Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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According to the PD, it appears that the funding for the Larkspur link is included in the new budget which has now been fulled approved.  I'll be interested to see if SMART has NWP hauling the rails and ties down south of the wye.  There is that large aggregate provider (Lonestar?) just south of the San Rafael station.

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That is great investigative work.  Now if this can truly be enforced and not get hung up in a protracted lawsuit, we have to hold SMART's feet to the fire and force them to apply any San Rafael RoW restoration rebates to extending further north into Healdsburg.  

Right on brother! Ukiah or bust!

I no longer subscribe to the PD so not up to speed on the planning for the Larkspur extension.  Has there been anymore press on when this would start?  The Anderson Dr/RoW commentary is quite interesting.

Andrew:  With all due respect the CalTrain platforms are definitely not at ground level.  CalTrain has two types of coaches, Nippon Sharyo which need a elevated platform because the lower level is 3 steps above the elevated platform level, and the Bombardiere (sp?) cars that still need the elevated platform but have their entry at that elevated level.

So who is directing this SMART requirement for separate tracks at stations?  I'll have to talk to John about this.

It's a PUC regulation for platforms above 8 inches, Caltrain platforms are 8 inches, which exempts them from this rule.

My understanding is that the gauntlet tracks are required by FRA regs.  The tracks must be a minimum distance away from any vertical structure more than four feet high.  The SMART DMUs are designed to have platform level entry and the platforms are more than four feet high, so the main line cannot run that close to the platform.  They could have opted for platforms with mechanical 'bridges" that extended out to permit platform level boarding, but did not.  I think the gauntlet track solution was one of those things that Mansourian inherited from the prior initial SMART administration which "didn't know how to run a railroad."  The selection and contract for the DMUs was done by a group of local politicians who didn't have a clue about the engineering ramifications that the system is now stuck with.  That's what happened when they hired somebody who only had light rail transit experience to design a heavy rail transit system and you have politicians who are choosing rolling stock based on "the color of the upholstery." ... or so I've heard.

Au contraire Fan. 

CalTrain platforms at my station (Palo Alto) are greater than 8 inches above the rail which had to be raised to support the aged Nippon Sharyo cars used on the line.  Re: public comment about the installation of gauntlet tracks that talk is if/ever high speed rail comes up the Peninsula.

It seems that SMART chose to employ gauntlet tracks and lock NWP out of passing stations without these track rather than use the other option allowed by the PUC, ramps which is what CalTrain employ.  Details:


Here is Caltrains presentation explaining the regulations with level boarding, it should clarify the regulations a bit

Thanks for that.  Have seen little if any "Public discussion" from Caltrain as written on slide 23 here in my area.  This slide set was created at the height of the high speed rail controversy here on the Peninsula which has now quieted down somewhat.  And no mention of gauntlet tracks as an option either.

Caltrain has invested in all of the boarding aids shown on slide 12 so doubtful that they would spend the funds to add additional track at 33 stations and indeed since they use a duplex track system, there may not be enough room to do so.

I did an actual measurement of platform height to top of rail at my local station and it exceeded 8 inches.  Trust no one from FRA is monitoring this w-site.


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