Jishnu wrote: I don't see any evidence at all that California has taken a confrontational approach with the FRA.
While I have read posts discussing that from the start, I think that was more railfan press blather than actual reality (maybe there was some initial Caltrain braggado...). I believe that so far all concerned parties are so far bargaining in good faith.
the use of temporal separation
Bah, this is not impressive at all
- its been around since the San Diego Trolley days (probably earlier). Severe constriction of operations of either freight or passenger is old, limited thinking.
PTC based separation or some such.
Aha! Now we are talking - this I feel is the future - prevent train/train collisions in the first place, instead of focusing solely
on minimizing damage if such collisions occur (note use of 'solely' - clearly you should still provide for crush zones, collision posts, etc - just don't have to design a tank). Widespread use of this would permit greater use of 'Euro-style' (Asian too) equipment in many more corridors across the country, while not constricting freight service (well, ok, maybe some during the rush-hour period due to larger amount of commuter traffic). Anyway, flexiblity is the key.
Ugh, we in the US always seem to fartz along and backslide - I remember reading historical rail articles from the 1940s/1950s with excellent ideas about traffic control/scheduling/service whatever, then they went into a tailspin in the 1960s, only to slowly emerge in the 1980s - now we get to play catch-up. Same thing with alternative fuels for vehicles - I remember lots of ideas and research in the field during the late 1970s, then this seemed to have been all tossed in the 1980s in the US, only now over the last few years have we tried once again to play catch-up with the advanced European ideas (some of which the US had come up with originally, only to let languish). Now we are letting our computer and bio-engineering fields stagnate, while Europe and Asia kick butts - Argghh!