Prop 1A Funds Released for the “Silicon Bullet”

Sep 28th, 2012 | Posted by

At an event today at Millbrae Station, elected leaders hailed the release of $39 million in Prop 1A funds to begin the Caltrain electrification project. Money was also released for the Central Subway.

Come & Go

“We are here to reboot Caltrain,” said Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, after the California Transportation Commission voted earlier in the day to release $39.8 million for work designing a new electronic brain to manage Caltrain’s fleet, a critical first step in the roughly $1.5 billion project to overhaul the rail line….

“It will be faster, it will be better, it will be safer and it will be cheaper,” said Speier, dubbing the planned railway the “Silicon bullet.”…

The $39.8 million in Proposition 1A connectivity funds allocated Thursday will go toward a “communications-based overlay signal system” with “positive train control.” In plain English, the $231 million electronic system will enable more trains to operate at higher speeds while maintaining safety. Once completed in 2015, it also will allow crews to perform electrification work without major disruptions to Caltrain’s schedule.

There’s a lot more work to come for Caltrain electrification, of course, but this is a good start and an important step forward.

The CTC also released about $60 million for the Central Subway project in San Francisco, which is also awaiting word on an expected $950 million federal grant to help complete construction. Like the high speed rail project, the Central Subway is also drawing lawsuits. One group that is opposed to the project is filing suit to block it by arguing that plans for a Union Square entrance violate the city charter.

Despite the controversy, that project and Caltrain electrification are just two of the pieces of building a better rail system in the Bay Area.

  1. swing hanger
    Sep 28th, 2012 at 08:38
    #1

    Better duck newbs, what follows won’t be pretty.

    Ant6n Reply:

    ;-)

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Good first comment

  2. Joey
    Sep 28th, 2012 at 09:14
    #2

    No. Just no. Why hasn’t someone sued them for spending HSR money on something HSR-incompatible?

  3. Drunk Engineer
    Sep 28th, 2012 at 09:16
    #3

    <blockquote$39.8 million for work designing a new electronic brain to manage Caltrain’s fleet

    Brain? Brain? What is “brain”?

  4. Richard Mlynarik
    Sep 28th, 2012 at 10:24
    #4

    Great photo, Robert.

    That’s the Quentin Kopp Memorial BART station, “designed” by PBQD/Bechtel, which is completely incompatible with both HSR and quality Caltrain service.

    It catches a Caltrain LED display board, which doesn’t display train arrival information and never has displayed train arrival information. Perhaps in another year or two it might, after Caltrain pays over $4.25 million dollars (as part of a completely out-of-control train dispatching system) for something that an undergraduate could write in a weekend for free and could be run with a couple hundred dollars with of hardware (aka “cell phones”)

    It catches a Caltrain gallery car, proudly DESIGNED AND BUILT IN THE USA BY AMERICANS, to a 40 year obsolete design, that will never be compatible with level boarding and that causes extensive delays in every train every day of the week for decades. The ride and interior and exterior of the cars is comparable to freight cars, but the important thing is that they were BUILT IN AMERICA, so that’s OK. Budget and quality are, as you were just commenting yesterday, entirely beside the point.

    The Millbrae station’s Caltrain platforms were, of course, built at a height 8 inches above top of rail, so as to be incompatible with any form of level boarding.

    The Millbrae station was, of course, deliberately build so a to preclude useable Caltrain connection to the SF International Airport.

    A fun fact to know is that Caltrain pays BART $700,000/year for the privilege of using those platforms. We can be absolutely positive Caltrain will drive equally hard bargains on access to its own right of way and tracks and facilities and stations in the future. You know, like not being able to use 70% of Transbay Terminal on the “Caltrain” downtown San Francisco extension!

    So, great picture, Robert! It illustrates just how on top of things you and our special friends who run CSHRA and Caltrain really are. The future for public transportation in California looks just like what you’ve shown.

