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 lpetrich
The document also mentions the California Public Utilities Commission's priority list of grade crossings, and a section on city governments' plans. I'll take the previously-mentioned lists, remove the existing grade crossings, and indicate which ones are planned or under study. I won't try to distinguish the various stages of planning.

San Francisco has a proposed Pennsylvania Ave. tunnel which would grade-separate Mission Bay Dr. and 16th St.

In San Mateo County:
  • South San Francisco - Linden Ave. - Planning
  • San Bruno - Scott Ave. - Planning
  • Millbrae - Center St., Hillcrest Blvd.
  • Burlingame - Broadway - Final Design: 2023, CPUC 1st
  • Burlingame - Oak Grove Ave., North Ln., Howard Ave., Bayswater Ave., Peninsula Ave., Villa Terr., Bellevue Ave.
  • San Mateo - 1st Ave., 2nd Ave., 3rd Ave., 4th Ave. 5th Ave., 9th Ave.
  • Redwood City - Whipple Ave., Hopkins Ave., Brewster Ave., Broadway - Planning, CPUC 5th
  • Redwood City - Maple St., Main St., Chestnut St. - Planning
  • Atherton - Fair Oak Ln., Watkins Ave., Encinal Ave.
  • Menlo Park - Glenwood Ave., Oak Grove Ave., Ravenswood Ave. - Planning, CPUC 7th
In Santa Clara County:
  • Palo Alto - Palo Alto Ave. -- Planning (my earlier Alma St. is a mistake)
  • Palo Alto - Churchill Ave. -- Planning
  • Palo Alto - Meadow St., Charleston Rd. -- Planning
  • Mountain View - Rengstorff Ave. - Planning, CPUC 9th
  • Mountain View - Castro St. - Planning, CPUC 14th
  • Sunnyvale - Mary Ave. - Planning
  • Sunnyvale - Sunnyvale Ave. - Planning
  • San Jose - Auzerais Ave., Virginia St. - Planning, CPUC 12th
  • San Jose (UP line) - Skyway Dr, Branham Ln, Chynoweth Ave - Planning, CPUC 19th
  by lpetrich
As to the planning process sometimes taking a long time, there is a reason for doing careful planning. It's much cheaper to catch design problems early in design than late in design or construction or operation. To quote from David Gerrold's "The World of Star Trek" (about the original series),
Gene L. Coon, line producer for STAR TREK, and the only man other than Roddenberry who could make the show work on a regular basis, has said, “All of your production problems can be solved best in the typewriter. They can be solved a lot cheaper and faster than they can on the set.”
Related to this is German planners' slogan Organisation vor Elektronik vor Beton: organization before electronics before concrete - Philadelphia Link, or Organization Before Concrete | Pedestrian Observations
  by kitchin
My grandmother and her friends solved a lot of problems with their typewriters. Not all battles were won, but they were fought urgently. They also played bridge to keep sharp, and when one could no longer play due to age, was no longer invited and suffered from the deprivation. (The same thing neurologists, do: baseline, semi-annual followup, often forgotten by the patient, but the billing clerk still clicking the Medicare button.) Different times, some lessons. "Don't mourn, organize" my generation said, and "think globally, act locally," but were often overcome by economics and geographic dislocation.
  by lpetrich
There are several grade crossings that seem to have no planning for grade separation or closing. They are all in San Mateo County:
  • Millbrae - Center St., Hillcrest Blvd.
  • Burlingame - Oak Grove Ave., North Ln., Howard Ave., Bayswater Ave., Peninsula Ave., Villa Terr., Bellevue Ave.
  • San Mateo - 1st Ave., 2nd Ave., 3rd Ave., 4th Ave. 5th Ave., 9th Ave.
  • Atherton - Fair Oak Ln., Watkins Ave., Encinal Ave.
  by lpetrich
I checked on CalMod and I found PowerPoint Presentation - Caltrain Electrification Update PowerPoint.pdf dated June 3, 2021.

All the JPB-owned right of way will be electrified, between downtown SF and Tamien station. Caltrain will have 133 electric cars, in 19 7-car trainsets.

The document has counts of how many overhead-wire foundations and poles to be built. The line is divided into four segments: Downtown SF - #1 - ? - #2 - Menlo Park - #3 - Santa Clara - #4 - Tamien. I'll aggregate the numbers:
  • Foundations: to do: 644 of 2981, done: 78%, est. completion: 06/30/2021 (2), 11/30/2021 (1)
  • Poles: to do: 1025 of 2532, done: 60%, est. completion: 07/30/2021 (2), 12/15/2021 (1)
  • Wire installation: 37%, est. completion: 09/25/2021 (2), 01/15/2021 (1)
  • Wire testing: 14%, est. completion:10/10/2021 (2), 01/31/2021 (1)
  • Signals 95% Design: 70%, est. completion 10/01/2022 (3), 11/02/2022 (1)
  • Signals installation: 34%, est. completion 04/01/2023 (1), 04/03/2023 (3)
  • Signals testing: 14%, est. completion 04.30/2023 (1), 09/30/2023 (3)
In ()'s is which segment the estimated completion date is for.

