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RailPAC Photos of the Month, May, 2013

Here are 5 photos by RailPAC photographers. Click on each photo to see it full size! Contributions to this page are welcome. Send your jpg rail photos to RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org. THIS MONTH: Reno, Van Nuys, Sacramento, Metrolink, Santa Paula.

1.
Van Nuys new station photo
The refurbished very busy Van Nuys Amtrak-Metrolink station. Station agent Monique Curry greets guests. (Photo by Paul Dyson)

2.
Amtrak new NEC loco at Sacramento 5-2013
Amtrak’s new Northeast Corridor electric locomotives are being constructed at the Siemens plant in Sacramento. The rollout of the first units took place in early May. (Amtrak photo courtesy Marcus Jung)

3.
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The eastbound California Zephyr, train #6, has arrived in the Reno trench station 10 minutes early on the photographer’s first Zephyr trip across Donner Pass. (Photo by Mike Palmer)

4.
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The latest Steel Wheels mentioned Ventura County and the endangered former SP Santa Paula branch…as you might have heard, Pacific Railroad Society chartered a train to run the entire route, on May 18, 2013. I was on that train and spent most of the time in an open-air car. Here is a pic at the Santa Paula station… (Photo by Mike Palmer)

5.
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The graphic display outside the new Metrolink Rotem cars showing the train number and the origination and destination terminals. (Photo by Noel Braymer)

Rail Photos

RailPAC Rail Photos of the Month (April, 2013)

Here are 5 photos by RailPAC photographers. Click on each photo to see it full size! Contributions to this page are welcome. Send your jpg rail photos to RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org. THIS MONTH: Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona

1.
A-Train DART ride 1 4-22-2013

The Denton County, Texas, A-Train, diesel-powered commuter trains travel between Denton and the Dallas DART transfer station in North Carrollton. This train is at the Highland Village-Lewisville Lake station, midway between the two stations and where the northbound and southbound trains meet on the single track ex-MKT line. The line carries over 2,000 riders daily and has Saturday service. (Photo by Russ Jackson)

2.
A-Train DART ride 3 4-22-2013

It’s “Earth Day” April 22, 2013, at Dallas Union Station. On the left, the on-time Amtrak Texas Eagle has departed for Ft. Worth, but is held for a Union Pacific inbound freight to clear, while on the right a DART light rail Blue Line train is arriving at the station. In the distance a BNSF freight train waits for Amtrak to clear the junction. (Photo by Russ Jackson)

3.
railrunner-1

From the RailPAC Archives. A New Mexico Railrunner train has just arrived at the Santa Fe Station on a snowy day in the winter of 2009. Despite financial problems, the Railrunner continues to carry passengers between Santa Fe and Belen, with stops along the way including the historic Albuquerque train station. Check the RailPAC Archives in the column to the right on this page! (Photo by Bob Snow)

4.
Strandberg 3-2013 Old rail bridge Before dem

In 2012 the Union Pacific and the State of Arizona completed a realignment of the former SP line east of Tucson, AZ, so it would parallel rather than cross Interstate 10 near Mescal. Shown here is the old railroad bridge. In the distance is a string of grain cars that are now stored on the former line, which is accessible only from the east end. (Photo by Richard Strandberg)

5.
Strandberg 3-2013 Old rail bridge After dem

This is the same location as photo 4, AFTER the rail bridge was demolished on March 8, 2013. Interstate 10 will be re-built, also, with a long bridge crossing Cienega Wash. The realigned UP tracks are in service. The reason for the removal of the rail bridge was primarily because the clearance under it was too low for some modern interstate trucks. (Photo by Richard Strandberg)

Rail Photos

RailPAC PHOTOS of the Month (March, 2013)

Here are 5 photos by RailPAC photographers. Click on each photo to see it full size! Contributions to this page each month are welcome. Send your jpg rail photos to RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org

1.
Noel at Riverside 3-2013

Riverside, CA, station on March 22, 2013. A long BNSF container train is on the double tracks in the middle. On the right is Metrolink Train 850, laying over an hour before it returns to Oceanside. On the left are the platforms for the trains going past Colton to San Bernardino, including Amtrak 3 and 4, the Southwest Chief. (Noel Braymer photo)

