Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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SMART extension to Larkspur SMART fan, Nippn Sharyo fann

I'm so pleased to see the train up and running with paying passengers.  And in the opening ceremony I heard someone say that SMART is the first to use ATC based on fiber optic (FO) communications installed along the RoW. 

I'm an FO architect and understand its value but also know it has to be laid into the roadbed like it has been on the present SMART/NWP line.

But if you look at Mike Davis' video capture of "Return of the Rail plow" here on this site you will see that this is a large sized piece of equipment for the installation of the FO cables.  The plow also has to be pulled by heavy locos.

Will all of this FO deployment equipment including that plow in Mike's video fit along the roadbed south of the Ignacio Wye, where the passenger platforms encroach on the RoW?

Without the FO cabling which must be installed by the plow, ATC cannot operate.  Has SMART outsmarted itself? 

I'm no expert in new rail roadbed renovation.

Do we have any members who can comment?  Without a connect to Larkspur, I fear that SMART will never survive.

Where are you fans?


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Without the ferry connection, I fear you are right. Service workers need to drag their equipment to Marin. Retail may ride the train. We'll see. 

Yes Mike I agree and will be watching the PD for progress.

I may be kicking a dead horse but also wondering that I may be naive in beleiving that the"fans" were just another alias for Mr. Erdman.

Mark Drury is going to kill me for sending this note.

Cheers, Mark

Nope, I've just moved to another part of the country but still occasionally check in here.

Happy to hear the real you but also so sorry to hear you have moved away.  I for one really enjoyed your contributions to the NWPRR site.

With the passenger RR up and running I'm now a SMART fan too.  No more not-so-smart from me.


correction, that should have read "I may be naive in believing that the"fans" were real NWPRR members and not just another alias for Mr. Erdman.

I also may be wrong, but I believe the boarding platforms do indeed provide minimum clearance for all standard rail equipment. The gauntlet track set-offs north of the Wye are required by safety regulations only where freight traffic is operated. The required four foot clearance at platforms north of the Wye is for the protection of railroad workers who may be aboard the outside of moving freight cars. As freight was not going to be running south of the Wye, the gauntlet tracks which provide the required four foot clearance weren't required. I expect track construction and maintenance operations would be excepted from the freight operations clearance requirement and safety ensured by other means.

That said, the problem of platform set-backs has arisen before. The San Francisco Municipal Railway has a number of boarding platforms which were installed in conjunction with their modern light rail vehicles which they have discovered, much to their chagrin, do not permit the passage of some of their now hugely popular "heritage fleet" of restored vintage streetcars thereby limiting the operation of the vintage cars on some sections of their system until the new platforms can be removed, reengineered and rebuilt!

I'd be curious to see SMART extend their service to Larkspur, I think it would be much more convenient for the average commuter. If SMART goes down, at least we still have the NWP right?

This topic has come up multiple times.  Standard freight cars and locomotives should fit south of Ignacio.  It could be a tight squeeze, but they should fit.  The concern is for any crew members who might be hanging off a car on the platform side as they are at risk of colliding with a platform -- that's the main issue.

The concern with the plow is that it might be too wide.  But I believe that they are designed to deal with such situations.  I think that big arm will fold in tightly.  But if the car is already too wide, then yes, it might have to be ferried in on a lowboy.  I would be a bit surprised if that were the case, however.


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