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Old September 29th, 2014, 05:48 AM   #381
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The two new light-rail lines in Houston (Green and Purple) will not open in time for Christmas as was recently announced, but instead will open some time in 2015.

Houston Chronicle
http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news...to-5762844.php

Quote:
More trouble for rail lines as opening pushed to next year
Blame laid to continuing mechanicalproblem with train-tracking system, plus a downtown construction error

By Dug Begley

September 17, 2014 | Updated: September 17, 2014 7:42pm

Metro acknowledged Wednesday that it will be unable to open its two new light rail lines this year as promised, the latest in a series of delays and controversies associated with the rail system.

Less than two months ago, Metropolitan Transit Authority officials said the agency's Green and Purple lines would open in December - just under the wire of the 2014 opening they pledged when work started in 2011. Four years ago, the opening date was pushed back to 2014 from 2012 after a federal investigation forced Metro to restart its rail car procurement process.

Continuing problems with axle counters along the route - the counters are part of the system that tracks trains along the line - and a downtown construction error that severed a chilled water line have made it impossible to open the lines this year, officials said. CEO Tom Lambert said agency officials were working to develop a new timetable.

"It is disappointing, but it is more important to get it done right than stick to the 2014 timetable," Metro board chairman Gilbert Garcia said.

The chilled water line delivers cooled water to Minute Maid Park, and is crucial to the operation of its air conditioning system. The cut knocked out AC at the ballpark over the weekend of Aug. 23 and 24.

The line break occurred under Metro's new section of track south of the ballpark. Because of the break, an entire section of the roadway, rails and communications system had to be replaced.

The segment serves both the Green Line that runs from downtown through the East End along Harrisburg, and the Purple Line that connects downtown to the Palm Center Transit Center south of the University of Houston. The replacement will delay testing of the lines - a requirement before service can start.

Given the additional work, track replacement and continuing problems with the axle counters, capital projects manager Roberto Trevino said staff was "taking a look at the impact to the schedule."

Lambert said officials plan to present a revised schedule to Metro's board Sept. 25.

Neither problem will cost Metro additional money. Repairs related to the chilled water line are covered by the construction company that mistakenly cut it while working on a nearby hotel project. The axle counters, made by Siemens, are defective and the manufacturer is covering the replacement.

The delay is one of many. Earlier this year, Metro and the company building the additional rail cars to run on the new lines found themselves months behind schedule and at risk of not having enough cars to open the lines.

CAF USA, the rail car builder, is catching up on delivering cars to Houston. Lambert said the latest delay is unrelated to CAF.

Metro has recently placed much of its focus on opening the new lines. Garcia has called them the transit agency's highest priority.

Combined, the Green and Purple lines will cost $1.3 billion. They will increase Houston's light rail system from just under 13 miles to about 22 miles.

The final mile of the system will not open until 2017, when a long-delayed overpass along Harrisburg extends the Green Line to the Magnolia Park Transit Center. Construction of the overpass is scheduled to start early next year, potentially around the time the new lines start carrying riders.

The rail lines will drastically reshape transit service - and driving - in the central business district where they cross the existing Red Line.
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Old October 4th, 2014, 10:52 AM   #382
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From Robert Schwandl (owner of urbanrail.net), blog post about Houston transport:
http://schwandl.blogspot.com/2014/10...metrorail.html
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Old October 16th, 2014, 05:25 AM   #383
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Houston Public Media: Ridership Numbers Increase For Metro's Light Rail, Down For Buses

Quote:
By: Gail Delaughter, October 13th, 2014 01:00 PM

Metro has released new numbers showing more people are riding Houston's light rail, but ridership is down slightly for buses.

Metro officials say there were 81 million boardings on its buses and trains from October 2013 to September 2014. That's an overall increase of 1.2% over the previous year.

The biggest jump in ridership was on the light rail system, with an increase of over 12%.

But what about the bus system?

There was a 4.8% increase in the number of boardings on park and ride buses, but ridership was down on local bus routes by 1.3%.

