SkyscraperCity Forum banner
1 - 20 of 57 Posts

1,325 Posts
Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Roadrunner to Adorn Commuter Rail Cars

By Miguel Navrot
Journal Staff Writer
A striding red-and-yellow roadrunner won "oohs" and applause Monday from backers of a future commuter rail during the unveiling of its name and logo.
Gov. Bill Richardson announced the named "New Mexico Rail Runner Express" and revealed the railroad's design scheme.
Emblazoned on the steel trains is the image of a darting roadrunner. The colorful fan of its tail is pushed vertically, as in full stride.
"These trains have been designed to reflect New Mexico's vision and what we are today. Moving forward. Lean, mean, sleek," Richardson said at the Mid-Region Council of Government headquarters in Albuquerque. "It's already being hailed as a new standard for transportation design."
The governor is pushing aggressively a commuter train between Belen and Bernalillo by this autumn. Officials say a connection to Santa Fe won't happen for at least three years.
Richardson reported the Belen-Bernalillo line is on schedule. Station design and engineering is nearly complete for most locations. Next month, platform construction projects will go out to bid.
Eight stops are currently planned from Belen to Bernalillo, said Chris Blewett of the regional governments council.
On Monday, proponents of the train pointed to record-high oil prices and the everyday travel costs of private-vehicle commutes.
"When all is considered— gas prices, safety, wear and tear on vehicles, the beautiful vistas of our great state, reducing auto emissions— commuter rail makes sense," Richardson said.
Locomotives and railcars are under assembly— the last of which are expected for delivery by October.
New Mexico Rail Runner Express and the design emerged from a six-month, $75,000 effort, said governments council head Lawrence Rael. Six focus groups in various communities gave opinions on design proposals.
Local design firm Vaughn Wedeen Creative, whose clients include the Albuquerque Isotopes and Flying Star Café, crafted the design.
The roadrunner is New Mexico's state bird, a 2-foot-long carnivore that lives on lizards, scorpions and snakes.
Red and yellow, from New Mexico's bi-colored flag, arrived with the Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s. The locomotive face is crowned with a red Zia symbol.
The warm palette explodes inside the train cars. Seats are deep red with yellow highlights. Brown is used on internal paneling.
Estimated operation costs for the Belen-Bernalillo line are between $8 million and $12 million yearly. Federal, state and local government spending, as well as user fares, are expected to fund operations.
Copyright 2005 Albuquerque Journal


1,325 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Regional Context
The Belen - Santa Fe Corridor is the center of population and the economic, financial,
governmental, and educational heart of the State of New Mexico. This corridor is critical
for commuters, goods, tourism, business and government for nearly one million residents
and two million visitors every year. The corridor has many unique features, including
connections between the Albuquerque International Airport and the State Capitol in Santa
Fe; Seven Native American Pueblos are located within the corridor.
Albuquerque is part of an urbanized region stretching across four counties. As the
commercial, financial and educational center of the state, the population of the region has
almost doubled in the past 30 years to more than 740,000 (2002 estimate) and is predicted
to increase another 40 percent, to about 1,075,000, by 2025.
In the Santa Fe metropolitan area the population has more than doubled in the same 30-
year period to 142,500 and it is expected to increase another 60% to 228,000 by 2025.
While Santa Fe is a major regional employment center with over 79,000 jobs, (about
21,000 of which are government jobs) the lack of affordable housing forces much of the
workforce to live outside the city. The median home price in Santa Fe was $270,475 in
2003, nearly $100,000 higher than the national median. At the same time the median
household income is less than the national average. This has created a significant
commuter population traveling the corridor on a daily basis. Santa Fe is also a wellknown
tourist destination attracting between 1 and 2 million visitors each year. It is a
major factor in the economy of the state.
New Mexico’s population (2002) was estimated at 1,855,000, with about 774,000 jobs
statewide. The Albuquerque–Santa Fe corridor with 883,000 people is nearly half of the
state’s entire population. With over 443,000 jobs in the corridor, Albuquerque and Santa
Commuter Rail Status Report
Fe together provide nearly 60% of New Mexico’s employment. By 2025, population in
the corridor will grow by nearly 50% to more than 1,300,000 and under current plans,
will still have but one interstate highway connecting the two metropolitan areas.

