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I've traveled on I-5 many times and unless there's a wildfire, accident, or icy road, it's almost always easy to travel, other than the trucks since it's only two lanes in each direction and sometimes one is going slow and another truck is in the #1 lane to get around the slow ones.
And the fog! You left out the horrible tule fog, where visibility can drop from reasonably good to near zero in the snap of a finger.
 

BCL

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And the fog! You left out the horrible tule fog, where visibility can drop from reasonably good to near zero in the snap of a finger.

Had that happen a few times. Once it was on I-580 going through Altamont Pass where it was maybe 20 ft visibility. I probably should have gotten off and waited it out until the fog cleared. I even thought of parking on the side of the freeway, but it occurred to me that even that could be dangerous with the poor visibility. Even in good conditions, it was at night and I've heard of CHP officers killed as a result of someone driving into the shoulder.
 

Bonser

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Sorry if this was addressed but why doesn't the plan or plans have the train continuing to San Francisco from Didiron (SJ), instead of heading to the East Bay? The market for an overnight train to LA would be greatest in SF I would think. Or split the train at San Jose?
 
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Willbridge

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Seems to me that a day train would be the place to start to get people used to the concept and eventually end up with a sleeper.
That could be true on other routes, but the various rail-bus LAX<>Bay combinations are easier to deal with on daylight trips and so part of the market is already familiar with Amtrak. In marketing transit service, the most willing to try a new service are those who are already customers. The overnight train would replace the current bus/rail transfers at marginal hours and be more comfortable in coach than the current offering. The overnight train also backs up the corridor services for missed connections, early meetings, etc. just like the NEC overnight BOS<>WAS service.

2011 West Coast Thanksgiving 222.jpg
Already familiar.
 

GDRRiley

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Seems to me that a day train would be the place to start to get people used to the concept and eventually end up with a sleeper.
There is already a push for a day train, Coast daylight. While there was some look at a full Oakland to LA run its easier to do a oakland to SLO run and then turn around trains there. There is a brand new yard being built in SLO that can hold and lightly maintain 5+ sets with expansion plans for more
Sorry if this was addressed but why doesn't the plan or plans have the train continuing to San Francisco from Didiron (SJ), instead of heading to the East Bay? The market for an overnight train to LA would be greatest in SF I would think. Or split the train at San Jose?
Spliting the train is generally something we should try and avoid. Running into SF leaves the train in a weird position, there are no yard faclities or storage there for a train that long so it would need to dead head to at least SJ if not okaland. Sac should also get severed so then the only smart way to do it is San Jose onto okaland.
That could be true on other routes, but the various rail-bus LAX<>Bay combinations are easier to deal with on daylight trips and so part of the market is already familiar with Amtrak. In marketing transit service, the most willing to try a new service are those who are already customers. The overnight train would replace the current bus/rail transfers at marginal hours and be more comfortable in coach than the current offering. The overnight train also backs up the corridor services for missed connections, early meetings, etc. just like the NEC overnight BOS<>WAS service.
The plans around starting a new service connecting LA to the bay via the coast sub do have speedups. 10 hours from LA union to okaland doesn't require much work and with a little more we could get that closer to 9.5 or 9. That would make it slightly slower than the bus+San Joaquin which take ~9.5hours but should be more reliably than the San Joaquin which often get held up.
As a 6ft4 dude the overnight bus from Santa Barbra to Oakland was rough. just not enough space and mine even on a random sunday night a few months back was full.
 

zephyr17

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Sorry if this was addressed but why doesn't the plan or plans have the train continuing to San Francisco from Didiron (SJ), instead of heading to the East Bay? The market for an overnight train to LA would be greatest in SF I would think. Or split the train at San Jose?
Well, one thing that is pretty clear in this thread is that there really are no official plans for an overnight Northern California-Southern California overnight train. There is just speculation here about what such a service might look like.

The key issue in my mind on San Francisco versus East Bay is whether such a service would extend to Sacramento or even further or not. The "Spirit of California" was an LA-Sacramento train, and so had to go via the East Bay. There was a fairly serious proposal a number of years ago to extend the California Zephyr to Los Angeles via the Coast Line overnight with a third night, which also would have had to go via the East Bay.

