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...

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  by lpetrich
Planning continues: SCVTA’s begins BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension environmental review process | Railway Track & Structures

Fremont update: the track looks like not much work is being done on it. However, it still lacks third rails and those Warm-Springs H thingies.

Warm Springs update: there is what looks like covered third rail at the station, sticking out from the station's west side on the outer side of the tracks. But no other third rail is evident. Also, some station streetlights have gone up and more of the station's flat-road area is now paved.
  by lpetrich
First, some news a bit north of the project: the Niles Blvd Bridge is being replaced. It goes over the BART and UPRR tracks between Union City and Fremont, and it is to be replaced by a modern, cast-in-place, concrete box-girder bridge, so it can resist earthquakes better. Its replacement is current in the stage of removing nearby trees and shrubs. The new bridge will be built alongside the old bridge, which will then be removed.

From the construction cameras:
  • Fremont
    • A staircase on each side of the embankment just south of the station platform, presumably for access to the track area.
    • Rebuilding of the station access road for Walnut Ave. on the east side of the embankment.
    • Third rails now in place, though without covers.
    • Wires from embankment apparently not yet connected to the third rails.
  • Warm Springs
    • Switch mechanisms in place.
    • Some signals apparently in place.
    • Most of the third rails are in place, but not all. They have no covers.
    • Hard to tell about the remaining bit of parking lot, the bit beyond the station's front ped bridge.
    • The building on the south end of the station platform now has a cyan first floor and a yellow second floor.
  • Milpitas
    • The station trench is now almost completely roofed over -- its roof is at ground level.
  • Berryessa
    • The deck molds are still in place for the viaduct north of the station.
    • But some support pillars are in place for it.
    • The support frames for the platform canopy are being put into place: 4 out of the 6 cam-visible trackway slots now have them.
    • The tail trackway seems mostly done.
  by lpetrich
BART wants rider input for service on Warm Springs extension | abc7news.com
The agency is weighing a series of proposals about which lines will be extended from the current terminal in Fremont to its new southern terminal in Warm Springs. One of the proposals also affects riders in San Francisco.
This is about logical lines, train routings, as opposed to physical lines, the tracks, to use some computer terminology. Currently, the two lines that go to Fremont are Fremont - Richmond and Fremont - SF. They may be extending only one of them to Warm Springs, most likely the Richmond one, the one active on Sundays and holidays.

Some AC Transit buses will likely be rerouted to Warm Springs station, and the VTA express buses that currently go to Fremont will likely be rerouted to Warm Springs.

Lennar development near Tesla plant in Fremont approved by Fremont City Council - Silicon Valley Business Journal
It's 111 acres on the west side of the tracks from the BART station. It will have 2200 housing units and 1.4 million square feet of commercial real estate.
Lennar is committing to doing the project in four phases. It would build the backbone infrastructure in Phase 1, going through 2017. Phase 2 would see construction of an affordable rental complex, a K-5 elementary school, a park, urban plazas and some multi-family units. Phase 3 would be additional multi-family units. And Phase 4 would complete the balance of the units.
I'm mentioning this because this is the sort of mixed-use development that some transit advocates have been pushing for.

Preparing for BART means closing Montague light rail station for five months - San Jose Mercury News
The Milpitas station is being closed to build a pedestrian bridge over Capitol Avenue linking the trolley stop with the BART station under construction. That will offer a way onto Tasman Drive and to all those high-tech companies from San Jose through Santa Clara and onto Mountain View, plus Levi's Stadium.

In addition, the Evelyn station in Mountain View has been permanently closed, and it's being demolished, to build a second track that will allow for faster light rail service between BART on the east side of the South Bay and Caltrain on the Peninsula.
From that article, the Berryessa station's viaduct is about 35 ft / 11 m high.

BART pushes south as construction project makes progress - KTVU - -- has an artist's conception of the Montague pedestrian bridge to the Milpitas BART station, and also shows the Warm Springs station from nearby Warm Springs Blvd.