2.
Hope, Arkansas, 5-99

Hope, Arkansas, station location on the UP in May, 1999. Amtrak began stopping the Texas Eagle at this 1917 ex-MoPac station after 20 years of negotiations for service on April 8, 2013. Hope is the hometown of former President Bill Clinton. A new platform has been constructed in the open space between the building and the tracks. (Russ Jackson photo)

3.
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Amtrak detoured the Coast Starlight through Altamont Pass, on the UP in the San Joaquin Valley and through the Tehachapis on several occasions in March, 2013. On this trip, March 15, Train 11 is climbing through the lush green terrain through the Tehachapi mountains, and the view is taken from inside the train. (Mike Palmer photo)

4.
Ralph photo 2 at Colfax 3021-2013

Amtrak Train 5, the westbound California Zephyr arrives on time at the Colfax, CA, station on March 18, 2013. Sixteen coach passengers and two sleeper passengers got off here that day. (Ralph James photo)

5.
Ralph photo 3 at Colfax 3-21-2013

On the same day, March 18, 2013, Amtrak Train 6, the eastbound California Zephyr arrives on time at Colfax. Note the concrete switch ties and rehabbed track. The platform edge has also been repaired and is in excellent shape. About a dozen passengers boarded #6 that day in a slow process with only one door open. (Ralph James photo)

Rail Photos

RailPAC PHOTOS of the Month (February, 2013)

Here are 5 photos by RailPAC photographers. Click on each photo to see it full size! Contributions to thia page each month are welcome. Send your jpeg photos to RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org

1.
Noel San Diego station crowd 2-2013
San Diego’s Santa Fe depot. Amtrak passengers must wait until this locked gate is opened before boarding trains. This makes it difficult for Coaster or Trolley passengers to enter the station; they must detour around the station building. (Noel Braymer Photo)

2.
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Portland, Oregon’s downtown light rail system in October, 2012. (Alex Friedman Photo)

3.
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Sacramento Valley Station. While the city is discussing renaming this place, they have made several improvements besides the new platforms. This is the new highway exit from the parking lot onto I Street. (Russ Jackson Photo)

4.
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Palm Springs Amtrak station for the Sunset Limited. Passengers see this station only at night since the timetable was changed last year. (Bob Manning Photo)

5.
Sac trip 9-2012 AtkCal bus at Paso Robles sta
Paso Robles Amtrak station. This Surfliner/Capitol Corridor bus is enroute between Santa Barbara and San Jose, connecting between those two train stations. Only the Coast Starlight train stops at this station until more train service on the Coast Line is established. (Russ Jackson Photo)

Editorials, Rail Photos

Metro(Air)Link for Southern California?

Analysis by Noel T. Braymer with photos

Recently Los Angeles City Council member Bill Rosendahl called for the creation of Metrolink service between downtown Los Angeles and Ontario Airport in a Motion at the City Council. Mr Rosendahl’s district surrounds LAX and his views reflect his constituents demand that regional air travel be spread out to other local airports. This Motion calls for “A direct Metrolink connection to LA/Ontario airport would link Santa Barbara, Palmdale, Ontario and Palm Springs to the regional transportation network. It would allow international passengers to fly through Ontario and get to Downtown Los Angeles in 20 minutes, as compared to a 40-minutes commute to LAX.” Things appear to be moving quickly on this proposal. The LA City Council subommittee on Transportation which Rosendahl chairs has asked the city’s airport agency which runs both LAX and Ontario Airports to work with Metrolink on a proposal to implement this plan and asking them to report their preliminary findings in 30 days. Metrolink is already on record that they can’t achieve this goal under current conditions. It is 57 miles from Union Station to Ontario Airport which would require an average speed of around 170 miles per hour to travel in 20 minutes. Travel to Palm Springs and Santa Barbara are also out of the service area of Metrolink and would be best handled by LOSSAN. So what can be done that is reasonable to improve rail connections to the airports and reduce local traffic congestion around them?