1,325 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
New Mexico Rail Runner will be running next year

Pictures of the first train car:

Ground broken on Rail Runner
By Kate Nash
Tribune Reporter
November 1, 2005

BERNALILLO - When the governor told Lawrence Rael to look into the feasibility of a commuter train between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, he got right to work.


Here are the stops planned for the Rail Runner commuter train. Construction has started on the U.S. 550 stop only.

Belen: Near where the track meets Reinkin Road.

Los Lunas: Near the southeast corner of Courthouse Road and N.M. 314.

Isleta Pueblo: Where the railroad tracks meet Tribal Road 15.

Rio Bravo/Albuquerque International Sunport: Near the northeast corner of Second Street and Rio Bravo Boulevard.

Albuquerque: Downtown at the Alvarado Transportation Center, at the southeast corner of First Street and Central Avenue.

Paseo del Norte/Journal Center: Near the northeast corner of the railroad tracks and El Pueblo Road.

Sandia Pueblo: Near where the railroad tracks meet Roy Boulevard and N.M. 313.

Bernalillo: On the west side of the tracks, near Rinaldi Lane.

Sandoval County/U.S. 550: South of U.S. 550 on the west side of the tracks.

Source: Mid-Region Council of Governments

Rael lobbied the Legislature and tried to line up the millions he knew it would take.

The support wasn't there, much to the disappointment of then-Gov. Toney Anaya.

That was the early 1980s.

"There was interest, but everyone thought it was an idea whose time hadn't come," said Rael, a former deputy secretary of the state Department of Transportation.

That time came Monday, with the ceremonial groundbreaking that turned a patch of sagebrush and tumbleweeds into what will be one of nine stops for the Rail Runner, a commuter train that will connect Belen to Bernalillo early next year and from Albuquerque to Santa Fe by late 2008.

About 25 years after the idea was first studied, the Legislature, federal and local governments and Gov. Bill Richardson are on board with the plan.

"It's going to change the way we travel in New Mexico," Richardson said, standing where the first platform will be south of U.S. 550 and west of the railroad tracks.

The next station to be built will be near Paseo del Norte and El Pueblo Road, said Rael, now executive director of the Mid-Region Council of Governments.

The groundbreaking is a major step forward for transportation in the state, said Department of Transportation Secretary Rhonda Faught, whose department has emphasized multimodal transportation.

"We've spent the last 20 years telling you how you can't get it done," she said.

The train is expected to relieve traffic congestion, not just in Albuquerque but along the middle Rio Grande region. The Rail Runner will stop at key areas, such as Downtown, near the Albuquerque International Sunport and at Sandia Pueblo.

The train is also expected to provide a ride to work for employees of Sandia Casino, said pueblo Gov. Stuwart Paisano.

"Finally, the Native American communities in the state are part of transportation in New Mexico," he said.

The cost of a round trip has not been set but is expected to run between $2 and $6.

The first phase will cost $75 million. Five locomotives and 10 passenger cars will service Belen to Bernalillo. The locomotives can hit top speeds of 110 mph, but the train will travel only as fast as 79 mph. The average speed will be between 55 and 60 mph.

Each car will seat about 140 passengers and will include a bike rack.


1,325 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
samsonyuen said:
Great news! Will it eventually go to Santa Fe then? How many miles is the first phase, and how much will it take to get from on end to another?

Trains tp Santa Fe

The first major step in exploring the possibility of extending RailRunner service north to Santa Fe has been completed.
MRCOG and the New Mexico Department of Transportation have recently completed the Alternatives Analysis (use link in margin to view the draft study in PDF format). This analysis evaluated 17 different options for better connecting Albuquerque and Santa Fe, including new rail lines and additional roadway lanes.

The Community District Rail Alignment (pictured above) was recommended by the Technical Advisory Committee as the preferred alternative and has also been approved by the Santa Fe and Albuquerque Metropolitan Transportation Boards.

In the fall, additional environmental and engineering work on the preferred alternative will be conducted, followed by design and construction. The goal is to start commuter rail service by the end of 2008.

FINALLY!!! a thread about my beloved system here in Albuquerque!! :)

Construction has started on the Journal Center Station, the Enchanted Hills Station, and the Bernalillo Station.

Also....excavation has begun on the Rio Bravo Station........and of course....the Alvarado/Grand Central is already completed...and recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation.

