Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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I understand the cars for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit train are being ordered at a cost of $60 million. That works out to a cost per car of $6.6 million.

BART is getting ready to replace their old cars, some of which are 50 years old, and it has budgeted $3 billion for replacing 669 cars, for a per-car cost of $4.5 million.

Why do you think there's such a huge discrepancy in the cost of the cars for SMART versus the cars being built for BART?

Furthermore, the SMART cars will be ready in 2013, three years before the anticipated completion of the rails on which the cars will run — 2016. Why are they being built three years before they're needed?

That poses more issues.

Where will the new cars be stored and will the taxpayers be charged for warehousing them?

If they are built three years before they are needed, what if technological innovations are introduced that would render them obsolete even before they are ever used?

Worse yet, what if the cars are built, taxpayers are on the hook for the $60 million cost of the cars and the rail system is never completed?

There's nothing about SMART that passes the smell test.

Jan Barbarita, Novato




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Apparently all the new extensions (other than the San Jose ext.) are gonna be standard gauge and DMU operated


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