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This picture shows the railroad that already run right in front of the terminals at Ontario Airport

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As you can see from this picture much of this railroad by Ontario Airport  has a single track on a right of way with room for more tracks

A problem that Metrolink has with serving Ontario Airport from Union Station is of its two rail lines in the area the one between Los Angeles and San Bernardino is 2 miles away from the airport at its closest point. The second Metrolink Line is on the UP Mainline to Riverside which goes along the side of the airport on the opposite end of Ontario Airport’s terminals. This Metrolink service is generally limited to rush hour traffic on this busy UP mainline. The UP is highly resistant to additional passenger service on its railroad. There is a railroad with only Amtrak service now 3 times a week that runs right in front of the terminals of Ontario Airport. It is owned by the Union Pacific which acquired it when it bought the Southern Pacific Railroad. The UP Line that is now used by Metrolink runs parallel in many places with the old SP railroad that runs in front of Ontario Airport. The old SP line is largely single tracked and the right of way has room for additional tracks. A short segment of this old SP route is already used by Metrolink for the current San Bernardino Line in El Monte. Where this old SP line has congestion problems is at Colton Yard which is near the interchange with the BNSF Railroad and to the busy UP Colton cutoff which connects the UP mainline between Arizona and the San Joaquin Valley. Because of this passenger rail service might not be able to go further east than the Ontario Airport on the old SP Line. However there is a connection from the old SP Line to the Metrolink San Bernardino Line east of Ontario at Fontana near the California Motor Speedway in an industrial area. Improvements to this currently very slow connection could extend service past San Bernardino.

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This is the view of the  downtown Pomona Metrolink Station. On the right is the UP rail line to Riverside used by some Metrolink trains. On the left sharing this broad right of way is the old SP line that goes directly to Ontario Airport.

To have decent Ontario Airport rail passenger service would require building a new railroad next to the present UP tracks on the old SP Line from Los Angeles Union Station to Ontario. Even this will require the cooperation of the UP which won’t pay attention to any proposal unless they see the money first and receive a great deal of political pressure. However using this new fast railroad has many advantages. Metrolink has capacity problems now between LA and El Monte which is hemmed in for most of this segment in a narrow right of way for only one track in the middle of the I-10 Freeway. Additional express trains could be run through Alhambra on this old SP Line and share existing Metrolink stations at El Monte and Pomona where Metrolink has a station on the UP Mainline which shares the right of way with the old SP line. There is also a downtown Ontario Amtrak Station which could be upgraded fo Metrolink service. With a connection to the San Bernadino Metrolink Line express trains could also stop at the stations at Fontana, Rialto and San Bernardino and be extended past San Bernardino. Such an upgraded passenger railroad could be used for additional Metrolink service and for the Inland Empire leg of future High Speed Rail service. It is unlikely that trains will run at over 200 miles per hour on this line or in any urban area. But speeds over 100 miles per hour with additional grade separation is quite possible.

LAXHarborline

This photo from the 1980’s shows the tracks that still butt right up to LAX . This publically owned right of way will also be used to extend light rail on the Green and future Crenshaw Lines to LAX

What would make this Metrolink service to Ontario Airport more productive would be to extend it to LAX and as far as the Harbor area of  Los Angeles. Fast express trains rarely carry many passengers because they don’t serve enough markets. The longer the route with the most stations  is where you will find the busiest passenger trains. The key to ridership and revenue growth for Metrolink or any transportation service is to maximize the number of markets at the lowest cost over the longest distance. Extending train routes adds markets and increases passenger miles which is the basis of revenues. The best way to do this on Metrolink or any rail service is to copy the airlines by extending routes through a central hub. A plane from Burbank to New York would likely stop at a hub like Denver. Not only does this plane serve 2 markets by stopping but it can connect to several other markets and gain many additional passengers at the hub. This also reduces the number of flight the airline needs while serving many more cities. Metrolink should do much the same thing by running extended trains through Union Station once run through tracks are built in the next 5 years and schedule trains to connect with other routes.

Light Rail LAX

This graphic shows the route of the LAX People Mover as the red line planned to connect light rail passengers and those renting cars to the airport. This People Mover will go as far as the railroad at the airport and could be used to connect rail passengers to LAX. To enlarge this or other images on this page just click on the image.

