Capitol Corridor September board meeting

By Bruce Jenkins, RailPAC Director

The Meeting of the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Board (CCJPB) was held September 17, 2008 at Suisun City Hall. (The CCJPB is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary).

Managing Director Eugene Skoropowski gave still another glowing report on the outstanding ridership and revenue increases and the On Time Performance (OTP) which in August was at 91.6%, the best in 10 years. “It is safe to say that virtually every past statistical record will be shattered by the end of the fiscal year (9/30)”. Amtrak has caught up on “Preventative Maintenance” work, enabling “full consists” on all trains. There are currently four DoR leased renovated Superliner cars in service in the Northern Calif. equipment pool. The CCJPB/Amtrak FY09 Fixed Price Operating Agreement was approved by the Board.

Work is progressing on the Automated Ticketing Validation Project (ATV). The project has advanced thru the design and development process. Vendor requested changes have enhanced the project budget however. Mr Skoropowski pointed out that this ATV system will provide information that will enable operating personnel to know exactly who is aboard the train at any time. Also freeloading scofflaws can be easily apprehended (rightly so).

During discussion of the Feinstein/Boxer bill (PTC). Skoropowski pointed out the desire to work with UP using WIFI to adapt to a form of PTC.

CCJPB and Amtrak are trying to work out a solution to get additional service to Roseville and Auburn is spite of the UP’s refusal (in a letter to the Governor) of public funds for track improvements.

Director Tom Blalock suggested that the Coast Starlight stop at Richmond, which is seemingly logical in view of the BART connection. Discussions with Amtrak are required of course.

Construction Projects:

  • a) UP began work in late July on a crossover in Benicia with completion due end of November
  • b) Design of crossovers on the Yolo Causeway are in the works
  • c) Design is in progress for track expansion and crossover relocation for Emeryville Station permitting paralell moves in/out of the north end reducing congestion in this “choke point.” Installation likely mid ’09.
  • d) Expanded double track in Santa Clara from CP Expressway to at least Great America station and an added righthand crossover from Main Track 2 to Main Track 1 north of CP Coast to allow for staging and passing freight trains in the Newhall Yard new controlled siding, connection of Newark and Albrae sidings; design and construction funding being sought from federal matching FRA program (project will partner with ACE and Caltrain).
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