    The Muni Central Subway that you praise in your customary intelligent and considered fashion (but do not depeict) has the merit of being the only major transit capital program in the entire world that is worse than PBQD’s BART to San José. It has the singular merit of increasing operating costs and travel times for an agency that is drowning in deficits, all at a cost of only two billion (and riding) tax dollars. Another triumph.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    Richard-
    I’ve developed mobile apps for MUNI and BART, and have been staying on top of Caltrain’s escapades here. If you look at their website, they will eventually get around to releasing a public real time API next Spring. They are only just now getting around to releasing real time data for those useless reader boards at each station. I’ve always thought of their tardiness in this department (same goes for the VTA, right smack dab in teh middle of Silicon Freaking Valley) as being unacceptable.

    thatbruce Reply:

    @Richard:

    Spurious argument, Millbrae’s Caltrain platforms were built to the same height as the other Caltrain platforms, and, as usual, no creative thought was applied towards making an end-run around the CPU platform height/distance from track regulations.

    But $700,000 being paid by Caltrain to BART for Caltrain’s use of Caltain’s Millbrae platforms? wtf? How did that sad state of affairs come about? Is it just Caltrain’s contribution towards the cost of the BART-centric edifice?

    BrianR Reply:

    When BART gets to San Jose Diridon and Santa Clara I wonder if they are going to charge Caltrain $700,000 per year to use each of those stations as well? By that time inflation may push the rates up to $1 million a year. While BART is at it why don’t they just seize the Caltrain ROW from Samtrans / PJPB and charge them rent? If the rates are high enough they could force Caltrain out of business and make their own plans for the property.

    Maybe BART will want to parcel out the property for new tract home developments or sell to the VTA to build a new central freeway between San Jose and Palo Alto. Think about it; take the combined widths of the Caltrain ROW and Alma / Central Expressway where parallel and you can build yourself a nice wide freeway. In parts of Santa Clara and Sunnyvale you could easily fit an 8 lane freeway on the Caltrain ROW alone. You could get in your car in downtown Palo Alto and in the time it would normally take you to just get to the 101 or 280 you would already be in downtown San Jose. The VTA’s dream of the 1960’s would be complete!

    I don’t suppose BART would want to use that ROW for an extension between Millbrae and San Jose anyways. They probably would not consider it economically viable. From what I’ve heard around here no one would ever want to ride BART down to San Jose. San Jose does not have the same appeal as Pittsburg, Pleasanton, Fremont ect.

    John Burrows Reply:

    I thought that all of the Caltrain gallery cars built by Americans had long since been retired.

    When I ride Caltrain I have noticed on the older cars a label showing that they were built by Nippon Sharyo in 1986 and assembled in San Francisco.

    So apparently then Nippon Sharyo constructed the cars according to a 40 year old American design, and then shipped components to San Francisco where the cars were then assembled (built).

  5. synonymouse
    Sep 28th, 2012 at 10:30
    #5

    Jerry Cauthen is a very bright guy who worked on Muni Metro planning in the seventies. He has been urging the Stubway be engineered compatible for trolley buses as well as lrv’s, allowing the #30 line to be diverted underground. Trying to sell resurrecting the F streetcar line that was replaced by trolley coaches in 1950 will be a very hard sell in the Marina. The only other option is either deadending the line in North Beach or at the Wharf.

    The Stubway is simply an exercise in spending money just for the purpose of spending, a growing San Francisco phenomenon in recent years. The City is too rich for its own good.

    Tom McNamara Reply:

    Trying to sell resurrecting the F streetcar line that was replaced by trolley coaches in 1950 will be a very hard sell in the Marina. The only other option is either deadending the line in North Beach or at the Wharf.

    Because the Marina is full of old, conservative types who want nothing more than to have their very own MUNI line that puts much of the City at their fingertips?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Restoring the F has its shortcomings. Narrow streets with the City’s irrepressible double parked trucks and and a number of sticky points. Like the tricky trackwork crossing the Powell-Mason cable twice, crossing busy Bay St. twice and some pretty good hills at both ends of Northpoint. Congestion point at Northpoint and Van Ness as this also the route of the GGT commute buses.