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority: Montague Light Rail Station to Close Temporarily for Five Months
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority: Mountain View Double Track
  by lpetrich
First tracks installed for SCVTA BART extension | Railway Track & Structures
Approximately 7,100 feet of rail is in the ground north of Kato Road in the city of Fremont, Calif. In the city of Milpitas, 3,500 feet was placed south of Dixon Landing Road for a combined total of two miles of trackway.
North of Kato Road, it will be extended to the Warm-Springs tailtracks. This leaves a gap between Kato Rd. and Dixon Landing Rd. The DLR grade separation won't be done until at least some time in the second half of this year, judging from official time estimates.
  by lpetrich
  • Fremont: the third rails now have covers and the north-side access road looks restored. It runs between Walnut Ave. and the bus bays.
  • Warm Springs: the third rails now have covers and the south-end building is now mostly white with only a few blue spots left. Some of its windows are in place, but there is still a lot of stuff on its roofs.
  • Photo album: updated to March 2015. Roof in place for the pedestrian access bridge, but its outer two segments of deck are still absent.
  • Mission Blvd: essentially done
  • Dixon Landing Rd.: construction continues
  • Milpitas Station: station-building framework in place, piers for pedestrian bridge from LRT station also in place.
  • Capitol Blvd.: will relocate utilities and dig a trench for the BART line, then restore the street
  • Trade Zone Blvd: construction continues
  • Lundy Ave. and Sierra Rd.: construction continues
  • Berryessa Blvd.: bridge under construction
  • Berryessa Station: trackway mostly done. Decorative frames in place at the station.
They are using shredded old tires in parts of the trackbed. That reduces vibrations from the trains.

They are also using drones to survey the site -- small remote-controlled air vehicles.

They now expect to open Phase II at around 2025, though they are still shooting for 2017 for phase I of BART to Silicon Valley.
  by lpetrich
Thanx for the pictures, Fan Railer. It looks like the wiring is half-done.

Turning to the VTA's site, it seems like the deck molds are gone from the trackway's bridge over Berryessa Rd.
  by lpetrich
Thanx. It looks like most of the station structure is in place. It also looks like the escalators are in place in the entrance barrel, but it's hard to tell.

Toward the north, there is something that looks like a glass-enclosed staircase, but I think that it's a pair of elevators.
  by BART2PV
BART wants rider input for service on Warm Springs extension | abc7news.com

The agency is weighing a series of proposals about which lines will be extended from the current terminal in Fremont to its new southern terminal in Warm Springs. One of the proposals also affects riders in San Francisco.

This is about logical lines, train routings, as opposed to physical lines, the tracks, to use some computer terminology. Currently, the two lines that go to Fremont are Fremont - Richmond and Fremont - SF. They may be extending only one of them to Warm Springs, most likely the Richmond one, the one active on Sundays and holidays.

Reading the staff planning reports and the "METRO CORE" intent for the future service pattern changes - 2015 - 2025; in addition to the car availability requirement needed for the increase in "Peak Hour" train lengths, the probable "Favored" service pattern will be:

M - F system opening until post PM peak: Warm Springs - 24th St Mission (Green Line), otherwise, Warm Springs - Richmond (Orange Line).
Saturday: Warm Springs - 24th St Mission (Green Line) opening -7PM. Warm Springs -Richmond (Orange Line) after 7 PM
Sunday, Holidays: Warm Springs - Richmond

You see the change in San Francisco service: Green Line no longer serves Glen Park, Balboa Park and Daly City. The elimination of these stations allows the expansion to Warm Springs with no additional trainsets required, which is a big deal as there are so few "spares" for service that BART would have to SHORTEN trains in order to cover the extension. The METRO CORE in San Francisco - 24th St to Embarcadero would retain 4 lines, while the remaining 3 stations would still have 3 line coverage.

If you read that document, you will find that Richmond - Fremont service is definitely planned to be curtailed south of Oakland in the future, with Warm Springs - SF becoming the full time line south of Coliseum/Bay Fair. There are also plans to COMBINE off peak/night trains and split them at Bay Fair - 5 cars to Dublin, 5 cars to Warm Springs; with the meeting and joining in the reverse direction at Bay Fair. This will end up providing direct service SF- Warm Sands for all Bart operating hours.

