Two Weeks of Rail News, Thanksgiving to December 7, 2018

BART getting quieter as wheels are re-turned to better design

Los Angeles Westside and South Bay disagree on how to connect future Crenshaw Line and existing Green Line light rail

Del Mar opposes safety fencing to keep people falling off their bluffs next to the railroad tracks

Four damaged rail cars arrive at SMART yard in Santa Rosa, delaying expanded service

California Cap & Trade revenues increase significantly, providing more funds for high-speed rail and other programs

NY governor Cuomo meets with Trump, says Trump “understands” need for additional Hudson River tunnels into New York City

Salesforce Transbay Transit Center not likely to reopen until sometime in 2019

After local homeowners sue over City of L.A. attempt to exempt his project from environmental rules, Elon Musk drops plans for West Los Angeles tunnels

Streetcars and development: “It’s Complicated”

Santa Rosa cancels little-used downtown SMART shuttle

San Mateo County voters give transportation sales tax measure bare 2/3 majority; some funding for Caltrain

New BART train toy both mocked, praised on Twitter

Bay Area bridge tolls to go up, again, in January 2019–no one shows up at public hearing to oppose future increases

Cuomo to Trump: Take Amtrak off Gateway Tunnel project. Multi-state authority for Northeast Corridor?

State audit recommends California High-Speed Rail Authority take construction management in-house, away from consultants

Buses, trains key to reaching proposed ~20,000 jobs “Googleville” in downtown San Jose

In light of declining ridership on its long-distance trains, Amtrak offering 2 for 1 roomette service

Santa Ana-Garden Grove streetcar breaks ground, obtains Federal grant approvals

S.F. Muni misses another deadline on T-Third construction

Alaska Railroad returns passenger and freight service to its entire route within a week of 7.0 earthquake

Ten years of high speed rail in China

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Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

It’s not a train, but…

“That’s not the real destination. Pass it on.”

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Rail-Related News, Friday, November 22, 2018

In downtown Toronto, Canada, lanes are given to streetcar riders, who outnumbered car users by at least two to one.

Voters reject California gas tax repeal, pass transit taxes in Florida, Texas

Milwaukee starts long-delayed downtown streetcar

First light rail cars arrive for Crenshaw.LAX line in Los Angeles

More on defeat of Proposition 6 that would have repealed the recent California gas tax increase

Marin passes transportation sales tax continuance, may help improve connections to SMART

San Mateo sales tax for transportation “too close to call” two days after election

About major transportation projects “spared the knife” from gas tax repeal’s defeat

The ongoing saga of the Salesforce Transbay Transit Center: determining cause of beam cracks to take even more weeks

Opening of BART extension to San Jose still a year away, though nearly 100% of construction is complete

How to increase streetcar ridership: Toronto shows how by giving streetcars their own lanes

Notice that trains and ferries tend to have lower operating costs and subsidies than most bus systems

Hey, I thought they already owned it! New York MTA purchases Harlem and Hudson Lines, Grand Central for $35 million

Cracks in Salesforce Transbay Transit Center due to bad materials, not flawed terminal design

BART unveils new entrance canopy at Powell Street station entrance

From the Dark Side(tm) Dept.: Bay Area freeways that were never built (video)

Gullible Mainstream Press(tm) Dept.: Despite this article, “Rolling Bordellos” unlikely to happen since AVs many decades away, if they arrive at all

A second BART Transbay Tube could happen

Gold Line construction authority mulls plan to deliver Gold Line LRT extension two years earlier

BART announces plan for 2nd Transbay Tube

Audit of CA high-speed rail program says rushing construction cost at $600 million, caused other delays and cost overruns

In move that may kill current L.A. Union Station plans, after FBI raid L.A. City Councilman stripped of assignments

Costs of California high-speed rail continue to grow

Crenshaw Line between mid-city Los Angeles and LAX may be delayed a year

Tacoma breaks ground on 2.4 mile streetcar extension, to open in 2022

Acquiring land from farmers in San Joaquin Valley for high-speed rail is a “lifetime job”

Morocco in Africa gets its first true high-speed rail line before North America

Opinion: California high-speed rail runs on deceit, should be scrapped

Another story on BART proposal for a 2nd Transbay Tube between Oakland and San Francisco

Amtrak San Joaquins facing ridership declines despite recent schedule changes

Well, dogs and coyotes are know to be transit riders. What about turkeys, perhaps trying to flee Thanksgiving? ;-0

Posted in News | Comments Off on Rail-Related News, Friday, November 22, 2018

The Adventures of “Miss Alignment” at L.A. Union Station, Part Deux

It’s very attractive architecture inside Union Station, but it’s a jungle!

Episode Deux

Bureaucrats do nothing:

Dear Ms. MacAdams,

Thank you for contacting us to share your experience at Union Station on August 14.  We are sorry to hear your property was stolen and you had difficulty getting assistance from Union Station’s security and law enforcement.

Please know that the safety and security of our riders, as well as the patrons of Union Station, are a top priority to us.  While Metrolink security at Union Station is limited to our train platforms, we will follow up with Metro to see how we can be of support.

