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Can Amtrak Directly Serve San Francisco?

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#21 Texan Eagle

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 11:25 PM

BART's incompatible Indian broad gauge does not need and should not get a second tube. Any second tube should be standard gauge. This was figured out a long, long time ago. BART is basically a money pit: pay 5 times as much as you would for a standard-gauge train and get less. Run electrified high-frequency Caltrain through the second tube, you get more benefits than running BART through it.

(Actually, BART should be standard-gauged, but nobody wants to shut it down long enough to do so.)

Your suggested plan is so ridiculous and impractical that I can't even think where to start. Anyway...


BART has invested in purchasing 1,081 new train cars to serve for the next 30 years. If BART is a money pit, abandoning all of that in favor of standard gauge trains is NOT a money pit?


Let's assume somehow one builds a standard gauge transbay tube and run electrified Caltrain through it, but then what? There is ZERO miles of electrified tracks in the east bay, so where does this hypothetical electrified Caltrain go after it comes out of the tube? Build an entire new network of electrified standard gauge tracks in East Bay? That will NOT be a money pit somehow?


What benefit would you even get out of it if somehow you managed to find real estate to construct new standard gauge electrified lines parallel to BART routes? If you suggest that BART itself should be made standard gauge, do you realize BART cars are single level and tunnels all over its network are built to that height? So how do you run double-deck electrified Caltrain over it without rebuilding everything? That will NOT be a money pit?


You know why does nobody want to shut down BART long enough to convert it to standard gauge? Because four hundred and fifty thousand commuters rely on BART every single day to get to work. What are all of them supposed to do for years while rebuilding happens?


Seriously... think a bit before coming up with ridiculous couch-expert ideas.

#22 Metra Electric Rider

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 02:52 PM

In and of itself, a main line tunnel from San Francisco under the bay isn't a bad idea, it could create a regional rail network beyond BART. In other words, electrify service to Sacramento and maybe even connect into the Marin commuter line. Obviously, $$$, but not such a crazy idea.

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#23 west point

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:06 PM

Any one with the cost of the original BART tunnels and an inflation multiplier ?

#24 railbuck


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Posted 05 May 2017 - 11:57 PM


BART's incompatible Indian broad gauge does not need and should not get a second tube. Any second tube should be standard gauge.



Solution:  3-rail dual gauge?

#25 neroden



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Posted 07 May 2017 - 12:50 AM

Of course I know BART is too busy to shut down. 


But it really is a money pit.  I wasn't kidding when I said that everything on BART cost *FIVE TIMES* as much as it would if it were a normal standard-gauge subway; that's from actual recent projects.   And the complete blithering idiot aircraft engineers who designed it originally used CYLINDRICAL WHEELS -- they literally reinvented the wheel, and they did it incompetently.  They are only just fixing this ERROR, and installing conical wheels, this year.


If you're building a new tube, build it standard gauge.  Hook it to Caltrain.  Design it as a superexpress.  Underground station stops in San Francisco, West Oakland, MacArthur, possibly Ashby,  and continue straight underground to Martinez, allowing the Capitol Corridor to run through to San Francisco and speeding it up a lot.  Perhaps go via Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill if it's easy enough construction.

If you can manage to do the construction, build an underground wye and hook the second branch to the UP line east of the bay (which BART parallels at enormous expense).  Again, run superexpress.


Because practically any rail project is 1/5 the cost of a BART project, this would cost less than the latest BART extension plans.


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#26 GiantsFan


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Posted 24 August 2017 - 03:42 AM

There are 3 or 4 staging tracks at 4th and King... There is room for a couple consists to park at the end of the yard, as well as under the freeway just outside the main yard (they used to store extra baseball trains there).

I'd love to see an SF to LA Amtrak train

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