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Passenger Trains > Caltrain Electrification Slowly Stepping Up


Date: 11/24/22 09:28
Caltrain Electrification Slowly Stepping Up
Author: milepost20

Well, hopefully it's stepping up.  To accomodate the electrification project Caltrain
will temporarily downgrade service for two weeks beginning 12/5.  Daily train
count will drop from 104 to 68 with all Bullet service suspended and the last evening 
trains running earlier.  For two consecutive weekends there will be an all day bus
bridge between Belmont and Mountain View.  Details and schedules:

https://www.caltrain.com/december-2022-service-change

In a photo take last month a northbound Bombardier set approaches San Bruno.  The
electrification infrastructure here has been frozen in place for the last two years
with the contact wire still not in place.  I've added a shot of a southbound
approaching CP Center in Millbrae taken in March 2018(4 months short of 5 years ago)
when the first poles went up.  This has been a long, slow project.  Caltrain may have
to determine where to safely store their new Stadler EMU's before they finally enter
service.






Date: 11/24/22 09:48
Re: Caltrain Electrification Slowly Stepping Up
Author: pdt

I guess electrification is a good idea in the long run, but the timing has been pretty bad.  Of course, they counld have seen COVID coming....but. IMHO,  seems that the Bay Area is always building for the future, without paying any attention to the problems and issues of the present.  

In fact, Id say that about a lot of Calif, in general....spending a ton of money on HSR, rather than getting reasonable conventional rail service to many areas.    Just because they have it in France and Japan, doesnt mean we are ready for it here yet....especially in a hard to build area like SFO to LA.  IMHO, it has been at best...a not well thought out  pie-in-the-sky idea......and worst...simply a payoff to the construction industry for votes.



Date: 11/24/22 10:57
Re: Caltrain Electrification Slowly Stepping Up
Author: DavidP

pdt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I guess electrification is a good idea in the long
> run, but the timing has been pretty bad.  Of
> course, they counld have seen COVID coming....but.
> IMHO,  seems that the Bay Area is always building
> for the future, without paying any attention to
> the problems and issues of the present.  


CalTrain electrification does address current and near term needs.  Much of the CalTrain fleet - locomotives and cars - is reaching the end of their service lives.  That fact presented an inflection point to either renew the fleet with more of the same, or move toward a more sustainable form of power that will also deliver operational advantages.  I commend the governing board for taking this bold step.

Dave



Date: 11/24/22 12:53
Re: Caltrain Electrification Slowly Stepping Up
Author: Wolverine350

pdt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I guess electrification is a good idea in the long
> run, but the timing has been pretty bad.  Of
> course, they counld have seen COVID coming....but.
> IMHO,  seems that the Bay Area is always building
> for the future, without paying any attention to
> the problems and issues of the present.  
>
> In fact, Id say that about a lot of Calif, in
> general....spending a ton of money on HSR, rather
> than getting reasonable conventional rail service
> to many areas.    Just because they have it in
> France and Japan, doesnt mean we are ready for it
> here yet....especially in a hard to build area
> like SFO to LA.  IMHO, it has been at best...a
> not well thought out  pie-in-the-sky
> idea......and worst...simply a payoff to the
> construction industry for votes.

Electrification offers benefits now, Caltrain will be able to cut travel times and increase service. SF-LA is the perfect route for the first real HSR in the US, a regular train won’t come close to reaching the projected ridership.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 11/24/22 14:45
Re: Caltrain Electrification Slowly Stepping Up
Author: pdt

Yea, I agree that it was renew the current fleet, so if everyone wants electric, its the right time.

I think what is forgotten here, is "at what cost"    I think all the cost of HSR may pay off in 50 or more years, but what about now?    So far, we have no HSR, no estimate of when the whole route will ever be funded, much less built, and service such as the gap between BFL and Lancaster, which should have been built 1st, or service from SLO and SNS to SFO, or service from SFO to Santa Cruz, are not addressed at all.

Personally, Im not fascinated by things that are shiny and fast, especially at any cost.   I like tried and true and what works and is affordable.

Im not against HSR, i just think the money could have been better spent in the near term.    The new LAS-LA Basin train will be done before CA HSR turns a wheel....and the HSR, so far...is just the train to nowhere.....duplicating a rail route that already exists....and what will lt save ...15 minutes?    It has just been "build the cleap part, so that we can get the voters to fund the expensive part".   Its not the way to do things, IMHO.