It looks like the wires will be done south of San Francisco later this month. As to the signals, they are nearly complete for Segment 4, and next will be Segment 2, late next year.
  by lpetrich
Turning to the rolling stock, "70 car shells have been shipped from Stadler Switzerland, 55 are in
Stadler Salt Lake City, 15 are in transit"

That's enough for 10 7-car trainsets.

"Dynamic type testing started at TTCI in Pueblo, CO on Train 1", "HVAC type testing started on Train 2", "Routine testing is in process on Train 3"

So they are running the trains on a test track at Pueblo CO to test them.

The schedule: "First trainset to Caltrain now scheduled for February 2022 primarily due to
Seisenbacher US bankruptcy and Seisenbacher Austria financial troubles", "Acceptance of 14th trainset now scheduled for August 2023"

Then showing some pictures of a trainset at Pueblo.
  by lpetrich
Back to CalMod they are now expecting to start service in 2024.
  by rohr turbo
Thanks for the updates. It's encouraging that one trainset is already in testing in Pueblo. A bit surprising that poles/wires are so much more advanced at the south end than at the SF end. And signalling seems way slow -- Sept 2023 for completion in SF?!? Does anyone know why signalling is so slow, and whether existing signalling can be used in the interim for electric trainsets.
Last edited by rohr turbo on Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by lensovet
It's not that surprising. North of Millbrae you have a bunch of low-clearance tunnels and a generally restricted ROW, whereas the southern portion is much more open. The southern end is also a 4-track main in places, which means it makes more sense to start testing there as it's less disruptive to existing service.
  by rohr turbo
@lensovet You make a good point about the tunnels up north. But as for ROW width I'm really not sure it's so different....yes a couple of 4-track passing zones at Lawrence and Redwood City, though also up north at Bayshore. And there are narrow choke points on the peninsula (Palo Alto, Atherton) just as up at SSF.

I haven't checked lately but a few months ago it looked like almost no work on foundations/gantry/wire at 4th&King station while lower peninsula looked almost ready to power on.

In short, it looks like a lot of work is being staged serially rather than in parallel. And they could have taken advantage of Covid year to double up on workforce and productivity while ridership was very low.
  by west point
Signal delays. We might have a suspicion that they are caused by computer chip delays ? What is the manufacturer of the chips. Maybe some chips from that plant that burned ? Just drove by local large ford dealer. Did not have even 50 new cars on lot that has capacity of 300 +.
  by David Benton
Apparently the chip shortage is not as simple as it seems at first blush.(never made sense to me that a highly automated process could be that delayed by Covid caused labor shortage).
"The key problem is that cars use old-style basic chips, the really cheap versions. And chip-makers have moved on and don't want to invest billions in old tech to sort this problem out. And vehicle makers don't want to pay for the new-style chips. It is hard to see when this standoff ends, but almost certainly carmakers will have to reengineer their products to accept updated technologies. It won't be a short process." https://www.interest.co.nz/news/112570/ ... ring-fence

I would say railway signals are in a similar boat , if not more so .
  by lpetrich
Thanx, west point. I found the zones:
  1. Downtown SF - Brisbane
  2. South SF - Atherton
  3. Menlo Park - Santa Clara
  4. Santa Clara - Tamien
Construction progress:
  • Overhead Contact System (OCS) - Foundations 87% complete - Poles 65% complete- Segment 3 Wire 100% complete
  • Traction Power Facilities - Transformer installed at 9 of 10 facilities - Traction Power Substations 1 & 2 96% complete - Switching Station 1 92% complete
  • Electric Trains (133 cars total) - 82 shipped - 73 in Salt Lake City manufacturing facility - Trainset 1 in Pueblo for on-track testing
  by lpetrich
Looking at completion fractions for July 31 from that document, and updating from Construction – CalMod in ()'s
  • Foundations: Seg 1 35% 12/30/2021, Seg 2 (done), Seg 3, Seg 4, CEMOF done
  • Poles: Seg 1 0% 05/18/22, Seg 2 52% 11/30/21, Seg 3 done, Seg 4, CEMOF (done?)
  • Wire Installation: 1 0% 06/23/2022, 2 20% 12/15/2021, 3 done, 4 29% 11/15/2021
  • Wire testing 1 0% 07/20/2022, 2 8% 01/20/2022, 3 done, 4 0% 11/21/2021
  • Signaling 1, 2, 3 in 2022-2023, 4 installation 09/10/2021 testing 76% 09/30/2021
  • Traction power facilities: completion dates 10/15/2021 to 01/30/2022 with Burlingame at 04/18/022 (only site that has not received its transformer)
It looks like the SF part is lagging way behind the rest of the line.

For the trainsets, run testing at Pueblo for 1, HVAC testing for 2, routine testing for 3, 4, 5.
  • 1
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
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