As opposed to the speculation here, there have been on and off proposals at CalTrans to extend the morning/evening Surfliner to SLO to San Francisco (not Oakland/Emeryville) as a "Coast Daylight". At one point some historian at CalTrans or Amtrak had those morning north/evening south trains to SLO numbered 798/799 in anticipation of extending it. They've since been renumbered. I don't know the status of that proposal currently, I think it is back in the freezer.

My opinion is if the destination is the Bay Area, it ought to serve San Francisco. If Sacramento, or points north or east, the East Bay. I will say the single time I rode the Spirit of California, probably 80% of the passengers onboard at Oakland detrained there. Personally, I think with the frequency of the Capitol Corridor, there is no need to extend an overnight train to Sacramento. I think a good connections to the Capitol Corridor at San Jose for such a train would work fine.

I'll also take this opportunity to shill for one of my fonder fantasies, a second LA-Seattle train roughly 12 hours off from the Starlight.
 
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GDRRiley

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As opposed to the speculation here, there have been on and off proposals at CalTrans to extend the morning/evening Surfliner to SLO to San Francisco (not Oakland/Emeryville) as a "Coast Daylight". At one point some historian at CalTrans or Amtrak had those morning north/evening south trains to SLO numbered 798/799 in anticipation of extending it. They've since been renumbered. I don't know the status of that proposal currently, I think it is back in the freezer.
Just finished up a study Coast Rail Corridor Study | slocog
theres also a draft EIR+ Amtrak planning dating to end of 2015.
at this point we need a JPA and some funding+ rolling stock to get the service started.
I'll also take this opportunity to shill for one of my fonder fantasies, a second LA-Seattle train roughly 12 hours off from the Starlight.
2nd RT a day on the most popular LD routes would be nice. space 12 hours apart is the best way to do it so towns don't only get served in the middle of the night.
 
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Spliting the train is generally something we should try and avoid. Running into SF leaves the train in a weird position, there are no yard faclities or storage there for a train that long so it would need to dead head to at least SJ if not okaland. Sac should also get severed so then the only smart way to do it is San Jose onto okaland.
Just because it doesn't exist doesn't mean it couldn't be built.

This vacant land south of Bayshore station looks like it may have been a train yard in the past. If it is owned by CalDOT, it could be rebuilt.
1663710936944.png

Also, CHSR says they intend to build a yard and light maintenance facility just south of SF city limits. Perhaps that could be accelerated.
 

zephyr17

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Just because it doesn't exist doesn't mean it couldn't be built.

This vacant land south of Bayshore station looks like it may have been a train yard in the past. If it is owned by CalDOT, it could be rebuilt.
View attachment 29693

Also, CHSR says they intend to build a yard and light maintenance facility just south of SF city limits. Perhaps that could be accelerated.
That was a major, major yard, SP's Bayshore Yard. SP sold it (and not to CalTrans/PJPB) and it is being developed (after much hazardous waste remediation). I don't think it'll really be available as a rail facility any more.

Honestly, there are storage tracks at San Francisco, as well as platform tracks. CalTrain might have to make room, but it likely isn't insurmountable. The maintenance base of the train would have to be LA's 8th St Yard. All that would need to be done in San Francisco is a commissary top off, and the occasional very light repair.
 
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GDRRiley

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Just because it doesn't exist doesn't mean it couldn't be built.
you aren't going to build a whole yard for 1-2RT a day
Also, CHSR says they intend to build a yard and light maintenance facility just south of SF city limits. Perhaps that could be accelerated.
its not really a good location for a yard. theres a far better spot just south of Diridon which could support CAHSR, Caltrain, Capital Corridor and other services but CAHSR doesn't seem interested in which is a shame as Caltrain needs to move their shop.