The first phase extends from South Algodones in the north, to Los Lunas in the south in metropolitan Albuquerque....which is a distance of 53 miles. It continues on to the exurban community of Belen, which is another 8 miles south of Los Lunas.

42% of Belen commutes to Albuquerque, clogging up the valley roads such as Coors Blvd. and Broadway, and choking under-laned I-25 freeway.

86% of Los Lunas' workforce commute to Albuquerque, going to diverse places as Downtown, Journal Center, Kirtland/SNL, the Int. Airport, and the Heights. Over 150,000 cars crowd onto 4 laned I-25 South into Los Lunas every afternoon. If a concert is being held at Journal Pavilion, or if games are going on in the stadium district, the freeway becomes even more crowded. The rail line will help with congestion and commute time, which in the afternoon, takes the average commuter 50 minutes one-way from downtown Albuquerque, to Los Lunas, 12 miles away.

The metro station in Los Lunas, is 1.5 miles away from the massive I-25 Los Lunas exit and 6 Interchange. At this location, are-

Home Depot
High School
Wal-Mart Southwest Distribution Center
4 Hotels
Shopping Mall
12 screen Movie theater
12 Restaraunts including Chilis and Johnny Carinos
the MASSIVE Los Morros Business Park
the HUGE 8,000 single-family home Huning Ranch Subdivision
and the approved Six Flags of the Sun Amusemant Park.

It is essential that the metro rail line reaches Los Lunas, to provide another alternative for commuters wishing to reach this burgeoning southern suburb.

Also 1.5 miles away from bustling downtown Los Lunas, the Station will need improved pedestrian access and better road access.

Main Street in Los Lunas is already under construction, for the widening of the road and aditional lanes needed for the influx of cars into the area for the park and ride service.Pedestrian Bridges and Bicycle Lanes are already being put quickly into place, so people will be able to walk or bike from their relatively close homes, to the station where they will take a quick and comfortable 18 minute ride into downtown Albuquerque and points further north.

1,325 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Nashville Music City Star

The Regional Transportation Authority is working closely with the Federal Transit Administration and local government to bring commuter rail service to Middle Tennessee. Beginning in the spring of 2006, the RTA will use existing rail tracks to link commuters in a 32-mile corridor between Wilson and Davidson counties.

Commuters riding the train will enjoy a comfortable ride while saving on parking, gas and automobile costs. This commuting alternative will not only result in reduced stress for the commuter, it will reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and encourage economic development in our region.

- 40 former Amtrak locomotives
• Type: (B-B) 0440
• Weight: 260,000 lbs (approx) (118 metric tons)
• Horsepower: 3000 (2237kW with HEP generation)
• Engine: 645E3 16, turbocharged
• Cylinders: 16
• Full Speed RPM:893
• Standby Speed RPM: 720 Normal
• RPM: 410
• Low RPM: 260 Main Generator: AR10-D14
• Nominal Voltage (DC) 600
• Traction Motors: D77, DC, Series Wound
• Maximum continuous current:1050 Amperes
• Max T/E 225kN - 50000lbs #Est NoHEP
• Cont T/E 200kN - 45000lbs #Est HEP
• Driving Wheels: Number 4 pair, diameter 40"
• Maximum speed: 103
• Minimum continuous speed: 16.3

Stats for railcars
• Eleven bi-level gallery railcars:
1. Four cab cars (with cab controls)
11’6” wide x 15’11” tall x 85’0” long

2. Seven coaches (passenger cars only)
10’0” wide x 15’11” tall x 85’0” long

• Acquired through transfer of federal interest
from Chicago Metra

• Single and double throw-over and retractable
theatre type seats

• Manufactured by Pullman Car Manufacturing Company
during the 1960’s and rebuilt by Chicago Metra in 1999-2000

• Will be modified to become ADA compliant including wider
entryways, wheelchair securements, and a bridge plate
system to be used with mini-high platform at stations

• Seating capacity is up to 150-160 per car, after
ADA modifications

Over time, the RTA hopes to expand commuter service to a regional transit network linking downtown Nashville with the following areas:

