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
  by lpetrich
Construction – CalMod - the foundations and poles are at least partially done for nearly all of the line. Wires are present in some parts, and traction power stations, where listed, are partially done.
  by John_Perkowski
Just two idle questions:

Who provides the power, and what happens when PG&E declares Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
  by rohr turbo
PG&E exited Chap 11 bankruptcy July 1 of this year. Not to say they are the model of a healthy utility, but I think the liability for fires, etc has been settled.

I'm sure if full Chap 7 is ever contemplated, the state will take over as there are many more important electricity users in N. Calif than Caltrain (which can always pull out old diesels if nec.)
  by rohr turbo
More progress on the peninsula. Clearer skies finally.
  by Pensyfan19
Great photos! Nice to see things are clearing up in CA. :-)
  by Head-end View
Good to see it's really happening! What location is the above photo?
  by rohr turbo
Thanks Pennsy and Head-end! Location is Palo Alto (Charleston Rd. crossing, looking north.)
  by RRspatch
It will be interesting to see how soon the two "catenary alignment - voltage testers" ..... er, ex Amtrak AEM7's, are unwrapped and sent out on the line. I wonder if they'll get repainted into the Caltrains scheme?
  by rohr turbo
That will be cool to see AEM-7s on the line. But I doubt they'll repaint them. They still haven't repainted all the ex-Metrolink Bombardier coaches that have been in daily service for 4 or 5 years now.
  by west point
Notice how simpler the whole electrical wiring is compared to the NEC.
  by rohr turbo
west point wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:01 am Notice how simpler the whole electrical wiring is compared to the NEC.
That's really true westpoint. I have been thinking about the reasons why. Here are my thoughts:

1. Caltrain can eliminate the very high voltage, multi-line, very tall power poles over the right of way that are in the old Pennsy territory. I assume this is because old NEC is still captive 25 Hz system with few converters, while Caltrain can run multiple, simple 60 Hz substations frequently along the line.

2. green masts are nice camouflage.

3. general simplification/modernization over 80+ years.

4. two tracks vs. 3~4

I still marvel that modern catenary uses those tensioning weights/pulleys that look so 19th century!
  by jwhite07
Other than the painted green poles versus bare galvanized steel ones, that photo is representative of how the electrification installation looks on the NEC between New Haven, CT and Boston, MA. I'm sure you'll see catenary bridges or other heavier or taller structures as necessary in certain areas such as where there are more than two tracks, but that design is pretty typical for simple double track territory. I have also seen videos indicating some of the Caltrain route is equipped with much taller catenary poles on only one side of the right of way, with span arms extending over both tracks. Again, there are similar such installations along the NEC east of New Haven, where right of way width is limited by topography (hillsides, rock cuts, shorelines, etc) or even buildings closely abutting the right of way.
  by Backshophoss
The NEC east of New Haven was the first "new build cat" in ages,and copied some of the light rail cat poles and turned to a "heavy look" style poles on the corridor
  by BandA
Are those constant-tension catenary? I don't see any weights or pulleys. It does look like a trolley (LRV) line! The NEC corridor probably has greater temperature variation as well as ice & snow than this line faces.

Someone mentioned catenary "short testing". Would be neat if electric locomotives had laser or other telemetry to check catenary alignment automatically and give out early warnings.
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