The easy part of getting to LAX by rail is that there is already a railroad near it. This railroad by LAX is owned by the Los Angeles County and goes from the edge of Downtown Los Angeles to LAX down to Torrance and the Harbors. However it now doesn’t have a connection to get to Union Station. A new track connection for Union Station from the LAX tracks can be built but that and dealing with several grade crossings in urban LA will have to be addressed to use this line for Metrolink service. Extending this “Airline” to LAX can use the railroad along Aviation Blvd to connect with nearby future LAX people mover for passengers going to LAX. The Green Line does and future Crenshaw Line will share right of way with this railroad. Service as frequent as every 30 minutes is possible with some single track segments. But saving at least one track for Metrolink will be needed if the railroad is used to connect LAX to Union Station. Running Metrolink service on this route and serving LAX will reduce traffic congestion not only at LAX but for much of the region along the 405.

Crenshaw Line

This image shows the right of way of the railroad along LAX. This shows how the Green and Crenshaw lines will share this right of way to get towards LAX.

Connecting airports at Ontario, LAX as well as Bob Hope in Burbank and at Palmdale with Metrolink is very viable. To insure good ridership these trains shouldn’t exclusively serve just airport travel in order to have more markets to insure good ridership. The trains from LAX should serve as far as Wilmington with connections to the Green, Crenshaw and Blue Lines. Not only will these connections increase ridership on Metrolink but also to these Light Rail Lines. These trains should run through Union Station which will be possible in a few years with the construction of run through tracks and connect with many services there. Service to Bob Hope Airport should be part of extending trains from the current San Bernardino Line to Chatsworth. Service to Palmdale should be done by extending Orange County Line service to serve a second trains station for Bob Hope Airport planned at Hollywood Way. This will increase ridership on Metrolink in general and provide a larger potential market of people travelling to all regional airports. Extending both the San Bernardino and Orange County lines to Bob Hope Airports as well as Chatsworth and Palmdale would greatly increase travel to the Airport and on all 4 of these routes. Creating a new line from Wilminton to LAX, Union Station Ontario and San Bernardino would bring more business to Ontario and reduce traffic congestion around LAX. Compared with some of the transit projects underway in Los Angeles County this is not as complicated but would serve a much greater area and population.

Bob Hope Airport Station

This is the planned additional Bob Hope Airport Train Station which will connect Metrolink’s Antelope Valley Line to Palmdale  to Bob Hope Airport. This station might also be used for future High Speed Rail service to the San Joaquin Valley.

There are plans to extend Green Line and future Crenshaw Line Light Rail service to serve LAX. Also planned in the distant future is Gold Line service from downtown Los Angeles to Ontario Airport. It will be a long, slow trip from downtown to Ontario by light rail. Also there are no planned connections downtown on the Gold Line to either the Crenshaw or Green Lines. Metrolink can be used to connect downtown Los Angeles to LAX, Ontario, Bob Hope and Palmdale Airports as well as to each other. This can be done fairly quickly and at a modest price. Metrolink trains are better suited for longer travel with luggage at faster speeds than Light Rail. Light Rail is needed at airports for shorter trips and for the many people who work at or near airports. Travel speed is not the only issue for people headed to the airport. The biggest hassle is often the time spent getting into and out of the airport and then getting to and from the terminals. And that doesn’t include the time just spent waiting since for most domestic flights you should get to the terminal at least an hour before flight time and 2 hours for International flights. Where Metrolink service can save travelers time is providing an easy and quick connection from the platform to the terminals. Having airline baggage check in, pick up and issuing boarding passes at Union Station and other trains stations would save time and hassles for passengers. Having baggage check in at the platforms or platforms near terminals or transportation at the platform directly to the terminals will make Metrolink faster and more convenient than driving a rental or personal car to the airport.Things that people have to do 1 to 2 hours before arriving at the airport should be down when they get on the train to the airport. People are often more motivated by price, safety and the attractiveness of the airport than how close an airport is to them or how quickly they can get to it. People are known drive out of their way to get a better deal or a nicer airport than fly to one closer to them. Saving 30 minutes on a trip between downtown Los Angeles and any airport is not as important to passenger as convenience and value of an airport.