Date: 11/24/22 19:46
Re: Caltrain Electrification Slowly Stepping Up
Author: ChrisCampi

"Personally, Im not fascinated by things that are shiny and fast, especially at any cost.   I like tried and true and what works and is affordable."

-------------

I can appreciate this sentiment, however, the tried and true was/is available. California chose not to go that route.

I can't help but wonder where we'd be if the State focused on the ROW and left the rest to proven tech of Japan or Europe, including operations. Maybe things would be different now.

I live a ten minute walk form Redwood City Caltrain and I'm looking forward to the new train sets. Maybe, they'll even have decent horns. Yeah right :-)



Date: 11/24/22 21:06
Re: Caltrain Electrification Slowly Stepping Up
Author: tq-07fan

The big question is why did they wait so long to electrify the peninsula line? It seams like it should have been done years ago.

Jim



Date: 11/24/22 22:27
Re: Caltrain Electrification Slowly Stepping Up
Author: joemagruder

Why didn't they electrify sooner? I think the 1906 earthquake and the Salton Sea floods got in the way. SP had electrification plans. 65 Market was going to be the terminal...



Date: 11/25/22 14:41
Re: Caltrain Electrification Slowly Stepping Up
Author: MojaveBill

It used to take a passenger train two hours to go from Mojave to Bakersfield over Tehachapi Pass.
The new line will speed that up considerably by also eliminating grade crossings and freight, as it has elsewhere in the world, and for
a much larger population.. People made the same complaints when the rural freeways were built.

Bill Deaver
Tehachapi, CA



Date: 11/27/22 10:23
Re: Caltrain Electrification Slowly Stepping Up
Author: Jardine

This is the US. Things that will take 5-10 years in nations who are about rail, take 30 here.
The project (by CalTrains)  was first proposed in 1992.

Electrification is "tried and true" and has been in use over a century.



Date: 11/27/22 11:36
Re: Caltrain Electrification Slowly Stepping Up
Author: cchan006

MojaveBill Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It used to take a passenger train two hours to go
> from Mojave to Bakersfield over Tehachapi Pass.
> The new line will speed that up considerably by
> also eliminating grade crossings and freight, as
> it has elsewhere in the world, and for
> a much larger population..

There's no construction plan for CA HSR over Tehachapi Pass, just a proposal. The current construction plan doesn't go past Wasco, so even Bakersfield is not close to having the "new line."

Despite the delays, at least Caltrain is making tangible progress on its project away from Mojave, and here in the SF Bay Area.



Date: 11/27/22 12:15
Re: Caltrain Electrification Slowly Stepping Up
Author: cchan006

ChrisCampi Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I can't help but wonder where we'd be if the State
> focused on the ROW and left the rest to proven
> tech of Japan or Europe, including operations.
> Maybe things would be different now.

Govenor Jerry Brown Version 1.0 (first term) proposed the "bullet train" many decades ago. That might have been the best opportunity to build, since I still remember the early 1980s clearly, where good number of people were still using public transportation, including Greyhound.

Amtrak California didn't come into existence until the early 1990s.

Someone needs to correct me if I'm wrong, but the initial HSR proposal was less ambitious, connecting Los Angeles to San Diego? If that service had started and succeeded, then the erosion-prone Santa Fe/Pacific Surfliner routing would have been avoided, and we could have had a successful HSR system already. Like Japan, it would have been a "preemptive strike" against the Automotive Hegemony and propped up passenger rail.

Amtrak California (or whatever it was going to be named) could have been America's first HSR operator.

And as the saying goes, "success begets success" and the more ambitious SF to LA construction would have had more support. Not just politically, but HSR would have become a new "growth" industry, with competent consultants, real construction expertise, and private sector contractors with lobbying power to further HSR interests.

Instead, the current CA HSR "industry" is a paper tiger innundated with train stupid money hoarders. California is still paying the price for the political pettiness that dismissed passenger rail as "exotic transportation."

> I live a ten minute walk form Redwood City
> Caltrain and I'm looking forward to the new train
> sets. Maybe, they'll even have decent horns. Yeah
> right :-)



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