Pacific Surfliner

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Pacific Surfliner

Postby Balerion » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:22 am

I couldn't find a general-purpose Pacific Surfliner thread, so I thought I'd start one. Apologies if I missed something.

The Oceanside Transit Center is getting some upgrades:

A third track, a new boarding platform, better lighting, and more shelters, seating and other amenities are being added at the transit center, which is one of the busiest bus and commuter rail stops in San Diego County. The improvements will speed up boarding and transitions for existing trains and make room to add new ones, officials say.

San Diego County’s regional planning agency, SANDAG, is investing $24 million in the Oceanside project, believing it will help serve the growing number of commuters who use passenger trains to avoid driving on Southern California’s clogged freeways.


The third track and additional boarding stations will increase the number of trains that can board passengers simultaneously and will allow freight trains to move through the station without stopping for the passenger trains, transportation officials said.


Oceanside sees 12 round-trip Pacific Surfliners and is the terminus for two Metrolink lines and two North County Transit lines, so I would imagine this will unlock some operational flexibility.
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Re: Pacific Surfliner

Postby Woody » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:13 pm

Thanks for starting this thread, Balerion. Sorry I overlooked it when you posted.

I'm on the other coast, but I'm interested in Surfliner news like this item. And very interested in the plans for the north stretch from L.A. to Santa Barbara-San Luis Obispo-San Jose. The work to be done in that corridor should take many minutes out of the timetable for the Surfliners and the Coast Starlight as well.
++++++++++
Oceanside has grown from 231,000 on-offs for the Surfliner in 2014 to 258,000 in 2015 and 313,000 in 2016. Very nice. No wonder they need a bigger station. :-D

After a slow-growth plateau from 2,098,000 riders in 2010 to 2,232,000 in 2014, total ridership on the Surfliner stepped up to 2,394,000 in 2015 and 2,499,000 in 2016. Another San Diego-L.A. frequency, the 12th, was added in November, so the outlook for another solid gain in ridership this year seems good.

Any route growing by 100,000 riders a year deserves our attention!
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Re: Pacific Surfliner

Postby jonnhrr » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:48 am

How much of the line from LA to San Diego is single track? Are there plans to eventually double track the entire line?

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Re: Pacific Surfliner

Postby electricron » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:11 pm

jonnhrr wrote:How much of the line from LA to San Diego is single track? Are there plans to eventually double track the entire line?
Jon

Using Google Earth tools could answer that question specifically. Per
http://www.keepsandiegomoving.com/Lossa ... intro.aspx.
Two-thirds of the Los Angles to San Diego Line is double track today.
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Re: Pacific Surfliner

Postby John_Perkowski » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:50 pm

Admin Note:

Moved to California.
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Re: Pacific Surfliner

Postby rohr turbo » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:03 pm

I too think that a few Pacific Surfliner runs should be extended all the way to San Jose. This is a great corridor for tourists, college students, possibly even some business travel.

Today a student wanting to travel between the San Francisco bay area to SLO or Santa Barbara has only one slow train (CS). Yet there are 4-5 Amtrak Thruway buses running the route that refuse to take you unless you are transferring to a train?!?

I read that San Francisco to LA is one of the busiest air traffic corridors in the country. Seems ridiculous that there is only one train daily train on the route.

You could even combine it with a Capitol Corridor run. One seat: Sacramento--San Jose-- LA.

Extend some Surfliners!

Hey mod: this IS an Amtrak topic....why moved?
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Re: Pacific Surfliner

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:38 pm

Moved back.
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Pacific Surfliner

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:20 pm

Believe that's the goal of the "LOSSAN",that currently extends from San Diego to Santa Barbara.

Believe the "Amtrak-California" has been split into 2 seperate operations from Caltrans/CaDOT:
Capital Corridor/San Joaquin services with JPBX("Caltrain") as lead agency.

The Surfliner services are under the "LOSSAN" header with SCAX(Metrolink) as the lead agency
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Re: Pacific Surfliner

Postby bdawe » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:51 pm

rohr turbo wrote:I too think that a few Pacific Surfliner runs should be extended all the way to San Jose. This is a great corridor for tourists, college students, possibly even some business travel.

Today a student wanting to travel between the San Francisco bay area to SLO or Santa Barbara has only one slow train (CS). Yet there are 4-5 Amtrak Thruway buses running the route that refuse to take you unless you are transferring to a train?!?

I read that San Francisco to LA is one of the busiest air traffic corridors in the country. Seems ridiculous that there is only one train daily train on the route.

You could even combine it with a Capitol Corridor run. One seat: Sacramento--San Jose-- LA.

Extend some Surfliners!

Hey mod: this IS an Amtrak topic....why moved?


Thing is that LA-SJ was 8:45 back in flagship-passenger service days, and several hours worse now.

I'd like to see one of them extended, but Its probably not something that has any relation to air-traffic overhead.
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Re: Pacific Surfliner

Postby jamesinclair » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:58 am

rohr turbo wrote:I too think that a few Pacific Surfliner runs should be extended all the way to San Jose. This is a great corridor for tourists, college students, possibly even some business travel.

Today a student wanting to travel between the San Francisco bay area to SLO or Santa Barbara has only one slow train (CS). Yet there are 4-5 Amtrak Thruway buses running the route that refuse to take you unless you are transferring to a train?!?

I read that San Francisco to LA is one of the busiest air traffic corridors in the country. Seems ridiculous that there is only one train daily train on the route.