Start of LAX Connection to Green:Line.

 

This is the view from the Green Line of the old Santa Fe Harbor Line that runs along LAX.  Below are the remains of the start of work to extend the Green Line  towards LAX that was abandoned over 10 years ago due to budget cuts.

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This is another view of the Green Line and that start of construction in the late 90’s to extend it towards LAX.

Rail Photos

Rail PHOTOS of the Month (January, 2013)

Here are 5 photos by RailPAC photographers. Click on the photo to see it full size!

1. 031

Looking out the rear window of a Superliner car can bring some great views. Here the Coast Starlight, Train 14, is departing the Chemult, Oregon station. (Photo by Alex Friedman)

2. Strandberg trip 10-2011 Colfax platform #6

Passengers are boarding the eastbound California Zephyr at the Colfax, California station in October, 2011. This is the location of the UP freight derailment in January, 2013 which blocked the line for two days. Fortunately there were no passengers at the scene at that time. (Photo by Richard Strandberg)

3. Noel August2,2011traintrip014

This Amtrak low level trainset is still in use on the LOSSAN Corridor. Instead of a cab control car this set has a former F-40 rebuilt “cabbage” car on the end. (Photo by Noel Braymer)

4. Noel August2,2011traintrip012

This Metrolink set of Rotem cars at the Los Angeles Union Station platform makes an outstanding sight, particularly as compared with the Amfleet set above. (Photo by Noel Braymer)

5. DSCN1532

Where is that dome car going? Nowhere is the immediate answer. This car is attached to the cars on the Amtrak “protect” track south of the Ft. Worth Intermodal station on January 24, 2013. It is one of Ed Ellis’s IOWA PACIFIC fleet of dome cars, and could be eventually heading west for the Snow Train. (Photo by Russ Jackson)

Editorials, Rail Photos

Riding the Train the Day the World was suppose to End

Report and Photos by Noel T. Braymer

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them

I woke up early on December 21st and noticed that the world hadn’t ended so I decided that it was good day to go for a train ride. I arrived at my local station in Oceanside for the 7:35 AM departure of Metrolink 850 to Riverside. I like this train because I can sleep later than the trains going directly to Los Angeles for the morning commute and I can also use it to go to Riverside or make a connection to San Bernardino. The 850 is never crowded and I think that is because few know about the connections with this train. Metrolink doesn’t recognize the connections on its web site or when buying tickets. I’d like to see all  Metrolink trains from Oceanside connect with Coaster Trains and in Orange County connect to Inland Empire Metrolink trains.  This would boost ridership and increase the places you can go by train at little extra cost.

The Surfliner Express train 599 with Surfliner equipment leaving Irvine being pushed by a long distance train locomotive instead of the F59’s built for the Surfliners

I got off at Irvine to make my connection to Los Angles on Metrolink 687. I also wanted to see the Surfliner Express the 599. This train for most of the year has been late and usually this forced the holding of 687 so it could pass. Not today because the 599 was on time and so was the 687. For the last few months the 599 has been run with Surfliner equipment instead of older conventional cars. Amtrak has admitted that many of the on time problems with the Surfliners can be traced to trains with conventional equipment which take more time to load and unload. The 599 now has Surfliner equipment and good on time performance. There hasn’t been ridership growth though with better on time service and at Irvine more people got off than on. There still is one trainset of convention equipment on the Surfliners. As for the 599 this day it was using a locomotive for long distance trains instead of the F-59 locomotives which are geared for faster acceleration for corridor service for the LOSSAN Corridor. Speaking of on time the 687 without much effort arrived 9 minutes early into Los Angeles. We would have been in earlier but had to wait for a long train of several trainsets of morning Metrolink arrivals on their way to Taylor Yard.

