SPUR: Electrifying Caltrain and High-Speed Rail: What’s Next?

From SPUR:

Event image

Image credit: Flickr user Steve Wilson

This spring, Bay Area leaders formalized a major effort to identify the funds to electrify Caltrain while the High-Speed Rail Authority chose to allocate its initial funding toward an operating segment of high-speed rail towards Southern California. What does electrification mean for Caltrain’s future and how will it help keep the future of high-speed rail service in the Bay Area on track? Join us for an update and a critical discussion about what’s next for these regionally-significant rail projects. With Gillian Gillett, transportation policy advisor to Mayor Lee, Seamus Murphy of Caltrain and Randy Rentschler of MTC.

  • SPUR, Transform, and other Green groups should not consider electrifying the deadly, long-outdated, noisy, congestion-causing Caltrain, (congestion of the 100,000 cars and both of their sets of brake particulate) pollution, million-pound behemoths that pass within inches of people at high-speed (appropriately-name “bullet” (express) trains, on these 1863 tracks is outragous Luddite behavior at worst. At best, it is simply ‘perfuming the pig” or, as Henry Ford and Steve Jobs would say ” If I asked my customers (read-Caltrain riders/supporters–at any cost) what they would have wanted, they would have said a faster horse”.  The modern day Caltrain is an outdated, once-useful Killtrain. For suicide-likely persons, Caltrain Killtrain functionality is an efficient horizontal, fast, guillotine that causes enormous psychological trauma  for those nearby, train engineers, emergency staff and Caltrain employees who pick up the dismembered body parts.. BART has few fatalities–of any cause and fits perfectly with other transit around the Bay.  We need BART to replace Caltrain, station by station, over the next 10 years, from its current planned end at Santa Clara up to existing Millbrae/SFO stations…a distance, or gap, of only 28 miles, yes, only 28 miles to start planning now, to finally wrap the whole Bay Area into one-seat regional high-capacity, fast, clean, quieter, much safer, grade separated, integrated rail modern transit system, enabling 3 other improvements: A 60 mile adjacent trail/bikeway (like BART ElCerrito or SoSF arrangement)with a single track Freight line,  no HSR (Stops in SJ–where Future growth will be most), Removal of the Dumbarton Rail pylons–restoring the SoBay waters to their natural state for the first time since they were built in 1910! since BART will serve both sides of  of the Bay, including for emergency or redundant needs (TransBay Tube/West Oakland) obstructions, and, sale of SF Caltrain Station properties to accelerate SOMa SF growth and free up the land, all the while reducing suicides, improving One Bay Area Backbone rail transit to events and increasing BART efficiency and farebox recovery and ridership benefits.  How could any Green rail organization, or Business, or TransForm be at all opposed to this dream come true opportunity for the SF Bay Area? Pass this one to Gillian and Randy, and BART’s board. Let’s discuss further. BAB-BART around the Bay, replacing Caltrain tracks is a no-brainer, just as BART replaced the tracks of other rail carriers over the years.  The Bay Area is for Innovation not Stagnation and replicating the past with new perfume or faster horses (locomotives). When I discuss this with people, they immediately support it over Caltrain, won’t your organization, too?
    Omar
    Freemotorist blog

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