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 electricron
Wingnut wrote:
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.
Yes, that is far to ride a rapid transit trains. But not even half the riders getting on in San Jose will be going all the way to San Francisco. Commuters don't have to ride the trains all the way....
  by lpetrich
Google CFO: Bus Your Employees To Work - Forbes
Employee Shuttles Finding Their Place in SF’s Complex Transit System | Streetsblog San Francisco
Private Commuter Buses: Rogue Operation or New Model? | ITS.Berkeley.edu
Some Bay Area companies run shuttle buses to San Francisco and the East Bay, and they find that it saves them some money. Also, Caltrain has had its "Baby Bullet" SF - SJ express runs for some years now.

So it may well be that some people will commute by riding BART from SF to SJ, though I think that East Bay to SJ will be more likely.

Now for some news on that extension.
FTA - Press Releases - U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $900 Million to Extend San Francisco’s BART Rail Line into Silicon Valley
The money will go not only into building the extension, but also into funding 40 additional railcars. Its groundbreaking is still scheduled for next month, and the funded extension is still Warm Springs - Milpitas - Berryessa. From that article, its length is 10 mi; the rest of the SJ extension has a length of 6 mi. So my map measuring was not far off.
  by Amtrak7
I'd imagine that a sizeable part of Caltrain ridership is from San Jose/Taimen to Millbrae and points north. Am I right?
  by lpetrich
I don't know for sure, but one could try studying Caltrain's Ridership numbers. Some of the tables are of weekday AM northbound and southbound arrivals and departures at each station, so you could work from there.

I'll now estimate the travel time on the new extension.

A suburban area, the southern East Bay line. Lake Merritt - Fremont is 23 mi, 33 min, 7 stations in between.
Between stations: 3 mi, 4 min
Average speed: 42 mph

An urban area, downtown San Francisco: Embarcadero - 24th Mission St. is 3.3 mi, 8 min, 4 stations in between.
Between stations: 0.7 mi, 1.6 min
Average speed: 25 mph

So I estimate the Fremont - Berryessa time to be 20 min, and the Berryessa - Santa Clara time to be 14 min.
  by lpetrich
Mercury News editorial: BART, finally: Take a bow, Silicon Valley - San Jose Mercury News - about the effort to get BART to San Jose:
And Thursday, finally, after 12 years of clearing some substantial hurdles, the Valley Transportation Authority will break ground on the first BART segment into the county from Fremont to Berryessa. It's a testament to vision, leadership, tenacity and creative problem-solving -- all the best of Silicon Valley's private and public sectors.
Expect 'trucks with dirt' as BART construction gets under way - San Jose Mercury News
To do all this means a lot of dirt being moved out," said Carolyn Gonot, Valley Transportation Authority's chief BART Silicon Valley program officer. "That is what the public will see. Trucks with dirt."

A lot of trucks. More than 33,300 truckloads will be needed to move 850,000 cubic yards of dirt. And 21,570 tons of steel will be put down, along with 200,000 cubic yards of concrete and 100 miles of wire for power and communications equipment -- all just within Santa Clara County.
Warren Ave. and Kato Road in Fremont will go in underpasses under the new BART line, and will be closed for 9 months for building those underpasses.

Mission Blvd., Warren Ave., Kato Rd.: underpasses under at-grade line
Dixon Landing Rd.: at-grade over line in trench
Jacklin Rd., Calaveras Blvd: overpasses over at-grade line
Montague Expwy. to Lundy Rd. / Sierra Ave.: at grade over line in trench -- includes Milpitas station
Berryessa Rd., Mabury Rd.: at grade under line in elevated trackway ("aerial structure") -- includes Berryessa station

Next target: Extending BART under downtown San Jose - San Jose Mercury News - a month ago
Just a few hours after federal and Bay Area transit leaders raised champagne glasses Monday to celebrate clearing the final financial hurdle to extend BART to East San Jose, attention turned to downtown San Jose.

That is the next planned extension -- but the far more expensive segment. Tunneling underneath San Jose and building an aboveground link to Santa Clara will cost around $4 billion, and only half of that money is guaranteed.