Construction starting for the new station at Anaheim near the current one due to open in 2014

Once in Los Angeles I took Christmas related pictures of Union Station and headed out first to Sierra Madre. This is the end of the line now for the Gold Line. I was unable to see or shoot pictures of construction of the extension to Azusa on the Gold Line from the station. I made a note of bus service from this station to Claremont which should be close to the construction. I returned to LAUS to ride the Expo Line. I was riding Metrorail this day with a Tap card. I can transfer to Metrorail using my Metrolink ticket but I was planning to ride the Santa Monica Bus from Culver City to Santa Monica to get pictures of construction of the extension of the Expo Line. I got a Tap card which cost a dollar to ride LA Buses and is good for 3 years. I  could have loaded a 5 dollar Day Pass on the Tap card but instead bought prepaid cash fares. I read on line that Santa Monica Bus was or is going to accept Tap cards but I wasn’t sure if it would accept the Metro Day Pass. Connections to transit from trains is still confusing and poorly organized for people going to towns they don’t live or work in.

Christmas Tree at LAUS 2012

An ad in a Gold Line Train for housing being built near a future Gold Line Station for the extension to Azusa opening in 2015.

When I got off the Expo Line at Culver City my disappointments started. I could find no information at the station for local transit connections. Neither was there a central bus transfer station between buses or from Light Rail. The parking lot looked unfinished and poorly paved plus didn’t have bus stops near the station. I ended up walking around the perimeter of the station and even saw a Santa Monica Bus on nearby Venice Blvd. Finally at least a 100 yards from the platforms I found a lonely Santa Monica Bus stop sign with a bus schedule on it for Line 5 to Santa Monica by way of Century City. I waited for the next bus but the schedule wasn’t being followed so I gave up and got on the next train. While waiting to leave I could see in the distance a bus stopping at the stop. At this point I just wanted to leave. Since Culver City is the current termius for the Expo Line I expected better bus connections and on site information. Short of driving I would be better off bringing a bicycle with me to follow the construction for pictures. Both Metrolink and Metrorail allow bikes on board.

View from the Culver City Expo Line Station of the right of way for the extension to Santa Monica

The hard to find bus stop for the Santa Monica Bus for the Culver City Expo Station

After I got back to Union Station and had a late lunch I decided to check out Megabus. The Megabus stop is at the end nearest the freeway and next to the LAX Flyaway stop. When I got there, there was a crowd of people, most with luggage waiting for a bus. The wait went on for some time which might be because the bus was late. I don’t know since no schedule was posted at the stop and you need to go online to see one. Finally a bus arrived and it said Grey Line not Megabus which now owns Grey Line. It wasn’t a double deck bus either which is what I wanted to check out. By now I was ready to head out to catch Metrolink 602 leaving LAUS at 3:20 PM. Even this early there were people all over the station and Metrolink Platforms. Getting there early I had a good choice of seats. Since Amtrak and Coaster have WiFi I assumed that Metrolink did too. But I couldn’t get a signal and later checking the website there was nothing about WiFi.  The ride was uneventful with no delays until we left San Juan Capistrano and entered Serra Siding. We then received an announcement the the train was going to stop and wait for at least 10 minutes for another train. The train we waited for was Metrolink 808 leaving Oceanside at 4:27 for San Bernardino and due in San Clemente at 4:50 and San Juan Capistranto by 5:03PM. The 808 was late and past us at Serra by 5:04 PM. We had sat at Serra for almost 15 minutes. The happens often between the 602 and the 808 which reflects the bottleneck between Serra and San Onofre sidings. But the irony of this is my train still got into Oceanside just about on time. It will be nice once we get more track work finished and can take 10 to 15 minutes out the running times of most trains between Los Angeles and San Diego.

The Grey-Line “Megabus” arriving at the LAUS Bus Station.

Rail Photos

2012: A look Back in Pictures

Edited by Noel T. Braymer

Much happened with rail service in California and the best way to show it is to look back with photos. To enlarge a picture place cursor over the picture and left click with mouse.

This year saw the introduction of Bicycle Cars with lower level seats removed for more bike racks on Metrolink.

April 2012 saw the start up of the Expo Line from downtown Los Angeles going west eventually to Santa Monica

Another view of the Expo Line in Los Angeles on Flower St.

