Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

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  by Flxiblemetro
I think that is not needed, because Caltrain already connects passengers between San Francisco and San Jose.
  by lpetrich
BART is being extended southward, into the Warm Springs District of southern Fremont, and from there to San Jose.
BART - Warm Springs Extension Project
BART to Silicon Valley - Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
Berryessa Extension Project (PDF)

The 5.4-mile Warm Springs Extension is now under construction, and it should be finished by 2014. The 10-mile Berryessa Extension should start construction in 2012, and it may be done by 2018 or 2019. Santa Clara County officials put off the rest of the San Jose extension (about 6 mi) from lack of money, though they are still planning it.

It will go the Fremont station on an embankment into some vacant lots, where it will descend into a cut-and-cover tunnel. This tunnel will go under Stevenson Blvd. and Fremont Central Part, including the northeast lobe of Lake Elizabeth. It then will go under the ex-SP/ex-WP UP line and surfaces a little north of Paseo Padre Pkwy. It then will parallel to the UP line the rest of the way. The foundations for a future Irvington station will be built just south of Washington Blvd., and the Warm Springs station will be built just south of Grimmer Blvd.

From there, the line will continue parallel to the UP line, and south of Abel St., it will follow the east, ex-WP UP line. Its Milpitas station will be between Montague Expwy. and Capitol Blvd., near the Montague light-rail station. The Berryessa station will be between Berryessa Rd. and Mabury Rd.

Judging from the published maps, the line will go into a tunnel and follow Hwy. 101 (Bayshore Fwy.) to Alum Rock Ave., having a station there. It will then turn westward underneath Santa Clara St, having a station underneath the 1st/2nd-St. light-rail station. It will have a station at the Rod Diridon station / HP Pavilion, and then go north under the Caltrain line, having a station at Caltrain's Santa Clara station.

There's a nice slideshow of construction pictures at Construction Updates page. A temporary dam has been constructed to permit the construction of the BART tunnel under Lake Elizabeth; the water has been pumped out of the northeast lobe. Some parts are further along; the Fremont Dog Park has been restored.
  by lpetrich
BART extension to San Jose gets a $130 million boost - San Jose Mercury News
The five-decade-long quest to bring BART to San Jose cleared a major hurdle Monday, when the Federal Transit Administration recommended that it receive $130 million in federal funds this year, clearing the way for construction to begin in 2012.

Now, it must clear congressional Republicans, who are promising to slash billions out of President Barack Obama's $128 billion transportation budget, also released Monday.
  by lpetrich
From the San Francisco Chronicle: BART San Jose extension's first phase OKd
It won't be ready to ride until 2018, but BART directors approved on Thursday the first phase of the long-awaited extension to San Jose, which will end short of downtown. A second phase will eventually take trains 6 miles farther to Santa Clara.
BART has already started buying land along the route and working on relocating the UP line there: Dixon Landing Road closed for BART work - San Jose Mercury News Construction should start this year.

This will help close the biggest rail gap for the south lobe of San Francisco Bay. I remember that when I lived in the Bay Area, I'd ride VTA bus #180 to go from Fremont to San Jose and back. It would take me about an hour, and its route back then was more-or-less a hybrid of present #180 and #181: Fremont - I-680 - Milpitas - I-880 - San Jose.

Its Milpitas part was where the ex-WP and ex-SP lines diverged: Jacklin Rd - Abel St - Calaveras Blvd, I think.
Its San Jose part was roughly present #181: 1st. St. - downtown - Caltrain station.

Present #180 runs Fremont - I-880 - San Jose (no I-680); present #181 runs Fremont - I-680 - Great Mall (no further). When the Warm Springs extension opens, the buses will likely go to Warm Springs instead of to Fremont, and when the Berryessa one opens, they will likely go Berryessa - downtown SJ - Caltrain.

The VTA LRT system along this route already partially closes the gap. ... 1988: Civic Center (I-880) - Convention Center (dntn SJ) ... 2001: I-880/Milpitas - Conv Ctr ... 2004: Great Mall - Conv Ctr ... 2005: Great Mall - Caltrain Sta.
  by lpetrich
More construction updates. They will soon restore Stevenson Blvd., the second street that this extension crosses. This involves removing that street's temporary bridges and covering the tunnel.

I've discovered the home page of BART's WSX picture album: Picasa Web Albums - Warm Springs Exte...
Especially interesting is Warm Springs Extension Construction Photos - Warm Springs Extension - Picasa Web Albums

The first street that the extension crosses is Walnut Ave., at the south end of the Fremont station's parking lot. No construction from the station to Walnut Ave., at least not yet. But just south of it, the embankment is now done, and one can follow it slope down to the Stevenson Blvd. tunnel.

That tunnel is part of the Fremont Central Park tunnel, and all of that tunnel's floor and walls are now complete. Only some of the ceiling is, but the ceiling underneath the northeastern lobe of Lake Elizabeth is now done, and that lobe now has some water in it. Will the dam that's now there get removed? The tunnel then goes under the Union Pacific track and then surfaces.

The main construction south of there has been at Paseo Padre Pkwy., where a grade separation was built a year ago. From west to east, it has a pedestrian bridge, the UP-line bridge, and the BART bridge. I found no pictures of anything further south than that. BART's Construction Updates also make no mention of anything to the south of that street.

