CAHSR and Caltrain must cooperate, not compete

This is partially in response to Clem’s excellent article about the importance of timetables. I do agree with most of what he says, however I’d like to add one point to the discussion: He makes it sound a bit as if CAHSR and Caltrain would compete, not cooperate - thus the argument that CAHSR trains might “block” Caltrain from running a proper timetable.

However, if we have CAHSR “locals” running over those tracks, say at a half-hourly interval, with timetables that are coordinated with Caltrain locals and are offering those zero-wait transfers at RWC (or wherever), then there should in fact not even be a need for Caltrain express trains? The CAHSR trains can fulfill that function. But for that to work it is very important that fares and timetables are coordinated, i.e. if I have a ticket for San Jose - San Francisco, I should be able to use any train on the route.

Has Caltrain changed the behavior of their signals?

I never noticed this before, so I think this is new - the following two photos show the signals at the Castro Street crossing in Mountain View.

If you look closely, you will see that the signals are dark in the first picture:


But a couple of minutes later, with a train approaching (and the sun is out, too, but I doubt that that is the reason :-) ), the signals are now showing aspects:


Now I’ve seen this elsewhere before, but not on Caltrain. Or did I just never pay attention?

Caltrain Holiday Train @ Santa Clara

Caltrain cab ride - San Jose Diridon to Santa Clara

Caltrain, ACE and Amtrak at San Jose Diridon Station

DFB Lok Nr. 1 “Furkahorn” in Gletsch

Glacier Express in Münster (VS)

ATSF 5021 outside CSRM

Santa Fe 2-10-4 #5021 is sitting outside the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento - she still looks pretty much as on the latest pictures shown here. Apparently there are some rumors floating around that she might be rebuilt?

CSRM promoting High-Speed Rail?

The quote on the banner is “Railroads built California in the last century, and will build it again in the next”.

FrontRunner starts with half-hourly service on weekdays - Grand Opening on April 26

Today I happened to look at UTA’s website because I was wondering what was going on with their new commuter service over in Salt Lake City and oh, what did I see, they had actually published their schedules just yesterday. The Grand Opening will be on Saturday, April 26, followed by free rides through April 30. Regular service starts May 1. Check out the schedules here. I didn’t expect too much when I first looked at them - maybe a couple morning and evening commute hour trips like it seems to be customary for a new rail startup, but I was wrong… Their weekday schedule actually includes round-trips every half hour (every hour in the evenings) from ~5am through midnight. Saturday service frequency is hourly, no service on Sundays (which is a pity). That’s not too shabby …