If you have any questions about Metrolink service, please visit our website at or call us at (800) 371-5465.


Metrolink Customer Relations


Moral: Watch your valuables at Los Angeles Union Station! If they get lifted, you’re out of luck!


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Rail-Related news, Monday, November 5, 2018

Conductor stops train on tracks to rescue dog in New Jersey

From the Dark Side(tm) & Sun Rises in East Dept.: Uber, Lyft clog SF streets according to study

Could self-driving cars leave high-speed rail in the dust?

More in the saga of the Salesforce Transit Center: contractor sues for $150 million

From the Dark Side(tm) Dept.: Bid to repeal gas tax sparks debate over how transportation spending occurs in California

New proposed high-speed rail through Bakersfield skips downtown, would cost $22 million less

Light rail system expands in Mesa, Arizona through roundabout

Los Angeles begins tunneling of Purple Line (Wilshire Subway) extension

Rider safety is top priority to candidates in BART board race

Due to its problems with cracked beams et al, San Francisco Transportation Authority holds up additional $10 million for Salesforce Transit Center

Santa Clara County’s latest transportation sales tax funding BART extension and other projects is legal, judge rules

Elon Musk’s test tunnel for “rapid transit” (sic) to be open for public review on December 10th

After major cost overruns and delays, downtown Berkeley BART station plaza reopens and homeless get fancier rain shelter

CBS 60 Minutes: Why has the New York City subway run off the rails?

The Salesforce Transbay Transit Center isn’t the only mega project with problems: bacteria and rust on the new S.F.-Oakland Bay Bridge

Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) announces “visionary” proposals in transportation beauty contest

Some researchers claim Uber [and Lyft] help increase transit ridership, contrary to some other findings

From the Dark Side Dept.: Bay Area’s worst commutes [starting with Bay Bridge corridor]

When will the Salesforce Transit Center reopen? Many weeks into the future

European architects to design revamp of San Jose Amtrak/Caltrain station

Shiny new BART cars finally running in regular service

From the Dark Side Dept.: What [may] happen when a cop pulls over a driverless car [if the car recognizes cops, among other things]

Judge tentatively rules against high-speed rail opponents, again

SMART, City of Santa Rosa spar over proposed Jennings Avenue pedestrian/bicycle crossing

Due to unexpected demand, BART to double available parking at Antioch eBART station

Just prior to Halloween, it could have been the BART Chainsaw Massacre! High weirdness on BART

SMART details its plans to extend service to Windsor, Healdsburg and Cloverdale

Caltrain electrification continues to progress between San Francisco and San Jose

Los Angeles Metro begins next steps to extend Eastside Gold Line

Envisioning a Southern California Metrolink frequent service network like the Paris RER

Is Los Angeles Union Station obsolete? (should there be tunnels under Downtown L.A., e.g., like in Zurich, Switzerland?)

You CAN get to/from Stockton via bus from Dublin/Pleasanton BART station [if you want to]

SMART grapples with change in its 2nd year of service

In races for board seats, how BART faces the future at stake

Posted in News | Comments Off on Rail-Related news, Monday, November 5, 2018

Rail-Related News, Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Bill signed by Governor Brown gives BART direct control over housing and other development on its station properties

Some state politicians say it’s time to “hit the pause button” on high-speed rail

Contractor who handled problematic cracking beams at the new Transbay Transit Center also involved in problems with San Jose BART extension

Due to quirks in state law, San Mateo County BART stations exempted from fare evasion crackdown

California highs-speed rail needs a keeper, er, conductor

From the Dark Side Dept: Correcting an oversight, cops can now impound non-licenses self-driving cars

Proposed 2nd Transbay Tube may be routed under City of Alameda, include Amtrak and other regional trains

Transbay Transit Center may remain closed through at least early November

“Who dunnit?” remains open question for cracked steel beams at Transbay Transit Center

Redwood City to study future grade separations of Caltrain line, emphasizing Whipple Ave

SMART sells site next to downtown Santa Rosa station for housing project

The problematic Transbay Transit Center shows why we need to fix how we do mega projects

Sophisticated quake alerts lets BART trains stop before shaking starts

Legendary bus and train bandit winds up locked up in mental hospital

Cox, Newsom clash in debate over gas tax repeal and other transportation issues

Safety concerns of passengers remain high on BART

New parking garage at Dublin-Pleasanton BART station begins

What California’s recent gas tax increase actually costs you

BART to quadruple sidewalk washing at 16h St and 24th St stations in San Francisco

BART fined $1.3 million over track worthier deaths in 2013

If voters repeal recent gas tax increase, major projects in jeopardy

Maybe the SMART extension to [0.3 miles away] from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal will reduce pressure on parking

Southern California Metrolink considers extending discount fares on San Bernardino line

Dramatic improvements in T-Third Street light rail service promised when Central Subway opens in 2019

Sandy Springs, GA floating gondolas as possible alternative to light rail

High-speed rail could transform Fresno. Or it might not.

New renderings of Airport Metro connecting station on L.A. Crenshaw/LAX line

Posted in News | Comments Off on Rail-Related News, Tuesday, October 16, 2018