    This is likely the reason Muni assigned the A cars exclusively to the F line; they were narrower than the subsequent B,K, and L cars. And Muni had a pretty good argument in favor of trolley bus conversion to the current #30. They were able to use Presidio Yard via the 22 trolley bus wire. Plus the trolley coaches provide about the right level of service -the #30 express is also in play via Van Ness and the Broadway Tunnel. The latter would have been the preferred route for rail to the Marina using 3rd & Kearny.

    Jerry Cauthen’s idea for dual use is a very solid one as this Stubway tunnel is quite short and of limited utility otherwiae.

  6. Roger Christensen
    Sep 28th, 2012 at 12:31
    #6

    Smaller potatoes: just heard on the radio that the City of Fresno just approved a deal in which they receive $4M from the authority for staffing to deal with construction impacts.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Speaking of deals, the not-available-online Daily Post (Palo Alto) ran a story earlier this week on how HSRA and Union Pacific were quietly working toward a deal to allow HSRA to run on tracks/ROWs UP owns/controls — including the Caltrain’s Peninsula line, which, the Post and certain NIMBYs claim, HSRA still needs UP’s permission to traverse.

    VBobier Reply:

    Figures, UP only has trackage rights on Caltrains Peninsula line, since Caltrain owns the line… The Nimbys in this regard are without a prayer of winning…

    joe Reply:

    Why wait until Friday PM to tell me this? I coudda gotten a copy. I wuz robbed.

    Any relation to this tidbit?
    http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/transportation/2012/09/caltrain-receives-first-funding-step-quest-electrified-railway

    The Gilroy-San Jose portion of Caltrain is not part of current electrification plans. Electrifying that route would be contingent upon negotiations with Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the tracks.

    Joey Reply:

    Gilroy-SJ doesn’t have the traffic levels to justify electrification. Even if you quadrupled the current 3 round trips per day (which would also require laying a bunch more track to appease UP), the case might still be questionable. And if HSR is going to Gilroy anyway, there’s little demand for a parallel line with even moderate capacity. You’d be better off electrifying the Capitol Corridor, however much I might criticize it in other debates.

    joe Reply:

    So you don’t know.

    The UP tracks from San Jose to Gilroy cost Caltrain ~700-800K a year. Maybe this cost will be part of the negotiation.

    HSRA and Union Pacific were quietly working toward a deal to allow HSRA to run on tracks/ROWs UP owns/controls — including the Caltrain’s Peninsula line, which, the Post and certain NIMBYs claim, HSRA still needs UP’s permission to traverse.

    Also, the HSR station in Gilroy will, according to HSR proponents & opponents, create large amounts of traffic in south county. We all agree. The NIMBY lawsuit says South County residents were not adequately informed of this impact as required by the CQEA. Neither were you.

    Joey Reply:

    Remind me what building HSR has to do with electrifying the existing UP track?

    joe Reply:

    1. The CAHSRA could run trains on Caltrain/UP ROW all the way to SF starting at Gilroy. That means Pacheco is the last leg needed to reach SF.

    2. The electrified ROW from Gilroy to SJ would also be used for blended local service eliminating the need for operating/maintaining legacy equipment.

    3. After HSR build their ROW to SJ, the electrified system would continue in operation.

    One option for downtown Gilroy is slightly elevated ROW with UP and HSR. It’s less expensive and services the downtown. Noise is a concern but so is time.

    When they build the HSR ROW to San Jose they do this with a bypass at Gilroy and run trains to meet the 2:40 time. HSR trains that stop at Gilroy use the blended ROW north to SF while the HSR trains connect to blended ROW.