Construction this year for more double tracking in San Diego at Sorrento Valley. Just over half of the railroad in San Diego County is double tracked. In the coming years almost all of rail in San Diego will be double tracked.

The View of construction to extend the Expo Line to Santa Monica from the current terminus in Culver City.. The Expo Line was extended to Culver City this summer and service to Santa Monica is planned by 2015

Construction during the weekend of September 8th and 9th shut down rail service in San Diego County for the construction of a pedestrian tunnel in Encinitas. This is the first of 4 planned in this town.

Improvements this September of the platforms in Stockton. Long term a new station with connections to intercity and commuter service is needed.

A San Diego Trolley Station being overhauled. San Diego is overhauling most of its Trolley system. This includes new raised platform to allow use of low level cars which will greatly improve loading all passenger and speed up service

San Diego extended the Green Line from Old town to downtown along the bay shore line. This allows transfer to the entire system with only one stop and is faster bypassing the slow street running downtown.

The New Platforms and tracks in Sacramento this September. The tight curve has been taken out at the Sacramento Station. This is part of a long term project to upgrade the Station and redevelop the property around it and the old SP Shops.

The new Platform 7 at LAUS bringing back tracks 13 and 14 which was finished this October. This is phase 1 to building run-through tracks at LAUS which was part of the deal for High Speed Rail securing funding to build them by 2018.

The Passons Blvd grade separation in Pico Rivera is nearing completion which came in December 2012. This leaves only a few more grade crossings left on the busy BNSF mainline between Fullerton and Los Angeles.

Construction underway for the new Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center or ARTIC. This will be the new Anaheim Station near the present one serving both Anaheim Stadium and the Honda Center seen in the background.

Recent improvements by Metrolink of Lang Siding between Palmdale and Santa Clarita. This is the start of many improvements which will lead to High Speed Rail Service between Los Angeles and Bakersfield.

Rail Photos

PHOTOS of the MONTH from RailPAC (November)

Here are 5 photos taken by RailPAC photographers. Clic on the photo to see it full size!


1. The Coast Starlight in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon in October, 2012. Photo by Alexander Friedman.


2. The eastbound California Zephyr has arrived at Sacramento’s new platform on September 15, 2012. RailPAC in action: Two passengers found themselves on the wrong platform to board train #6, so RailPAC Director, Marcia Johnston, went to their aid and helped them to the correct place to board. Photo by Russ Jackson


3. Metrolink end-of-the-line station for the Antelope Valley line at Lancaster on October 12, 2012. Photo by Noel Braymer

4. A favorite from the RailPAC archives: The California Zephyr, train 5, is at the Winter Park, Colorado, station in an April, 2000, snow storm. Photo by Russ Jackson

5. The Los Angeles Union Station Christmas tree from the 1992 RailPAC archives. LAUS has seen many improvements in recent years. HAPPY HOLIDAYS 2012 from the RailPAC Photo editor and staff! Photo by Russ Jackson

Rail Photos

PHOTOS of the Month: October, 2012

5 new Rail PHOTOS taken by RailPAC Photographers!

1.

Amtrak’s Capitol Limited arrives at Cumberland, Maryland, on September 28, 2012. Lots of CSX trackwork in the area caused 90 minute delays, but the tracks are much smoother. Photo by Mike Palmer.

2.

The Galloping Goose is now running on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic in northern New Mexico. These cars were used in the late 1940’s for mail, a few passengers, and light freight on this line. Carrying 27 passengers, it will depart at 4:00 PM and return at Midnight after a ribeye dinner at Osier. Many photo stops and run-bys on the very scenic trip. Photo by Robert Snow.

3.

Ben and Jerry’s ice cream stand in Los Angeles Union Station was officially dedicated October 9-13, 2012 with free scoops in the afternoon. Co-founder Ben Cohen was on hand for the dedication. Photo by Russ Jackson.

4.

Interior of the Pacific Parlour Car on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight. Photo by Alexander Friedman.

5.

Platform 7, Los Angeles Union Station, with the newly constructed tracks 13 and 14 for Amtrak and Metrolink. Construction completion and official dedication took place in October, 2012 Photo by Noel Braymer.