BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

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Jeff Smith
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BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

Post by Jeff Smith » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:01 am

I’ll cross-post to both California/Amtrak forums: Trains.com
SAN FRANCISCO — Bay Area Rapid Transit and Amtrak are joining forces to study the possibility of a second San Francisco Bay rail crossing, creating the possibility of one-seat Amtrak rides between Sacramento and downtown San Francisco.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the concept is to run two sets of tracks across the bay, either in a tube (as with the existing BART crossing) or on a bridge). Each operation would have its own set of tracks, since BART uses 5-foot-6 broad gauge.
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Arlington
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Re: BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

Post by Arlington » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:57 pm

Why would a standard gauge electrified crossing be an "Amtrak" sponsored question, and not a Caltrans?
Doesn't Caltrans (or CAHSR) have more of a claim to own the Oakland landing of such a tunnel?
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

east point
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Re: BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

Post by east point » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:45 pm

speculation of who will own what is way too early. Let the study begin first.

Arlington
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Re: BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

Post by Arlington » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:07 am

How is it even in Amtrak's budget to study it?

Is there an LD expansion & new stations budget I missed?
If this expands state supported, it has always been the state sponsors who lead

And it matters that Amtrak owns nothing in CA and won't be the CAHSR operator, because, conversely, on the NEC the thing that as justified such studies is because there Amtrak does have a budget for planning service for its own account.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

tomj
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Re: BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

Post by tomj » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:34 pm

The Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin are administered by respective "joint powers agencies" or effectively federations of local transit agencies. So they are putting resources to this and eventually CalTrans will get called in. This is a good exhibition of the stupidest parts of California politics, the plethora of local agencies and "local control" that add costs and confusion to the general public in the name of scoring political points.

benboston
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Re: BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

Post by benboston » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:12 am

They could also do dual-gauge right?

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Re: BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

Post by mtuandrew » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:15 am

benboston wrote:They could also do dual-gauge right?
Nope, BART isn’t a Federally-regulated railroad but rather a rapid transit system. A system like BART can’t legally share track or right-of-way with a railroad like Amtrak, nor would either one accept such a tunnel.

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Re: BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

Post by Backshophoss » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:51 am

Somehow Amtrak running out of 4th & Townsend station under JPBX catenary with Superliners,Surfliners,and Capital Corridor cars
at bit of a stretch to head south to San Jose or running thru a Trans Bay tube to head north or east.
A west coast fleet of ACS-64's is also waay out there in left field as well
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Nasadowsk
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Re: BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

Post by Nasadowsk » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:54 am

tomj wrote:This is a good exhibition of the stupidest parts of California politics, the plethora of local agencies and "local control" that add costs and confusion to the general public in the name of scoring political points.
Meanwhile, I can't buy a ticket from the closest train station to my home here in NJ to the closest train station to my parent's home on Long Island, even though the trains I'll transfer between go into the same station, run over the same tracks, and use the same platforms. Of course, my car's EZ-Pass works pretty much everywhere between Maine and Virginia, except for that one stupid bridge between Atlantic Beach and Long island, where the toll exists to pay the toll takers' salary...

California doesn't have a monopoly in mass transit stupidity....

(Or stupidity in general..)

tomj
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Re: BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

Post by tomj » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:08 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:
California doesn't have a monopoly in mass transit stupidity....

(Or stupidity in general..)
California does have a lot of it though and the stupidity isn't limited to transit agencies, but local government in general. I figure it exists because everyone needs a political career to get into the legislature and having a plethora of boards makes that easier. Although, in NJ, you can get in through corrupt means, we just waste money and cause confusion when something completely * the bed. Like the DMV, the JC system et all.

lpetrich
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Re: BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

Post by lpetrich » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:48 pm

mtuandrew wrote:
benboston wrote:They could also do dual-gauge right?
Nope, BART isn’t a Federally-regulated railroad but rather a rapid transit system. A system like BART can’t legally share track or right-of-way with a railroad like Amtrak, nor would either one accept such a tunnel.
There is also the problem of scheduling the trains so that they will coexist.

So I suspect that it would be a four-track tunnel, two for BART and two for regional and intercity trains, like the 69th St. - Queens tunnel in New York City. One pair of tracks for NYC subway trains and the other pair for the LIRR.

tomj
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Re: BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

Post by tomj » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:11 pm

lpetrich wrote: So I suspect that it would be a four-track tunnel, two for BART and two for regional and intercity trains, like the 69th St. - Queens tunnel in New York City. One pair of tracks for NYC subway trains and the other pair for the LIRR.
This is what BART and CAHSRA originally planned for.

Arlington
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Re: BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

Post by Arlington » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:07 am

Did the Transbay Terminal's lowest level (HSR) leave room for a tunnel that would "un-terminal" it and enter/leave on the Northeast, parallel to Mission and Howard Strees and out across the bay, somewhere between the existing BART tunnel and the landing of the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge?

Recall that as currently envisioned by CAHSR, they'll use it as a terminal, entering and leaving from the southwest
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

east point
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Re: BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

Post by east point » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:13 pm

mtuandrew wrote:
benboston wrote:They could also do dual-gauge right?
Nope, BART isn’t a Federally-regulated railroad but rather a rapid transit system. A system like BART can’t legally share track or right-of-way with a railroad like Amtrak, nor would either one accept such a tunnel.

Well --------- Yes and no.

When the costs of 4 different tubes for BART and Caltrain/Amtrak are compared to 2 shared tubes there could be a change. If the present speaker of the house is still speaker the large California delegation could introduce a bill to somehow exempt the tube's use from having any regulatory problem. Now would it pass the Senate is another question?

The EGE
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Re: BART, Amtrak exploring possible joint transbay crossing

Post by The EGE » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:15 am

BART will never mix with any mainline railroad. It operates on very tight schedules on a closed, grade-separated system with fully automatic train operation. There's no way you could add heavier mainline trains with slower acceleration and completely different train control systems without ruining BART's ability to act as a rapid transit system. Far, far better to build a 4-track tube and have all the capacity you need for many decades to come.

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