    Joey Reply:

    Even if UP lets HSR use it’s ROW (unlikely) there’s going to be a dedicated freight track, which there is little justification to electrify. Most of it is one track anyway and not grade-separated (you should know this), so you’re looking at a large amount of construction either way. There’s never going to be anything “blended” about SJ-Gilroy, unless you put some local trains on the new electrified, non-FRA tracks (a triviality).

    joe Reply:

    Will not the Caltrain electrified ROW will be compatible with UP Freight? I thought it was. This would not be different.

    It’s not impossible for CAHSR to run a few HSR trains on the underused, electrified UP ROW to reach SJ and complete the journey before building to SJ.

    If it’s in the plans to eventually electrify the South County ROW, still is, and the population increases as it has been, then the 2025 Caltrain ridership should be far more than 3 trains.

    The current 101 traffic is beginning to back up like it was prior to the 2 lane expansion. Both directions (AM North and PM South) and we are in a recession.

    Joey Reply:

    From SF to SJ, the CalTrain corridor is already two tracks, large portions are grade separated, and freight operates only at night (temporal separation is important). South of SJ, the route is freight-primary (I don’t know exactly how many trains per day UP runs but I’m pretty sure it’s more than CalTrain currently), mostly single-tracked, and has only a few grade separations. Even if you’re building within the current ROW, you’re effectively building a new line, and there’s no way you’re getting a waiver to operate HSR and freight on the same tracks at the same time.

    joe Reply:

    Amtrak runs on this very same UP ROW so why not run a HSR single seat train to SoCal? UP trains, I rarely see UP trains in the day – I hear a few at night. Sometimes UP will delay Caltrain service near SJ.

    SF trains would run amtrak fast from SJ south to Gilroy but a single seat trip nevertheless.

    There are 5 stops, a 6th planned at Bailey when that part of SJ develops.

    Joey Reply:

    Amtrak runs one train per day per direction, and it’s an FRA-complaint train (which you should know). This type of service has nothing to do with HSR. Again, it’s not the ROW that’s the problem, it’s the tracks (or track, singular, to be more exact). And may I remind you that UP actually owns this part of the ROW, and unlike the Peninsula line, which is a branch (and JPB owned), SJ-Gilroy is part of UP’s coast mainline, and even if they allow HSR to share the ROW, they’re not going to be forced into night-only operations. So it boils down to this: you build two new, grade separated, electrified tracks on the current ROW, or you build them off of the current ROW.

  7. Neil Shea
    Sep 28th, 2012 at 14:12
    #7

    Hey Robert, given all the long standing discussion about drawbacks of CBOSS and its incompatibility to international standards and HSRs future needs, it may well be that this $40m is a waste. Your lack of mention of that concern seems like an omission.

    Reality Check Reply:

    It is conspicuously odd that Robert failed to reference at least a single one of Clem’s numerous and infuriatingly insightful and educationally informative postings on CBOSS:


    Caltrain HSR Compatibility Blog: CBO$$
    Caltrain HSR Compatibility Blog: CBOSS vs. Metrolink PTC
    Caltrain HSR Compatibility Blog: The Truth About CBOSS
    Peninsula Train Control: PTC, CBOSS and ERTMS

    etc., etc., etc.

    neville snark Reply:

    “infuriatingly insightful” — a perfect phrase. :)

    joe Reply:

    Two things I see just by a glance.

    1. Density is different. Ridership is the same, 41,000. Track miles and cars are fewer for Caltrain – significantly. That implies (to me) greater density, more trains on less track. Don’t know the freight for metro link –

    2. Risk and liability. The CBOSS lead in minutes of a meeting claimed one key difference is the liability risk is accepted by the contractor not the JPB (Caltrain) but this is not the case for the Metrolink system. I don’t see that “feature” carried in the cost comparisons. Would it not matter?

    Lastly, in the same meeting minutes a NIMBY anti-HSR Organization claimed CBOSS was a violation of CEQA. It was intrinsically tied to electrified Caltrain (needed for that upgrade) and that means it violated CEQA since Caltrain electrification is only needed because it is part of the HSR project. That was rejected since PTC is needed for current operations as well.

