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
 
https://sf.streetsblog.org/2020/05/26/d ... ned-again/
The dream of running Caltrain directly between the mid-peninsula and the East Bay is in danger of getting shelved again.

The Palo Alto Daily Post had the latest disappointing headline over the weekend: ‘Facebook is rethinking its commitment to help fund Dumbarton Rail Corridor study.’ It quotes Facebook spokesperson Juan Salazar saying the social media giant is “reassessing this long-term commitment.” Streetsblog covered the original deal with Facebook back in 2016, when the company announced that it would provide $1 million and partner with SamTrans to launch a “Dumbarton Corridor Study” looking into restoring the on-again, off-again project.

The new rail service would stop at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park.
...
“Dumbarton is clearly an important regional link that should be brought back and incorporated into an integrated rail network. Because it falls between the jurisdictions of counties and transit agencies, it’s never been appropriately prioritized by our region,” wrote Ian Griffiths of Seamless Bay Area, a group dedicated to the integration of the Bay Area’s disparate transit systems. “Whether the project moves forward shouldn’t have anything to do with Facebook’s willingness to fund it – it should be prioritized by our region due to its potential to generate ridership, improve access, and reduce driving and climate emissions.”

For those not familiar with the long-awaited project, there’s a twenty-mile stretch of old railway tracks (marked in green in the map above) that runs from Caltrain’s mainline in Redwood City, continues past Facebook’s Menlo Park campus, and then runs across the Dumbarton Rail Bridge to the East Bay. Long ago it carried passengers, and freight continued to use the corridor up until the 1980s. SamTrans purchased the tracks for a possible expansion of Caltrain to the East Bay in 1995. But the bridge was seriously damaged in a suspicious fire in 1998. Since then, calls to restore the line for passenger service have been repeatedly started and abandoned.
...
Wiki page on bridge: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumbarton_Rail_Bridge

and project page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumbarton_Rail_Corridor

Study: https://www.samtrans.com/Planning/Plann ... Study.html and https://www.samtrans.com/Planning/Plann ... ridor.html and
https://www.samtrans.com/Assets/Dumbart ... b+2020.pdf
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  by Pensyfan19
 
lensovet wrote: Sun May 31, 2020 7:02 pm makes sense…if in this COVID environment they are going to allow everyone to work from home, why invest money in a service that they have no use for?
For Facebook's perspective, yes. This is so since Facebook ordered all of their employees to work from home until January 2021. But then again, rail service is intended for other commuters and travelers to use, rather than just facebook employees.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
It would be great someday to have a rail route running across Dumbarton Rail Bridge as this would enable for train travel from the Caltrain suburbs across to the Fremont Area. This could count as a suburb to suburb rail route. Just imagine living in Fremont or Newark and you work in Redwood City. This route doesn't have to be part of Caltrain. It could be some sort of diesel commuter rail route that uses DMUs like what Arrow will be. The existing Caltrain route will probably be at capacity once it's built to handle electric operation.
  by lensovet
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Sun May 31, 2020 7:10 pm
lensovet wrote: Sun May 31, 2020 7:02 pm makes sense…if in this COVID environment they are going to allow everyone to work from home, why invest money in a service that they have no use for?
For Facebook's perspective, yes. This is so since Facebook ordered all of their employees to work from home until January 2021. But then again, rail service is intended for other commuters and travelers to use, rather than just facebook employees.
facebook paid for the studies, so i presume they get to call whether to continue those studies.