You could even combine it with a Capitol Corridor run. One seat: Sacramento--San Jose-- LA.

Extend some Surfliners!

Hey mod: this IS an Amtrak topic....why moved?


The Coast Daylight is still on the books as being planned, as is Capitol Corridor to Salinas.
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Re: Pacific Surfliner

Postby Woody » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:03 pm

The LOSSAN Pacific Surfliner page with a breakdown of recent and current upgrades to the south-most part of the route -- completed, underway, and planned -- is simply outstanding.

http://www.keepsandiegomoving.com/Lossa ... intro.aspx

An interactive map shows this segment currently getting the most attention: the 62 miles between the Orange County line, just north of Camp Pendleton, and San Diego. An overview shows each component project of the $1 Billion upgrade, with "push pins" color-coded to show completed status (green) or not yet (red), linked to a photo and blurb of info.

One blurb, #25, is a chart showing current estimates of the segment track that has been or will be completed, by year out to 2050 or so when it reaches 100%. After a few years stuck at 50%, things got better starting 2012, rising to 65% thru last year (when another frequency was added.) Starting this year again, more double track will be added over three years, with projects to be completed soon bringing that total figure here to 77% by 2020.

The plan aims for 90% of this segment to be double track by 2025. No doubt that deadline could be advanced if anyone was serious about improving infrastructure; a few big projects are listed as 'unfunded'. Not discussed are a couple of places on the map where they may need to borrow some of Elon Musk's magical tunnel-building machines. :wink:

Very rarely do any of the projects claim a speed improvement. The emphasis is on more capacity and better time-keeping. Obviously, the program has already paid off with a 12th frequency of the Surfliner, as of the past November, adding capacity.

Blurb #26 is a table showing the expected increase in trains on this route -- commuter lines, BNSF freight, and Amtrak's Surfliners. Expect still higher ridership in the future.
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Re: Pacific Surfliner

Postby Woody » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:02 pm

bdawe wrote:
rohr turbo wrote:... a few Pacific Surfliner runs should be extended all the way ... a great corridor for tourists, college students, business travel.

Thing is that LA-SJ was 8:45 back in flagship-passenger service days, and several hours worse now.

Glad to see that 8 hrs 45 min is a reasonable target for the run. Current schedule leaves San Jose at 10:06 a.m., arrives L.A. at 9 p.m. An 11-hour timetable.

Back up to Santa Barbara: depart 6:02 p.m., arrive L.A., 103 miles away, at 9 p.m. Help me with the math now, fellas, I'm old n tired. Seems like the train goes at an average of 34 mph thru the western extensions of Greater L.A. Dayum. If capital investment could raise the speed on that segment alone to a still-slow 50 mph, the Starlight would pull into L.A. an hour earlier, by 8 p.m. (Yeah, I know the 'Coast Starlate' sometimes needs the padding in the schedule.)

But you've given us a target of an 8:45 run, like the old days. I'd think we can do even better nowadays, but I'll say a 9-hour run from San Jose getting into L.A. by 8 p.m. There's a Surfliner heading to San Diego at 8:25 p.m., arriving downtown at 11:24 p.m. That's not prime time, but it's tolerable. Much much better than the current 10:10 p.m. Surfliner arriving in San Diego at 1:06 a.m. Most of Amtrak's LD riders aren't into the post-midnight thing at all. Really want to see an earlier arrival in San Diego like this, to more solidly link the San Diego metro area to the Coast Starlight's catchment.

The California State Rail plan (or something I read linked to it), makes it clear that California is getting ready to invest in this route. One study, of the L.A.-Santa Barbara-San Luis-Obispo segments, has been studied and a report could be released soonish, iirc. Another study, of the San Luis Obispo-Salinas segment, is underway. These studies aim to identify needs -- passing sidings, curve straightening, new bridges, the usual -- to prepare the line for more and faster passenger trains.

I won't be surprised to see another two or three trains added L.A.-Santa Barbara, with one of them going thru to SLO, just as soon as California can get its hands on more equipment. (Siemens Chargers, soon; Nippon-Sharyo bi-level coaches, not so soon.)

But under the plan as I recall it, the full length Coast Daylight is the lowest priority, behind the L.A.-Santa Barbara segment and the Santa Barbara-San Luis Obispo segment. That would follow the pattern set with the Surfliner L.A.-San Diego, where the first investments were near L.A., and the spending only recently accelerated on the south-most leg into San Diego. As time is whittled off the near-to-L.A. segments, those time savings pass thru to schedules to San Diego and Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo/Bay Area, helping ridership to grow farther out while waiting for upgrades toward the lower-population (or simply more costly to reach) end points.

Of course, the state has another north-south connector underway and it's gulping down funds as it builds thru the Central Valley. Haters in Congress want to block HSR -- it's President Obama's and Governor Brown's baby. But California seems ready to pay for the damn thing themselves if they have to! (The Resistance!) Sadly, collateral victims may include all the other potential rail investments, as yet unfunded, while state taxes go to build HSR.
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Re: Pacific Surfliner

Postby bdawe » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:20 pm

Looking at the 1971 Time table, the north bound daylight averaged 58 between Glendale and Oxnard, 47 between Oxnard and Santa Barbara, 52 between Santa Barbara and SLO, 49 between SLO and Salinas (over Cuesta grade and all), 55 between Salinas and San Jose, 54 between San Jose and Palo Alto, and 40 between Palo Alto & San Francisco (48 the other direction)

Though, it only made those stops
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