* Northeast (Briley Parkway, Hendersonville and Gallatin)
* East (Hermitage, Mt. Juliet and Lebanon)
* Southeast (Hickory Hollow, LaVergne, Smyrna and Murfreesboro)
* South (Brentwood, Cool Springs, Franklin and Columbia)
* West (Belle Meade, Bellevue and Kingston Springs)
* Northwest (Northern Cheatham County including Ashland City)
* North (Robertson County including Springfield)

1,325 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
New Tri-Met (Portland, Oregon) Commuter Rail


In 1996, a feasibility study for a commuter rail line was initiated by Washington County, the cities of Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin, Wilsonville and Sherwood, TriMet, Metro, and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

The project, which would establish a new 14.7-mile passenger rail line between Beaverton and Wilsonville, has received strong support from the public and business community. It is one of the few suburb-to-suburb commuter rail projects in the country.

Because the line uses existing freight tracks in a dedicated corridor, there would be minimal construction impacts.

Passengers would ride in self-propelled diesel train cars. TriMet is working with Colorado Railcar to design and build the vehicle.

Proposed route

The proposed 14.7-mile line will share freight train tracks with the Portland & Western Railroad in eastern Washington County. The line will serve five stations in Beaverton, Washington Square, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville.

Service frequency & travel time

Commuter Rail will operate weekdays every 30 minutes during morning and afternoon rush hours. The trip from Beaverton Transit Center to Wilsonville would take 27 minutes. Train speeds will average 37 mph, with a top speed of over 60 mph.

Ridership projections

Average daily ridership is estimated between 3,000 and 4,000 trips by 2020, with half of the riders new to transit.

Cost & funding

The $103.5 million project will be funded by:

$51.75 million in federal funding
$35 million from state lottery bond proceeds
$10.25 million from the Metro Transportation Improvement Program
$6.5 million from local cities and Washington County

TriMet and Washington County will contribute a total of $4.1 million toward annual operating costs.

Project timeline
Winter 2005 Full Funding Grant Agreement
2006 Construction begins
2008 Service begins

The Washington County Commuter Rail line would use self-propelled diesel trains, similar to this concept drawing, to carry passengers between Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville.

1,325 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)


The Northstar Corridor is an 82-mile transportation corridor which runs along highways 10 & 94 from downtown Minneapolis to the St. Cloud/Rice area. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and the Northstar Corridor Development Authority (NCDA) studied transportation options for the Corridor. After analyzing all possibilities, they recommended Northstar Commuter Rail as the best transportation alternative for this corridor.

Northstar Commuter Rail Proposal
Facts and Figures

The Northstar Corridor, which runs from the Big Lake area to downtown Minneapolis along Highway 10 & I-94, is the fastest growing area in the state.

Length: 40 miles

Number of Stations: 6

Est. Daily Ridership: 5,600 trips

Service Begins: 2009 - With Your Help!

Capital Cost: $265 million (FY 2008) (50% federal, 33% state, 17% local)

Car Capacity: 150-162 seated (additional space for standing available)

Amenities: Work tables, on-board restrooms, individual seating, power outlets.

Top Speed: 79 mph

Base Service: 8 morning, 8 evening trains, one midday round trip and limited weekend and special event service

Connections: Feeder buses to stations, Hiawatha LRT in downtown Mpls.

Accessibility: Fully ADA Compliant


The rail line (ABQ) will now be underground in the north valley from just north of Montano to just south of Journal Center.

Standard fares are expected to stand at $2.50 round trip.

The station at Isleta will be helpful in getting commuters from theis suburb into Los Lunas and the South Valley.....two major shopping and work destinations for Isletans. Priorities for Isleta Pueblo include-

Improved access from Broadway South to the station itself.

Greater economic potential surrounding the station, specifically retail and possible housing oppurtunities.

And public transportation links from the station area to Isleta Casino, Isleta Golf Course, and Isleta Lakes.

Only 13% of Isleta's workforce commutes to Albuquerque, and 45% to Los Lunas. However, the Casino and concerts held at the exhibition center, plus Isletas very own unique recreational oppurtunities draw well over 750,000 people per year.

Virtute Fideque
520 Posts
It's good that the state looks forward to public transit and that's a good start, however the train itself looks somewhat obsolete and heavy for a commuter train by world's standards.

This is NYC commuter train

Yes but ours are double-decked. :)............and we expect upwards of 65,000+ per day....on a single line. :)
1 - 20 of 57 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.