That's something Metro hopes to reverse through its bus reimagining plan. New bus routes will be unveiled next summer.
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Old January 5th, 2015, 08:56 PM   #384
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Houston Chronicle: Road, transit progress to accelerate next year

Quote:
.....................

The same stark differences of opinion will likely greet the downtown area's largest transportation project in years: the Metropolitan Transit Authority's two new light rail lines, scheduled to begin service April 4.

Years in development and months behind schedule, the Green and Purple lines are the first rail routes away from the Main Street corridor. Unlike many major road projects, they are aimed at improving mobility inside Loop 610.

The Green Line will extend rail service east from downtown along Harrisburg, and connect with the Magnolia Park Transit Center near Gus Wortham Golf Course once an overpass is built near Hughes Street. At the earliest, the overpass would open in 2017.

The Purple Line connects the central business district with southeast Houston, notably the Texas Southern University and University of Houston area and neighborhoods southeast of the campuses.

Combined, the two lines represent a transit investment of more than $1.3 billion, but they have endured political posturing by supporters and proponents, problems complying with Federal Transit Administration regulations and delays in manufacturing rail cars.

.......................
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Old January 8th, 2015, 03:37 PM   #385
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From Rail Journal:

Quote:
http://www.railjournal.com/index.php...ml?channel=535

CAF LRVs enter service in Houston
Thursday, January 08, 2015



A CEREMONY was held at Houston's Downtown Transit Center on January 7 to mark the entry into passenger service of Houston MetroRail's new fleet of 39 H3 LRVs, which are being supplied by CAF USA

The first six vehicles are being used on the North and Main Street (Red) lines alongside the existing fleet of 18 H1 and 19 H2 vehicles, which were supplied by Siemens. Further H3s will enter service in the coming weeks in readiness for the opening of the East/Green Line and Southeast/Purple lines in April.

The 29.6m-long three-section vehicles accommodate up to 242 passengers, 64 of them seated.

The delivery of the CAF fleet will enable MetroRail to operate LRVs in multiple on most weekday services
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Old January 24th, 2015, 03:41 AM   #386
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Swamplot: Metro ponders how to spend a light rail surplus

Quote:
Should Metro do with the extra $39.9 million it’ll end up with after the Southeast and East End rail lines open in April (on the 11th, it now looks like)? If the money isn’t spent, it’ll have to go back to the Federal Transit Administration, reports Dug Begley. $24.9 million of that would have to be spent on projects related to the year-plus-old North Line extension (the Red line), and $14.5 million would be restricted to use on the Southeast Line (aka the Purple Line). Among the proposals: building an elevated walkway between the bus transit center and the rail line at Northline; putting in extra parking at Palm Center, at the end of the Purple Line; shelters for bus stops near stations; an additional station on the Purple Line between Elgin and Leeland; safety or operational improvements, such as a restroom for train operators at a station; a crossing arm on Texas Ave. near Chartres St. [Houston Chronicle] Photo of Burnett Station: Skyline Art Services.

.....
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Old January 24th, 2015, 11:22 AM   #387
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Couldn't it extend the line a little more for one more station on each line?
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Old January 24th, 2015, 11:09 PM   #388
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Well any light rail extension would have to have additional studies and reviews which might exceed the surplus. It would probably make more sense to use the extra funds to improve the existing stations or to reroute those funds to other light rail and mass transit projects that are already underway such as the University Line or Uptown Line.
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Old January 24th, 2015, 11:36 PM   #389
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A photo of the Purple Line/Green Line trains undergoing testing in Downtown Houston.

[IMG]http://i61.************/xc7o78.jpg[/IMG]

Photos courtesy of Nate99 over at HAIF.
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Old January 25th, 2015, 08:58 AM   #390
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Oh, so they did order LRV's from CAF after all?

I thought those ran into trouble in regards to the buy america rule for transit vehicles?
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Old February 18th, 2015, 03:05 AM   #391
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2015.02.18 - opening of Central Station Main on Red Line

According to a Houston Metro press release, an infill station will open on the Red Line downtown on Wednesday this week.