Honestly, there are storage tracks at San Francisco, as well as platform tracks. CalTrain might have to make room, but it likely isn't insurmountable. The maintenance base of the train would have to be LA's 8th St Yard. All that would need to be done in San Francisco is a commissary top off, and the occasional very light repair.
Theres nothing that can fit a 10+ car train. which is likely to be the length of a sleeper train nor is there space to turn a train around.
 

zephyr17

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you aren't going to build a whole yard for 1-2RT a day

its not really a good location for a yard. theres a far better spot just south of Diridon which could support CAHSR, Caltrain, Capital Corridor and other services but CAHSR doesn't seem interested in which is a shame as Caltrain needs to move their shop.


Theres nothing that can fit a 10+ car train. which is likely to be the length of a sleeper train nor is there space to turn a train around.
Where did you get a 10 car train length from?
 

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May not be for overnight service but still California seems to be striking out on its own, separate from any Amtrak strategy as far equipment goes...

 

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I don't see them going for anything shorter especially if ends up being single level cars. They need 3-4 coaches, cafe/diner and 5+ sleepers plus 1 if not 2 locos
That is more sleepers than any current Amtrak single level LD, except the combined Silver Meteor/Silver Star "Super Star".
The Spirit of California was 5 cars, baggage, one 10-6, a cafe, 2 coaches.

We are talking an Amtrak train, not recreating The Lark. I don't think Standard Oil of California is going to be reserving blocks of rooms on it.
 

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That is more sleepers than any current Amtrak single level LD, except the combined Silver Meteor/Silver Star "Super Star".
The Spirit of California was 5 cars, baggage, one 10-6, a cafe, 2 coaches.

We are talking an Amtrak train, not recreating The Lark. I don't think Standard Oil of California is going to be reserving blocks of rooms on it.
Right now theres quite a few daily buses and assuming its cheap enough you should be taken those riders. And if we are ordering new equipment thats not part of a larger order its far better to order a batch of 30 sleepers than 1 of 15-20. They'll be nearly the same cost
 

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Just finished up a study Coast Rail Corridor Study | slocog
theres also a draft EIR+ Amtrak planning dating to end of 2015.
at this point we need a JPA and some funding+ rolling stock to get the service started.

2nd RT a day on the most popular LD routes would be nice. space 12 hours apart is the best way to do it so towns don't only get served in the middle of the night.
I just read the Appendix F. I am amazed that the authors immediately threw out Conventional Electrification. I quote “ It is ASSUMED that overhead catenary along the UPRR Coast Corrodor would not be feasible durvto cost and required institutional agreements and May not be preferred due to visual impacts of construction”.
Where is the analytical analysis?
Cost of construction would reduce operational expense, eliminate diesel pollution from combustion and spills, noise pollution from the engines and electrical centenary's are less visible than most power lines.
This entire document has a tone of status quo.
 

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Where did you get a 10 car train length from?
you aren't going to build a whole yard for 1-2RT a day

its not really a good location for a yard. theres a far better spot just south of Diridon which could support CAHSR, Caltrain, Capital Corridor and other services but CAHSR doesn't seem interested in which is a shame as Caltrain needs to move their shop.


Theres nothing that can fit a 10+ car train. which is likely to be the length of a sleeper train nor is there space to turn a train around.
I agree with Zephyr17 - not so sure it would be a 10 car train - and I'm also not sure that that even if it was that long SF couldn't accommodate it. The distance between 4th and 5th St would seem to be long enough and that's what they have. But they couldn't turn it around.
 

zephyr17

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Right now theres quite a few daily buses and assuming its cheap enough you should be taken those riders. And if we are ordering new equipment thats not part of a larger order its far better to order a batch of 30 sleepers than 1 of 15-20. They'll be nearly the same cost
First, in terms of economics of scale, any sleepers should be piggybacked onto an Amtrak LD sleeper order, if at all possible, like many states did with Amtrak's corridor order.

Second, there is there is only one overnight bus. The buses currently running would in some cases be replaced by a new "Coast Daylight" train rather than an overnight train.

Finally, I don't think you can really use daytime bus passengers as a basis for sleeping car occupancy. They are likely different demographics.
 