    So it’s probable that no HSR requirements are allowed in the CBOSS RPF is due to the CEQA. Not to incompetence or lying. Adding HSR would make the CBOSS part of the CAHSR project and subject to the ban and therefore stop ANY procurement for any technology that added or enabled the HSR system. ANY. Insert best PTC here:

    I see a need for CEQA reform.

    Clem Reply:

    CEQA is irrelevant to signaling systems, which have little to no environmental impact. Total red herring.

    joe Reply:

    You misunderstand.

    Can a procurement for a PTC system add HSR requirements if HSR is sued using CEQA and there is an injunction?

    Clem Reply:

    An injunction blocking HSR construction would not extend to Caltrain building a PTC system that happens to be forward compatible with HSR… had they done such a thing, that is. Even with HSR money, as they are indeed doing!

    joe Reply:

    Doesn’t a CEQA injunction block more than construction? They cannot purchase land with an injunction. They probably can’t issues requirements in a procurement for a yet to be approved project.

    How can an entity procure compatible equipment and create specifications and designs for a project that officially does not have specifications?

    The RFP Q&A told those with HSR questions to look at the public website. The answers clearly, to me, indicate a legal restriction on what can be said about HSR.

    The project plan approved in 2012. Was the ROW absolutely decided by 2011 – legally? There’s no EIR yet. No Plan approved yet – right? Wasn’t that all this year?

    I’m not excusing the CBOSS procurement but I don’t see how the procurement could legally add HSR requirements.

    Peter Reply:

    An injunction will block whatever the injunction says is enjoined. We have no idea what, if anything, will be enjoined. I have major doubts that an injunction will happen anyway.

    joe Reply:

    1. You might not know but that doesn’t mean it’s an unknown.

    “Regardless of the federal approval and regardless of the Obama administration’s promise to expedite permits, the CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) case will stop the project if the preliminary injunction is issued,” said Anja Raudabaugh, Madera County Farm Bureau executive director. “If they can’t get past the CEQA challenge, the project gets stopped.”

    “That the judge is going to allow our preliminary injunction hearing to occur is huge. If an injunction is issued, they will not be able to release federal money in time to complete by the December 2017 deadline, which stops our segment of the project,” Raudabaugh said.

    As long as there is a CEQA action against the project, she said, the authority is not legally allowed to offer landowners any money for property.

    2. How do you issue a requirement in a RPF for HSR compatibility and evaluate bids when there is no HSR project? There is no HSR Project in 2011 to assess a proposal for work on HSR compatibility.

    Peter Reply:

    Dude, you really have a reading comprehension problem. Both of what other people write, as well as what you somewhat cluelessly copy-and-paste.

    The fact that there is no injunction yet, means exactly what I said: We don’t know what its terms will be, what will actually be enjoined. That’s what the hearing is for: the parties will put forth their arguments as to why or why not an injunction should issue.

    Clem Reply:

    How do you issue a requirement in a RFP for HSR compatibility and evaluate bids when there is no HSR project?

    You are somewhat right about that one. An argument can be made that Caltrain had to do something under duress of a deadline.

    Caltrain could have said, let’s move heaven and earth with federal agencies to allow an off-the-shelf European rail technology to be used for the first time in the US. Just like they moved heaven and earth with federal agencies to allow UIC compliant EMUs to be used for the first time in the US.

    They could have adopted the ERTMS standard to the extent possible, and done the useful work of sorting out the regulatory and technical hurdles of modifying/replacing the GSM-R component for the US environment… the very work that has been identified by CHSRA/PB as being most important. No HSR RFP required. That would have cost far less than $231 million (including the ERTMS Level 1 overlay from SF to SJ, meeting all PTC requirements) and would have taken less than three years. It would have spent HSR money in a way that provides an actual benefit to HSR, as opposed to yet another obstacle.

