Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

Dedicated to Sharing the Heritage of Redwood Empire Railroading

From the Press Democrat article of the same title:

The public will get a second chance to tell Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit planners what they would like the rail cars to look like at a hearing in San Rafael.

Rail system directors already have chosen self-propelled, American-style, heavy railroad cars for the 71-mile line, which is scheduled to begin running in 2014 from Cloverdale to Larkspur.

Some extras for riders already are planned, such as wireless Internet access, power strips to plug in laptops, reading lights and overhead luggage racks.

What’s left are decisions on how many and the types of seats and whether there are bathrooms, food and drink concessions and bicycle racks.

The first hearing was held in Santa Rosa. Attendees representing the disabled asked for 32-inch-wide aisles to accommodate wheelchairs and bicycling advocates suggested using some fold-up seats to provide for 15 to 20 percent space for bicycles.

SMART is ordering 22 cars, which will run in dual pairs, at a cost of $80 million to $90 million.

The board of directors will make a final decision in March.

LTK Engineering Services of Ambler, Pa., is developing the specifications, which will include such performance criteria as ride, vibration, side sway, acceleration and braking.

The hearing will be at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 13 at the San Rafael Corporate Center’s Tamalpais Meeting Room, 750 Lindaro St.

You can reach Staff Writer Bob Norberg at 521-5206 or

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