project has been awarded to Stadler US, Inc, presumably for their KISS bi-level EMUs. The last Board of Directors meeting indicated that a temporary award would be announced at next month's meeting (July 7) and the minutes for that upcoming meeting show a pending resolution for awarding of the contract.



I don't have enough posts to post a link but it can be found at caltrain [dot] com /about/bod/Board_of_Directors_Meeting_Calendar.html

I will look into it and see if I can attend that meeting. However, I don't know if that takes place either in San Francisco, San Carlos (the home of both SamTrans and Caltrain), or San Jose...
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Old July 6th, 2016, 12:00 AM   #1339
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I will look into it and see if I can attend that meeting. However, I don't know if that takes place either in San Francisco, San Carlos (the home of both SamTrans and Caltrain), or San Jose...
The meeting location and time is written at the top of the PDF agenda (Bacciocco Auditorium, 2nd Floor, 1250 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos CA 94070 at 10am on 7/6). I've never been to one but they do make an audio recording of the meeting which is released shortly afterwards and it lets me skip to the interesting parts. Minutes are also taken but my understanding is that they're not released until next month's agenda is released so the board can approve them.
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Old July 7th, 2016, 07:38 AM   #1340
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Yeah, I figured San Carlos. That would be a stretch for me to travel all the way to San Carlos from Novato just to attend a meeting (which I hope lasts for 2 hours), and I will have to fill up my time down in San Mateo County or San Jose before I head home.
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