ETA: I checked several mapping sites to find out more.
  by lpetrich
BART - BART Board approves $299 million Warm Springs Extension Contract
Officials Greenlight BART's Warm Springs Station Extension - News Story - KTVU San Francisco
That contract is for the southern part of that extension, including the Warm Springs station, and also for track and associated construction. The extension is currently under budget by $123 million, relative to $890 million, due to the bad economy. They are now shooting for opening the extension in 2015.

That construction should be relatively easy, since most of the line south of Fremont Central Park is at-grade.

About that Irvington station, it seems on-again-off-again.
June 1: Irvington BART Station back on track - Inside Bay Area
June 23: Fremont approves BART deal for Irvington station - Inside Bay Area
July 14: Fremont faces new obstacle to Irvington BART station - ContraCostaTimes.com - Fremont officials hope to use some redevelopment bonds to finance the new station, but their legal status is uncertain, making them almost unusable.
  by lpetrich
BART-to-San Jose extension could open 18 months ahead of schedule - San Jose Mercury News
BART trains could begin running in Santa Clara County before Christmas 2016 -- nearly 18 months ahead of the projected 2018 timeline.

Using the promise of millions in incentives for construction companies to finish early, project director Mark Massman said it was very likely "that by the end of 2016 we should be ready to roll the trains."

The news came Thursday as the Valley Transportation Authority approved spending $772 million to begin construction of the $2.3 billion, 10-mile extension from Fremont to the Berryessa area of San Jose east of Highway 101. All that remains now to ensure that the BART extension becomes a reality is approval by the Federal Transit Administration in February of millions in federal funding for the project.
The speedup will be a result of doing work on four segments of the route simultaneously, instead of in sequence.

Site-preparation work is now underway along the route.

About the Warm Springs extension, there is still a gap between the end of the tracks and the beginning of the embankment at the north end of the extension. In that gap is a bit of park-and-ride lot and Walnut Ave. Over 2012-13, this gap will be filled in with embankment and bridges.
  by lensovet

so normally, things don't get done in parallel? this is supposed to be "revolutionary" and worthy of "millions" in "reward" money?

  by lpetrich
It may be a matter of how many construction workers and how much construction equipment that the company would have to commit to the project.

BART Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension Design-Build Contract Awarded
VTA is seeking a USD 900 million federal grant for the Berryessa Extension Project from the Federal New Starts funding program and anticipates receipt of it early next year.

The grant will complete the funding plan and enable major construction to begin by mid-2012.
  by lpetrich
Construction of the Warm Springs Extension will be moving south of Fremont Central Park. A construction alert at BART's site warns of construction activities there:
  • Clearing the right of way: removing ex-Western-Pacific track, demolition and relocationn of buildings, trimming and removal of trees.
  • Searching for buried utilities by "potholing", drilling exploratory holes. If any are found, they will get relocated.
  by lpetrich
BART to Silicon Valley: Construction Activity - Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
Construction on the BART Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension is planned for 2012.
The page lists three projects.

Kato Grade Separation Project
Kato Road Grade Separation/Road Closure Project construction starts in Fremont | East Bay Bicycle Coalition
Kato Road's crossing of the ex-WP and ex-SP lines will become an underpass under the UP and BART lines, like Paseo Padre Pkwy. a little south of Fremont Central Park. The road will be partially closed soon, and completely closed in spring. It will reopen by the end of this year or a little later.

The Mission/Warren Area Improvement Project, to start this spring, will have new bridges over Mission Blvd. and a Warren Ave. underpass.
The Agua Fria Creek Improvement Project is nearby, judging from an Agua Fria Creek Watershed Map.
  by lpetrich
BART extension to San Jose getting $250 million in federal funds -- more than expected - San Jose Mercury News
Federal transportation officials have approved a $250 million infusion for the BART-to-San Jose project -- more than its planners had even hoped for.

The Valley Transportation Authority announced Monday that it will receive $100 million in federal funds for the current fiscal year as soon as an agreement with the Federal Transit Administration is signed March 12. And for the fiscal year beginning in October, the budget President Barack Obama released Monday calls for an additional $150 million for the 10-mile, $2.1 billion line from Fremont to the Berryessa area of San Jose. That's $20 million more than what local officials had originally estimated they would get annually.
Groundbreaking is now scheduled for April 12.

The other projects mentioned were
  • Third Street, presumably the Central Subway -- $150 m
  • A LRT extension in Sacramento, presumably the planned South Line extension to Cosumnes College -- $46 m
  • Portland, presumably the Milwaukie extension -- $250 m
  • Honolulu, presumably the new system -- $100 m
  by Wingnut
All I have to say is that, in today's economic climate, I'm pleasantly surprised that BART really is going to reach San Jose. So much for the long held notion that a line over 50 miles is too long and unaffordable for US rapid transit.
  by lpetrich
Total length or length of each constructed section?

Let's look at what's under construction and planned.

Fremont to Warm Springs (Grimmer Blvd + ex-WP/ex-SP): 4 mi / 7 km -- under construction
Warm Springs to Berryessa (Berryessa Rd. + ex-WP): 10 mi / 16 km -- about to start construction
Berryessa to Santa Clara (downtown SJ tunnel): 7 mi / 11 km -- planned
Total length: 21 mi / 34 km

Not quite 50 mi, but the total SF-SJ distance along the route is more than 50 mi.
  by Wingnut
lpetrich wrote:Not quite 50 mi, but the total SF-SJ distance along the route is more than 50 mi.
Yes, I was referring to the total distance between downtown SF and SJ. That's very far for a North American rapid transit line, longer than most US commuter rail lines.
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