"We have a lot of other sources we are looking at," said Michael Burns, the general manager of the Valley Transportation Authority. "I am optimistic that we will solve this. We're going to get BART to downtown."
  by lpetrich
At long last -- a BART groundbreaking - San Jose Mercury News
Those efforts came to fruition Thursday as a bevy of political and transportation leaders came together for the formal groundbreaking of the BART-to-San Jose extension.

Nearly 500 people attended a related luncheon in Santa Clara, and 450 were at the groundbreaking in East San Jose, near the future Berryessa station.

The $3.2 billion extension from Fremont to San Jose is the biggest public works project ever in Silicon Valley.
For the occasion, they had a BART railcar on a truck.

More on the celebration:
BART extension groundbreaking held in Berryessa - San Jose Mercury News
VTA reports state 60 BART train cars will be utilized for passenger service on the 10-mile Berryessa Extension serving 23,000 average daily passengers opening year (anticipated sometime before 2018).
I think that BART service to Warm Springs and San Jose will be run as an extension of service to Fremont, meaning that BART will need those additional railcars to maintain intervals between trains.

VTA BART Website is now much fancier than it had earlier been, with lots of pretty pictures in addition to its official documents.
  by lpetrich
BART - BART's next station named: Warm Springs/South Fremont
"Putting Warm Springs first in the station name memorializes the history of Warm Springs, which officially became part of Fremont when the city was incorporated in 1956,” BART Director Tom Blalock said. “Adding South Fremont to the station name separates it from the existing Fremont Station and follows BART’s naming conventions.” Director Blalock has represented District 6, which includes Fremont, for more than 17 years.
They are now at the point where they must order signage and other titled materials, so they now have a name to put on those materials.

Construction will soon be moving south of Paseo Padre Pkwy., its current southern limit, and they are now shooting for opening it on late 2015.
  by Alloy
"Putting Warm Springs first in the station name memorializes the history of Warm Springs, which officially became part of Fremont when the city was incorporated in 1956,” BART Director Tom Blalock said. “Adding South Fremont to the station name separates it from the existing Fremont Station and follows BART’s naming conventions.” Director Blalock has represented District 6, which includes Fremont, for more than 17 years.
It seems to me that naming the station "Warm Springs" would be enough to distinguish it from the Fremont station--why the additional name? I understand "Dublin/Pleasanton," for instance, because those are two separate cities. But as far as I know, no other BART station is named for two different neighborhoods in the same city, as this one would be. Googling "BART naming conventions" gets me the original article you quoted, and a Wikipedia primer on how to list station names in article, so I'm not clear on what rules BART is observing here.

I don't know much about Fremont--is South Fremont enough of an separate identity that there would be a battle if only one neighborhood name was represented?
  by lpetrich
OxBlue Construction Camera: SFBART WARM SPRINGS EXTENSION Camera 1 - mostly ground clearing and the like at the Warm Springs construction site.

BART - Warm Springs Extension Construction Updates

Recent announcement: removal of some trees between the Fremont station's existing embankment and the extension embankment south of Walnut Ave. Starting in May, the station embankment will likely be extended to Walnut Ave., and the two embankments connected by a bridge. However, that will consume parking places, so a viaduct may be used instead, much like BART's existing viaducts.

That page's slideshow has been updated with pictures from October 2012. It has some pictures from inside the tunnels under Fremont Central Park.
  by lpetrich
Construction updates, from north to south:

Construction will begin this fall in the Fremont station. It will include extending the station's embankment to Walnut Ave., and building a bridge over that street for the BART line.

The northeast lobe of Lake Elizabeth has been restored.

The Warm Springs station is taking shape. What it will look like: Station Photo Sims 2012 - Warm Springs Extension - Picasa Web Albums Some of its support pillars are now in place, and it is getting an upper floor. From these conceptual pictures, the station will have its tracks at ground level and its concourse on a floor above it. On top will be a big awning.

It will be to the east of the UP / ex-WP / ex-SP line. The big street near it in the pictures is South Grimmer Blvd., just to the north of it, and that street has some construction alerts. Crossing that street are two railroad bridges. The eastern (ex-WP) one may be removed to make way for a BART bridge.

North of the Milpitas station, a trench has been built for the BART line. This trench will continue into the station, and the station will be very near the Montague light-rail station.

