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
Interesting take: https://sf.streetsblog.org/2020/06/08/s ... il-future/
If parochial lawmakers succeed in seizing electrification money from California's HSR project, they stand to abort an entire industry

An alliance of pro-oil, anti-rail Republicans and parochial, Southern California Democrats are ratcheting up efforts to divert some $4.8 billion slated for the electrification of California’s High-Speed Rail Project in the Central Valley to Metrolink, Southern California’s Commuter rail system.
For America to compete in HSR, they need the Central Valley spine to be electrified, so it can serve not only as a major passenger rail corridor but also as a test track for the development of new train designs. During a hearing last year, Assemblymember Laura Friedman, one of the politicians leading the charge to divert the funds for electrification, dismissed this, saying that HSR is a known quantity that doesn’t need testing.
But if the electrification money is taken, only conventional diesel trains will be able to run on that Central Valley track–belching out carcinogens at a relatively sedate 125 mph. And U.S. companies will continue to be locked out of this high-tech market.

If Southern California’s politicians are sincere about wanting to improve commuter rail, they should work on diverting money from endless and fruitless freeway widenings. Because it’s not even clear how the electrification money could be spent legally on Metrolink. In all likelihood, they will end up with nothing to show for their effort except the damaged lungs of the Central Valley’s children and the continued absence of the U.S. in an important global industry.
  by eolesen
Clutch those pearls. I don't think there will be too many carcinogens belched out if the line remains idled, which is probably the most prudent use for it. There's just not that much demand for a central valley routing.