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Been some discussion on our NWPRR site about when passenger service would begin.
I sent a note to the smart info mail site and received this official response from Matt Stevens of smart. I still stay with my "not so smart" nomenclature because of the erroneous spelling in his response:
"WE are still anticipating opening for service in the late spring of this year. This has been are target since the engine related delay was announced late last year. However, I would consider April, early spring."
Last day of spring is technically June 20th.
Its like any government project. Sprinter Line in San Diego had the same issues. They even had to shut down for almost a year once revenue service started because brakes on their DMUs were wearing out faster than expected. Trust me, SMART will start in spring, but within a year, they will have a long shutdown period of 3-6 months...
I can see SMART involved in some crossing accidents once start up gets going and they are rolling at full speed. I've seen some close calls at the W. Steele Ln crossing. Idiots stop on the track waiting for the light. They cant keep people at every crossing to flag them like they are now.
Even with the current increased speeds it's still a risk as there starting to operate more like it's service on some parts of the line.
I'm willing to make two bet's with anyone here.
1. SMART will not start operations until well into summer if not longer and our two local North Bay papers will say little or nothing negative about it.
2. Within the first year of operations (that's assuming they even start) SMART will need added income and will be forced to sell advertising space plastered on it's car's just like San Diego does. They are simply afraid to mention it at this point knowing the negative public reaction. No doubt this is already unofficially being talked about.
1. I wager that they will start late spring, however it will be so late that its pretty much summer anyways (June 20) and that would be a loophole push where they "operate" a couple trains to "work" into operations... It will be their way of saying that they suck, and ridership sucks...
2. Them things will be plastered with ads by the time they run. I am pretty sure that there will be signs inside and possibly a wrap done to the complete outside of the DMU (just a couple) within one year.
3. I'm adding this - SMART will have a 3-6 month shutdown in the first 2-3 years due to equipment issues that require long term studies or repairs. Sprinter had it: