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California Trains?

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California has Amtrak, CalTrans, Pacific Surfliner, Amtrak California, San Joaquin and probably more than this Florida Boy is aware of! Can someone give me the SHORT Run Down of the Justification of their existence?

Thanx

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Same reason the NE has Seperate Rail authorities running on the same tracks( ie Amtrak,Metro North,SEPTA,NJT etc etc.)

Political jobs for the Government Cartels to hand out to their Soldiers!;)

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State of California funds "Amtrak California", state + local counties fund San Joaquins, state + local counties fund Capitol Corridor, state + local counties fund the Pacific Surfliner, local counties fund Caltrain.  They all serve important transportation purposes which the state and local governments care about.

In Florida, you have Tri-Rail and SunRail for the same reason, but your state government doesn't give a damn about rail, which is why passenger rail in Florida doesn't make it out of the Miami or Orlando metropolitan areas.  And the Tampa-area governments didn't care enough to build anything other than the TECO Streetcar, either.

Edited by neroden

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I gotta meet you some day!!! LOL (both of you)

Edited by Rail Freak

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31 minutes ago, Rail Freak said:

California has Amtrak, CalTrans, Pacific Surfliner, Amtrak California, San Joaquin

There are really only two intercity rail providers in California. You have Amtrak California, which is just the brand name for the three CalTrans-funded Amtrak-operated routes: the Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, and Capitol Corridor. And you have Amtrak-proper, which serves the state with the Zephyr, Chief, Eagle/Sunset, and Starlight. So there really aren't nearly as many passenger rail carriers in Cali as you seem to think.

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CalTrans is the California Department Of Transportation. Not a train operator. It's the department that funds all three Amtrak services fully. Couple of years ago, CalTrans pretty much dictated things from Sacramento, but control has now been given to local JPA's and all they do is buy equipment and write the check to fund the rail operations. Amtrak California is the brand name use by CalTrans on all three of the State Funded Amtrak Trains including the Thruway Buses.

Pacific Surfliner is the former Amtrak San Diegan trains.

San Joaquin is in parts what used to be the San Joaquin Daylight/Sacramento Daylight. Amtrak was going to cut this route until CA decided to fund the loses.

Capitol Corridor voter funded rail expansion in the 90's. Before then the only train between Bay Area and Sacramento was the CZ and CS.

 

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Unfortunately

1. There are no Amtrak trains directly serving San Francisco.

2. There is only one train serving Los Angeles and San Jose/Oakland and the schedule is such you have to give up your entire day to ride it as opposed to an overnight train where you can sleep through the trip.

3. There is only one train to/from Chicago, Denver, and Salt Lake City but it doesn't serve San Francisco or Oakland without a bus connection, it drops you off at some town called Emeryville, wherever that is.

4. There is only one train to/from Arizona and Texas but it only runs three days a week and it arrives into LAX around 5:30am in the morning and according to one of the active threads often early.

Certainly the service is better than other states but it could be better. 

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12 minutes ago, Philly Amtrak Fan said:

3. There is only one train to/from Chicago, Denver, and Salt Lake City but it doesn't serve San Francisco or Oakland without a bus connection, it drops you off at some town called Emeryville, wherever that is.

I assure you, people in the Bay Area can find Emeryville just as easily as people in the Philadelphia area can find, say, King of Prussia.

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Emeryville could easily be called West Oakland or East San Francisco since it sits on the Bay next to the Bay Bridge!

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1 hour ago, Philly Amtrak Fan said:

1. There are no Amtrak trains directly serving San Francisco.

The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority is luckily in discussion to have a set of track in the second transbay tube. Potentially this would allow Amtrak direct access to the Transbay Terminal via rail. Granted it is estimated to take 20 years and $15 billion...

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2 hours ago, Rail Freak said:

California has Amtrak, CalTrans, Pacific Surfliner, Amtrak California, San Joaquin and probably more than this Florida Boy is aware of! Can someone give me the SHORT Run Down of the Justification of their existence?

Thanx

CalTrans is the state department of transportation. Rail has its own division. Amtrak California is just how the state funded lines are branded. They exist because the state wanted increase service on the Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquins. They also wanted to start the Capitol Corridor for better service between the Bay Area and Sacramento. 

Each line is planned by a Joint Powers Agency which is basically a federation of the local transit agency each line runs through. They are The Capitol Corridor JPA, the San Joaquin JPA and LOSSAN. 

They exist because there was a need for them and they help reduce traffic and trains are cheaper than building highways. 

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4 hours ago, trainman74 said:

I assure you, people in the Bay Area can find Emeryville just as easily as people in the Philadelphia area can find, say, King of Prussia.

I'd think that a lot more people these days would have heard of Emeryville because of Pixar.

Emeryville is really big on shopping though.  They let a lot of the former industrial business space go to strip malls, IKEA, an upscale shopping center, etc.  Still a lot of industrial businesses though.  But they take in a lot of sales tax revenue from all the shopping.

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3 hours ago, sttom said:

CalTrans is the state department of transportation. Rail has its own division. Amtrak California is just how the state funded lines are branded. They exist because the state wanted increase service on the Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquins. They also wanted to start the Capitol Corridor for better service between the Bay Area and Sacramento. 

Each line is planned by a Joint Powers Agency which is basically a federation of the local transit agency each line runs through. They are The Capitol Corridor JPA, the San Joaquin JPA and LOSSAN. 

They exist because there was a need for them and they help reduce traffic and trains are cheaper than building highways. 

Caltrans basically started Caltrain after Southern Pacific basically wanted out of their obligation to run commuter service on the Peninsula.  I remember after Caltrans took over, SP was contracted to provide operations until Amtrak took over in the 90s.  A lot of the conductors on Capitol Corridor used to work on Caltrain.  At least initially Caltrain livery included the Caltrans logo.  This photo is supposed to be from 1985:

CDTX_907_with_painted_gallery_cars_Apr_1

There are other commuter rail services in other parts of California, such as Metrolink (Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange Counties), Coaster (San Diego County), and Altamont Corridor Express (San Joaquin, Alameda, Santa Clara Counties).  ACE is a very limited commute-only operation.  Basically just a commute to Silicon Valley in the morning, and back in the late afternoon/early evening.  They also do special event trains to Levi's Stadium.

This is the ACE map.  4 of the stations overlap with Capitol Corridor service, while 2 overlap with Caltrain.

ACE_Transit_Map-1.aspx

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4 hours ago, Bob Dylan said:

Emeryville could easily be called West Oakland or East San Francisco since it sits on the Bay next to the Bay Bridge!

There are 5 mid-sized hotels in Emeryville:

  • Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge (formerly the Holiday Inn Emeryville)
  • Courtyard Oakland Emeryville
  • Four Points by Sheraton San Francisco Bay Bridge
  • Hyatt House San Francisco Emeryville/San Francisco Bay Area
  • Hyatt Place Emeryville/San Francisco Bay Area

You're right to some degree because they'd love to associate with Oakland or Emeryville for simple name recognition.  Still it's not as wacky as some other weird stuff.  There's an outlet mall in Livermore that calls itself "San Francisco Premium Outlets".  Stockton Airport hired a consultant that recommended renaming the place to San Francisco-Stockton Airport.

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So, to take a different interpretation of the original question -- Rail Freak *may* have been wondering "What are ALL the train services in California and how can I use all of them?"

For this, the answer is here:

http://www.californiarailmap.com/

 

:D   (It's not quite right.  There are two separate Stockton stations, and a few things have changed since March 2017)

 

Edited by neroden

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Also forgot about SMART.  The only system in California that I've heard is currently running diesel multiple units.

What about all the tourist and excursion trains?

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9 hours ago, BCL said:

Also forgot about SMART.  The only system in California that I've heard is currently running diesel multiple units.

What about all the tourist and excursion trains?

There's also SPRINTER, the San Diego DMU-operated light rail.

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18 hours ago, BCL said:

Emeryville is really big on shopping though.  They let a lot of the former industrial business space go to strip malls, IKEA, an upscale shopping center, etc.

I didn't pick King of Prussia as my comparison randomly! :D  (It's the home of a huge mall.) But maybe I should have used Conshohocken, where there is an IKEA.

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Well today's announcement by Newsome that the CAHSR is being scaled back to between Bakersfield and Merced, people will be staying familiar with Emeryville a lot longer.

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I await the details of the CAHSR project cancellation.  There is a lot of untangling to be done in terms of the side projects associated with the project as a whole, such as the San Francisco TransBay Terminal, electrification of CalTrain, LAUPT through platform reconfiguration and eventual station replacement and others still.

 

Yes, the central valley portion under construction will be "finished" though the degree of that completion is in question.  The alignment will be used, but will the stations be built (they've not started on those yet).  And I am dubious that any catenary will be raised at this point.

Edited by Blackwolf

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The HSR cancellation or scaling back or whatever it becomes is coming down to a lot of bad decisions. The HSRA should have pushed the Tehachapi Pass segment. Since there was a potential for failure, building the most useful segment would have made sense. Tehachapi Pass is the biggest hole in our rail lines, (I refuse to refer to Amtrak CA as a system or network) and it should have been filled first assuming there would be a failure. 

As for side projects, getting a second Transbay Tube, a Richmond-San Rafael rail bridge and look into electrifying our rail network. Those two connections are needed to turn Amtrak California into a network instead of a collection of lines. 

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17 minutes ago, Blackwolf said:

I await the details of the CAHSR project cancellation.  There is a lot of untangling to be done in terms of the side projects associated with the project as a whole, such as the San Francisco TransBay Terminal, electrification of CalTrain, LAUPT through platform reconfiguration and eventual station replacement and others still.

 

Yes, the central valley portion under construction will be "finished" though the degree of that completion is in question.  The alignment will be used, but will the stations be built (they've not started on those yet).  And I am dubious that any catenary will be raised at this point.

Well it was announced that the side projects will continue. The original plan was not to electrify until the connection to San Jose was built so who knows on the electrification at this point. Clarification was released that it's not a cancellation and that the connection to SF and LA will eventually be built if there is money(IE Federal Funding.) This looks like its going to become like the Red/Purple line in LA. Half ass finished because of cost overruns and a decade or two later it gets finished.

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Just now, seat38a said:

Well it was announced that the side projects will continue. The original plan was not to electrify until the connection to San Jose was built so who knows on the electrification at this point. Clarification was released that it's not a cancellation and that the connection to SF and LA will eventually be built if there is money(IE Federal Funding.) This looks like its going to become like the Red/Purple line in LA. Half ass finished because of cost overruns and a decade or two later it gets finished.

The political spin in saying its not a cancellation doesn't satisfy me; this is a project cancellation.  Its just the better of two project kill switches is all, the other one being the immediate termination of all contracts and a literal relic in the middle of California's dry inland sea.

 

The CalTrain electrification, if I recall, was supposed to be moving forward using CAHSR money combined with Cap and Trade funds since they've already placed an order for EMU trains to replace the current fleet.  If the CAHSR funds will continue to this, then there is a minor victory here.  As for the Federal money, if the next election has any more funny stuff that keeps the current Orange Julius in the White House and his puppets on Capitol Hill, there won't be any.  It'll be going toward a new wall on the Northern Border (because Poutine is totally a Class 1 narcotic and highly addictive! :cool:)

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