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 mackalex
Does anyone in the Caltrain community know a thing or two about services that originate at San Francisco or Diridon? I specifically am interested in how many morning trainsets start their chain of services for the day at SFO or SJC. I'm currently building a replication of the Caltrain schedule within a Train Simulator to simulate railfanning of the line; this information would help to enrich the simulation.

I hope I made my question clear enough.

I appreciate it! :-D
  by mackalex
I've used the schedule before and have studied it thoroughly. The issue is that it gets very difficult to determine if a service in the late morning out of San Jose is being operated by a trainset that previously came from San Francisco and is doing a turnback, or if it is a trainset that is starting its day in San Jose. The Tamien trains also pertain to my question. Do Tamien trainsets only work SFO - Tamien - SFO and Tamien - SFO - Tamien all day, or are they placed on other services throughout the day (in terms of normal operations).
  by doepack
In order to really drill this down, you'd have to know the total number of trainsets used on this route, and how that breaks down by terminal. If you have the time, get ready for some heavy trackside observation involved over several days; this means you'll have to find a strategic spot to railfan the line in the morning rush, midday, and afternoon rush then jotting down the engine number plus number of cars assigned to each train you see, making note of the trainsets that are seen multiple times. Once the information is reconciled with the schedule, you'll start to find out which group of train numbers use the same equipment. For instance, one day you'll railfan the morning rush, then the next day you'd focus on midday, and the third day you'll watch the evening rush. Assuming you don't have a contact on the inside, this would be the only real way to get some answers.

This method might not answer all of your questions, but it should be a good start...