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 Jersey_Mike
Can any locals confirm which afternoon Baby Bullet service trains are run with gallery car equipment? I know that the 4:25 departing San Jose train is, but I might need to take a later train on a future trip and I will be looking for something with a view.
  by eaglestar
I no longer live in California, but for a period of time, I was taking Cal Train every week or so it seemed. As a general rule, the locals and limited stop services run with gallery cars, and the BB's run with Bombardiers. As far as I could tell, there was no real method to determine which ones would run with which, other than determining which locals turned into BB's and vice versa. It takes some luck to be right too.

Perhaps someone with daily experience can assist.

Best of luck!
  by Patrick Boylan
Can you have some pity for us ignorant east coasters? What are these different equipment types of which you speak, gallery vs Bombardier, and what's the difference in passenger view?
I'm guessing gallery cars are the ones I'm used to in Chicago, full 1st floor, split second floor -hence the 'gallery'- and Bombardiers are more like the split level hot dog cars that Hawker Siddley pioneered for Toronto's GoTransit, but I'm not sure why one affords rabid railfans any better view than the other.
  by ExCon90
You're right about the car types. The windows in the Baby Bullets are larger, while the gallery cars date from roughly the same period as those in Chicago, with gunport windows.
  by eaglestar
Bombardier (GO Transit, Metrolink, Railrunner, TRE) style cars have a less rugged interior but for some reason, those vinyl (or maybe leatherette) seats on the gallery cars seem to be a lot more comfortable, especially on the upper level where one can sit solo.
  by timz
eaglestar wrote:As a general rule, the locals and limited stop services run with gallery cars, and the BB's run with Bombardiers.
I'd guess half the expresses run with gallery cars. Maybe more than half.

Gallery cars have the engineer in his little cubicle up top, so any rider can look out the front on the lower passenger level. On Bombardiers there's only one level at the front of the car and the engineer occupies it-- so usually (always?) no view out the front for passengers.
  by timz
They had a signal problem yesterday 11 Nov-- messed up the afternoon rush, so I couldn't get the info. The 4:09 and 5:14 out of SF and the 4:25 and 5:25 out of San Jose were galleries; I think the 6:25 out of San Jose is at least usually a gallery train too.
  by Head-end View
The view out the front/northbound (or rear/southbound) on the gallery cars lower level is good. Last year when I rode them, nobody bothered me, and the lady conductor was friendly.