    Spilled milk.

    joe Reply:

    altrain could have said, let’s move heaven and earth with federal agencies to allow an off-the-shelf European rail technology to be used for the first time in the US.
    All joking aside. Seriously. If you understand senior Bureaucratic perspective and Politicians…Caltrain would have needed to change the acronym meaning. Most organizations follow keywords and titles.

    Switch the “E” in ERTMS from “European” to “Excellent” or “Efficient” and use as is or even better, replace the GSM-R component as you suggest and lebel it the American Rail Traffic Management System. Better sounding than CBOSS.

    NO capability to add HSR requirements in the procurement but the risk of future incompatibility would be some degree less. So yes, I agree.

    jonathan Reply:

    Joe, don’t be dumber than you have to. Would Caltrain be subject to an injuction for building electrification which is forward-compatible with HSR? Nope. Or choosing turnout geomeries which are compatible with ~200 km/hr running on the Peninsula? Nope. Or (duh) using rail and gauge which is forward-comatibl with HSR trainsets? Don’t be silly!

    Now, an injunction to stop Caltrain from using HSR money to buy a non-HSR-compatible signalling system, _that_ would be interesting.

    joe Reply:

    Compatible with what HSR specification as of 2011!? Can you tell me the design specification for a project that hasn’t a project plan in 2011? I can’t. Not defending the poor timing of the RPF and HSR EIR but that’s a very reasonable explanation for the omission of HSR compatibility requirements.

    Electrification can allow Caltrain to travel at high speeds along the ROW and that would allow Caltrain to design a better ROW that coincidentally HSR could use if approved.

    CBOSS started work. That’s why the legal question was raised about HSR’s CEQA challenge. Since CBOSS is needed for Caltrain as is, they proceeded to approve CBOSS.

    And so far there isn’t any work on the electrification. We now will see if it draws lawsuits.

    The use of Prop 1A and federal funding for feeder systems (allowed in Prop 1a) like Caltrain do not violate the CEQA for the HSR project in this area. It’s technically not HSR.

    Clem Reply:

    It excuses the omission of HSR compatibility requirements, but it does not excuse the continued claim that CBOSS is HSR-compatible.

    And so far there isn’t any work on the electrification.

    Yes there is, if only a tiny bit. Burlingame, Palo Alto, California Ave and Santa Clara stations all have the required grounding network and electrical bonding of all platform components to allow safe use of high voltage AC, and have round cut-outs at 200 ft intervals ready to be popped out of the platform concrete to install OCS poles.

    joe Reply:

    Interesting.

    joe Reply:

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Minutes/10-6-11+Final+JPB+Minutes.pdf

    Chair Elsbernd asked Legal Counsel David Miller to respond to the letter that was received. Mr. Miller said last evening a letter was received from the Community Coalition on High Speed Rail questioning whether a Board action at this time might violate CEQA. Mr. Miller said the letter starts with an inaccurate that CBOSS is “inextricably intertwined with Caltrain’s electrification project.” This factual matter is not the case. The Federal law requires installation of a PTC system and associated components by a specified deadline and as the Board has heard the system is going to be installed on the JPB’s diesel system. </blockquote

    BrianR Reply:

    I just hope that some people here have at least previously voiced some objections to CBOSS to Caltrain, CAHSRA and the “media”. Curiously the “media” found reason to exploit every possible triviality to justify their “boondoggle claims” but then when a decision like adopting CBOSS is made which becomes the textbook definition of “boondoogle” they are strangely silent.

    The problem might be that they don’t want to consider a reality where HSR will actually exist on the peninsula and from their perspective whether or not the signal systems are compatible would be a minor triviality compared to their other concerns.

  8. Matthew
    Sep 28th, 2012 at 14:55
    #8

    You got my hopes up and then dashed them quite effectively, Robert.

