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

  by Jeff Smith
PADailyPost.com: Council reduces rail crossing options, tunnel still alive
The idea of putting Caltrain in a tunnel in Palo Alto is still alive.

City Council on Tuesday (Jan. 22) rejected Ed Shikada’s recommendation to bury the idea of a tunnel north of Oregon Expressway, and voted 5-0 to continue considering whether to bury the train in a citywide tunnel and to fully or partially close Churchill Avenue at the tracks.
The city is grappling with how to modify the Churchill Avenue, Palo Alto Avenue, Meadow Drive and Charleston Road crossings to prepare for an increase in trains. The increase is expected when Caltrain switches to electric in 2022 and high-speed rail launches in 2029. Today, the city sees about 92 trains per day. In 2022, Caltrain expects that number to increase to 114, and High Speed Rail expects to send 128 trains per day to and from San Francisco, with an additional 24 trains starting in San Jose.
  by Tadman
If they're fast and short trains, is it worth it? I could see this being useful if slow freights were a problem, but they're not.
  by rohr turbo
The motivation for grade separation is not traffic congestion, it is safety. If CAHSR gets built, you really don't want grade crossings (consider NEC.) Plus Palo Alto has a rash of drivers waiting for red lights on the tracks, and sadly, a cluster of teen suicides on the tracks.

There seems to be some momentum growing around an elevated viaduct through the city. Cheaper than tunneling and less obtrusive than a 'Berlin Wall.'

The line is already busy: 92 daily Caltrain plus probably 4 freights. With CAHSR, it would get very busy.
  by Jeff Smith
Options eliminated: PaloAltoOnline.com
Palo Alto set to scrap plans for train viaduct, trench as June deadline looms

Palo Alto’s seemingly interminable effort to choose new designs for three rail crossings reached a minor breakthrough on April 16 when a City Council committee formally recommended scrapping the viaduct and trench options from consideration in the south end of the city.
One would create an underpass for cars under East Meadow Drive and Charleston Road with a traffic circle on Charleston, just west of Mumford Place. This option would require some property acquisitions along Meadow and Charleston, a prospect that has created angst for area residents.

The other option is a “hybrid” that both raises the tracks and lowers the roads. It would, in effect, create a 15-foot berm for trains along the tracks between El Verano and Ferne avenues while dipping the road between Park Boulevard and Alma Street by about 5 feet.