We will have to see what develops, but in December Warm Sands opens.
  by lpetrich
Checking on Construction Camera: BAY AREA RAPID TRANSIT DISTRICT, there seems to be no construction activity on the tracks south of either Fremont or Warm Springs.

However, construction work still continues at Warm Springs station -- parts of it still look unfinished, like one of the parking lots.

From VTA's BART Silicon Valley Extension - Cam Views, the Milpitas station's roof is taking shape while the Berryessa station's trackway is almost entirely done. Its platform roof looks almost but not quite done. The piers for the pedestrian bridge are in place, and what looks like the bridge spans are to the right of them in the Milpitas cam view.

Roadshow: Opening of BART Warm Springs station pushed back to next year - Inside Bay Area
A I'm going to dash your hopes: The new station won't open until sometime next year. Said Molly-the-BART-Person on the status of the $890 million, 5.4-mile Warm Springs extension: "We are not able to set an opening date until we are deeper into testing. But it is safe to say that we will not open before the end of the year."
Given how late in the year it now is, that is not surprising.

Quoting VTA spokeswoman Brandi Childress:

Milpitas BART Station is taking shape - Inside Bay Area
Additionally, VTA's Montague Light Rail Station opened Aug. 31 after being closed for five months to allow for modifications to the station for that new pedestrian bridge.

"The station's main stairs were reconstructed to make way for the new bridge ... and the emergency exit stairs at the station were also reconstructed to accommodate an anticipated increase in riders transferring from VTA's BART Berryessa Extension when it opens in fall 2017," Childress said.
Berryessa BART Station rises in North San Jose - Inside Bay Area
Childress said ongoing work involves assembling the station's low roof steel canopy for the platform, installing a guide-way deck drainage system as well as overhead fire service lines.

She added part of the station work -- currently about 60 percent complete -- also slowed in places.

"The concourse slab is on hold pending sewage and plumbing work but is not contributing to any major work delay," Childress said.
The Milpitas-Berryessa extension's opening is now scheduled for fall 2017.
  by lpetrich
Warm Springs Extension Construction Updates | bart.gov has some big ones.

The first one is some video from a remote-controlled quadcopter that was sent along the length of the extension. The construction was essentially done at the Fremont end, and in between were some trackwork vehicles. At the Warm Springs end, the station looked all done except for some of its parking lots. That impression was confirmed from the Oxblue camera views of Fremont and Warm Springs.

There are two glass tower cages next to the station-platform buildings, and they contain staircases. There are also two elevators, but they are in the elevated walkway. The walkway's escalators and/or staircases are now in place.

Checking on the construction notifications, they have electrified the trackway, and they plan to start test runs in mid-December.
  by lpetrich
I checked on the Fremont, Warm Springs, Milpitas, and Berryessa camera views.

The Fremont one shows the track gates open, as would be necessary for testing.

The Warm Springs one shows that the station is close to complete, but not quite there. There are still some shipping containers scattered over the parking lots, but those lots have stripes for marking out parking places.

The Milpitas one shows the station building a bit more than half-done. Its skylights still have railings around them. The walkway between it and the nearby light-rail station, it is now in place. To the left of it, however, is a building with walls and no ceiling. There is a dark green boxy object inside of it. Further to the left are some rows of white posts. There is no paving between them, only dirt, and several construction vehicles are there.

The Berryessa one shows that all the visible trackway is now in place. All the station's canopy-roof frameworks are in place, and beyond it is the framework of what is likely a parking garage.

I checked insidebayarea.com and sfgate.com and I could not find anything recent on that construction.
  by lpetrich
Time-Lapse Construction Camera: BAY AREA RAPID TRANSIT DISTRICT (SFBART/WarmSpringsExt)

The Fremont one's pictures are now low-resolution, like twilight and nighttime ones.

The Warm Springs one shows two BART trains at the station -- test trains. A 3-car train on the pocket track south of the station, and another one inside the station itself, with one end sticking out of the station structure.

ETA: the time of that picture was 9:50 am, 21 January 2016. I note that because most other pictures don't show BART trains there.
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