The Berryessa station now has some support pillars for its elevated trackway. The line will run over Berryessa Rd. and Mabury Rd.; the station will be in between.

Extension-Line Profile from Warm Springs to Berryessa -- it shows the BART line's elevation relative to its surroundings. North of the Milpitas station, the BART line will go over the roads, likely because the UP / ex-SP will either also do so or cross them at grade. South of the Milpitas station, the BART line will go under the roads, because it will be following the UP's ex-WP line. Will it be abandoned and taken over by BART? That's what happened to the ex-SP branch from San Bruno to Daly City.
  by lpetrich
Construction Cameras now has one for Fremont in addition to its Warm-Springs one.

At Fremont, there is some construction in the southeast part of the station parking lots, but none elsewhere in the visible parts of those lots. The BART tracks point to the embankment that the BART line will run on south of Walnut Ave., the street that runs across the field of view. However, there is nothing going on in between.

At Warm Springs, the station building is starting to take shape, with its first floor now in place, or at least now largely in place. Above part of it is the framework for its roof. No construction below it, however. A pedestrian bridge extends eastward, though it is now only columns and deck. There is now a barrier wall to the south of the station on the east side of the future tracks.
  by lpetrich
Just south of the Fremont station, construction of the connection to the embankment seems like it will soon begin. The appropriate section of parking lot has been fenced off, and some construction workers are active. They are putting a layer of dirt on the pavement; is that for the construction machines?

Looking at the Warm Springs station building, most of its roof frame looks like it's in place, and most of the concourse deck (the middle level) seems like it's in place. Not much happening at track level, however; that's at ground level (at grade).

Further south, there are construction activities along the length of the line, including for both new stations. The Kato Road grade separation is now done, with that road going beneath the future BART tracks and the UP ones, all at-grade.
  by lpetrich
I looked over today's Fremont pictures, and I decided that instead of adding dirt, they were removing pavement and revealing the dirt underneath. A bit more logical.

Early in BART's history, there was an accident in which a test train went southward from Fremont and ended up in the station's parking lot (History of the Bay Area Rapid Transit - Wikipedia). That may be why there are canvas-covered piles of dirt at the ends of the tracks. But a year from now, a train should be able to retrace that wayward train's route without leaving the tracks.
  by lpetrich
The bridge over Walnut Ave. is taking shape, with both spans' decks now in place. The deck walls' rebar skeletons are also in place.

The walled embankment between the Fremont station and that bridge is largely done, and the embankment south of that bridge is also mostly done.

At Warm Springs, the station platform is taking shape.

Construction continues at several grade crossings between Warm Springs and Berryessa. Mission Blvd., Warren Rd., (Kato Rd.: complete), Dixon Landing Rd., Piper Dr., Montague Expwy., Capitol Ave., Trade Zone Blvd., Hostetter Rd., Lundy Ave., Sierra Rd., Berryessa Rd., Mabury Rd.

The Milpitas station's trench is largely done, as is the Berryessa station's elevated structure.
  by lpetrich
I checked mapping sites maps.google.com maps.bing.com maps.yahoo.com mapquest.com

Looking near the Fremont BART station, Google was the most up-to-date, with the tunnel under Fremont Central Park being done, and the eastern lobe of Lake Elizabeth restored. However, there was no construction between the station and the embankment south of Walnut Ave. Bing was in between, with the tunnel under FCP being partially done; it was a cut-and-cover tunnel. Yahoo uses Bing's data, and Mapquest showed no extension construction. Looking further south, Google shows the Kato Rd. underpass as partially done, but Bing doesn't. Likewise for the Milpitas station trench and the Berryessa station elevated trackway.

South of Lake Elizabeth, the UP's ex-SP and ex-WP lines closely parallel each other, but with separate single-track bridges over roads. Checking on the VTA BART-extension site, those bridges will be removed and replaced by double-track bridges for both UP and BART. Also, UP's line will stop just before Montague Expwy., though an eastward branch of it near there will still be active.

Between Dixon Landing Rd. and Piper Dr. are Abel St. and Calaveras Blvd. Both of them already are on bridges over the existing and future tracks, so they will not need new construction.
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