Quote:
Central Station Main to Open for METRORail Passengers

Another plus for commuters as a new station is about to open on the METRORail Red Line. METRO Board members, staff, and special guests, including representatives of the Downtown Management District, will be on hand at METRORail’s Downtown Construction office, 712 Main Street, at 6:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 18. Shortly after their arrival a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on the Central Station Main platform signaling the beginning of passenger service at that station.

The station, located in the 700 block of Main between Rusk and Capitol, will also become a transfer point when the new East End/Green and Southeast/Purple Lines open in April.
http://content.govdelivery.com/accou...lletins/f11610


The exact date in April is not yet determined. The original date of 2015.04.04 is apparently out the window due to being the day before Easter, according to Metro officials cited by local media.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news...6085857.php#/3
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Old February 18th, 2015, 03:11 AM   #392
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New bus and light rail route map for Houston

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Old February 18th, 2015, 06:02 PM   #393
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Late April 2015 opening currently envisaged for new light-rail lines

https://twitter.com/DugBegley/status/567383252847960064
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Old February 18th, 2015, 07:42 PM   #394
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
New bus and light rail route map for Houston
Wait, there's a whole lot more!

Houston METRO's Transit System Reimagining Plan approved

Over the past two years, our firm has worked as a member of a diversely skilled team to help Houston METRO comprehensively redesign the city's transit system (look back to this post for the backstory). Houston is a dynamic, fast-growing city, where despite a reputation as a place where one must own a car to live, many areas have developed land-use characteristics indicating a large, untapped market for quality transit. This project has sought to design a transit network which can deliver the type of mobility outcomes current growth patterns demand, through a extensive Frequent Network grid.

Today, we are proud to share the news of the unanimous passage of the final plan by METRO's Board of Directors, with implementation on track for August 2015. In the history of transit in North America, top-to-bottom transit network redesigns are very rare, particularly for a city of the Houston's size and national importance. This is a great day for Houston, and will be a fascinating case study for transit in North America.

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Old February 19th, 2015, 07:01 AM   #395
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Houston Chronicle: New station's opening demonstrates rail progress and setbacks

Quote:
Houston's first new rail station in nearly 14 months opens Wednesday, but it won't serve its main purpose - connecting riders on multiple lines - until Metro overcomes persistent delays in expanding its service.


Central Station Main, as the stop is called, is the link between the existing Red Line along Main and the upcoming Green and Purple lines that will start service in April. The station is on Main Street between the new tracks on Capitol and Rusk.

Metropolitan Transit Authority spokesman Jerome Gray said officials have already seen rider interest in the station as it neared completion. Opening it adds another stop to the Red Line in the bustling downtown area.

"People, I'm sure, are looking forward to it," Gray said. "We're looking forward to it."

The new lines, and the station, have experienced a series of setbacks.

When voters authorized expansion of the light rail system in a 2003 referendum, they were promised a 2012 opening. That date was pushed back to 2014 because of indecision on the part of Metro officials, a scandal over rail car procurement and other issues.

..............
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Old February 19th, 2015, 08:50 AM   #396
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Houston and Phoenix have the nicest LRT trains in the country.
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Old February 19th, 2015, 07:42 PM   #397
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More like Norfolk
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Old February 20th, 2015, 12:11 AM   #398
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
The light rail vehicles currently used in Houston are the Siemens S70 model.


ok so i know this is a really old post but in the picture it says the maximum allowable speed is 71.5mph or 120km/h but 120km/h is 75 mph and 71.5mph is 115km/h what is it's actual top speed?
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Old February 20th, 2015, 03:44 AM   #399
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I think it is a typo. 120 km/h should convert to 74.5 mph, not 71.5 mph.
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Old February 20th, 2015, 09:58 PM   #400
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
I think it is a typo. 120 km/h should convert to 74.5 mph, not 71.5 mph.
Oh ok thnx
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