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I just read the Appendix F. I am amazed that the authors immediately threw out Conventional Electrification. I quote “ It is ASSUMED that overhead catenary along the UPRR Coast Corrodor would not be feasible durvto cost and required institutional agreements and May not be preferred due to visual impacts of construction”.
Where is the analytical analysis?
UP hates the idea of wires, Really the state just needs to spend the ~2 to buy the coast sub. Then we can upgrade and electrify it for all our services without them having a say. From a sleeper to the coast daylight, to surfliner along with the regional services like caltrain and metrolink
Its a bit hard to jusfity Salinas to Santa barabra because we expect at best the section will have a train every 2 hours. But it should just be done to making rolling stock simpler
Cost of construction would reduce operational expense, eliminate diesel pollution from combustion and spills, noise pollution from the engines and electrical centenary's are less visible than most power lines.
OCS pays for itself with frequent service quite quickly. Theres FRA reports from the 80s that say even with the increasing cost at the time the whole thing would start making money in 15 years even if we put 40,000 miles of mainline track under wires and bought brand new locos.
This entire document has a tone of status quo.
thats how most caltrans documents are, as seen with the hydrogen train order they aren't willing to (nor do I think theres the polical push to force them) to go head to head with RR and using the power of CARB to force a move to OCS on Railroads in California

I agree with Zephyr17 - not so sure it would be a 10 car train - and I'm also not sure that that even if it was that long SF couldn't accommodate it. The distance between 4th and 5th St would seem to be long enough and that's what they have. But they couldn't turn it around.
You'd need to rebuild of 4th and king to fit something that long. CAHSR may to fit coupled sets which would be 1400ft. You could then run cab cars or top and tail it to avoid turning.
The states been burned before by not ordering enough equipment and planning for longer trains, I don't see why they wouldn't have learned and ordered more than they need for the first few years but can certainly grow into.

using viewliners numbers (because venture versions would likely be similar)
7 sleeper, diner 3 coaches: 77 roometts, 14 bedrooms with 46 dinning seats and 200 coach passengers.
 

GDRRiley

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First, in terms of economics of scale, any sleepers should be piggybacked onto an Amtrak LD sleeper order, if at all possible, like many states did with Amtrak's corridor order.
That may not be possible we don't know when amtrak is ordering and what. Theres talk of a order soon which the state would be ordering cars apart of but that could all fall apart.
Second, there is there is only one overnight bus. The buses currently running would in some cases be replaced by a new "Coast Daylight" train rather than an overnight train.
there is more than one, I'm also counting non amtrak buses, there was quite a few overnight buses offered by others which were often popular.
 

zephyr17

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That may not be possible we don't know when amtrak is ordering and what. Theres talk of a order soon which the state would be ordering cars apart of but that could all fall apart.

there is more than one, I'm also counting non amtrak buses, there was quite a few overnight buses offered by others which were often popular.
Well, in any case there is near zero chance of any overnight California service in the foreseeable future, so the discussion is pretty much moot. There's a somewhat larger chance of a actual Amtrak LD order, IMHO.

My argument is really rooted in putting the fewest prerequisites in the way. The more prerequisites, the less chance of it ever happening. It would be better to start a service with minimum consists and build a constituency for an existing service, then expand it, than to hold out for a dream service with many obstacles in the way.

A five car train with one sleeper that runs push/pull and uses existing facilites is far better than a 10 or 12 car train that never gets off the drawing board (or an internet railfan site).
 

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Well, in any case there is near zero chance of any overnight California service in the foreseeable future, so the discussion is pretty much moot. There's a somewhat larger chance of a actual Amtrak LD order, IMHO.
If/when a coast daylight JPA forms there would be all the organizational structure needed to create one. Then its down to rolling stock.
My argument is really rooted in putting the fewest prerequisites in the way. The more prerequisites, the less chance of it ever happening. It would be better to start a service with minimum consists and build a constituency for an existing service, then expand it, than to hold out for a dream service with many obstacles in the way.

A five car train with one sleeper that runs push/pull and uses existing facilites is far better than a 10 or 12 car train that never gets off the drawing board (or an internet railfan site).
Most of these barriers are because people think it needs to run into SF, which I disagree on.
 
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