    This $39 million being spent is a complete waste of money that has nothing to do with what’s actually needed for electrification. This is money being spent on reinventing the wheel, poorly.

    political_incorrectness Reply:

    It is one thing I just hit myself over the head that ETCS and ERTMS could not be implemented Level 2 with Level 1 redundancy. That would be a lot cheaper and less risky than developing a customized system. This is going to create issues for the future of rail development without interoperability between signal systems. More jobs but not very efficient.

    William Reply:

    Hopefully, since CAHSR is a reality now, CBOSS will be add HSR compatibility to be one of its requirement, as stated in Caltrain website.

    My guess and hope is that most components of CBOSS will indeed be off-shelf and even the same ones as ETCS, or that CBOSS is built on top of ETCS-2.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Then it should not cost so much…

    joe Reply:

    I would not think the bulk of the cost is hardware – it’s the safety critical software.

    Joey Reply:

    (1) That software already exists for a fraction of the price
    (2) If safety is such an issue (which it is), then you want a well-tested solution, not a proprietary one

    joe Reply:

    Software Reuse for safety critical systems. No-problem-o Let’s fire up this Ariane 5 rocket.

    Name a safety critical system of an airplane that’s not proprietary.
    I believe the PTC implementations are all proprietary solutions.

    Joey Reply:

    It doesn’t matter what you believe. ERTMS has been tested extensively in all sorts of real-world scenarios and has all but become the world standard outside of the USA.

    joe Reply:

    I’m so confused I think a standard is separate from an implementation. I thought ERTMS was a standard – it isn’t. It is apparently a tested product.

    Clem Reply:

    ERTMS is a standard, with which a variety of tested products are compliant. These products are available from a half-dozen vendors in a healthy competitive market. GE is the first American vendor that has decided this was a market they had to be in.

    joe Reply:

    GE in Europe. It’s 100 people (sez GE) in Europe. That means GE US could buy/sell the technology.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Where are all those accidents on reused ERTMS code?

    (No, Wenzhou doesn’t count. They shut down the signaling system. You can talk about that as a misfeature of Chinese operating culture, but not of the ERTMS code. Likewise, if teenagers don’t actually use condoms and then get pregnant, it’s not a fault of condom manufacturing technology, but of their sexual culture.)

    jonathan Reply:

    William,

    “add HSR compatibility to CBOSS”? There’s simply no such thing. It’s like trying to add “drive on the left side of the road” to a drive-on-the-right-side-of-the-road road system. You _have_ to pick one or the other, and have borders between drive-lft and drive-right sections.

    that’s just a fact, however Caltrain or Robert Cruikshank try to spin it. Different protocols, different signalling mechanisms, different RF frequencies. THe only way to make CBOSS truly compatible is to shit-can the current contracts; and contract out for an ETCS Level 1 signalling system, with radio communication in some suitable frequency.

    The powers-that-be will tell you that everything can be “made compatible”. What they realy mean is drive-on-the-left/drive-on-the-right borders (CBOSS vs. ETCS Level 2); with a _huge_ integration cost for HSR, to integrate dual CBOSS and CBOSS/ETCS change-over mechanisms into each HSR trainset.

    Meanwhile, Auckland, NZ is getting an ETCS Level 1 system, as part of the Auckland electrification project. Total cost is less than one-third the CBOSS budget.

    William Reply:

    Base on my understanding and Clem’s blog, ETCS-L1 is not necessary a prerequisite of ETCS-L2, as L1 is also a “communication overlay” system on top of the PTC/ATC systems the railroad currently has.

    jonathan Reply:

    Indeed. But ETCS Level 1 (with or without infill) _is_ compatible with ETCS Level 2.
    CBOSS patently is not compatible with ETCS Level 2. And CHSRA’s technical memoranda say plainly that ETCS Level 2 is the only viable choice for California HSR.

    William Reply:

    I wonder what’s the current status of CBOSS, as Caltrain’s website didn’t say much. As mentioned in Clem’s blog, CBOSS was supposed to go out to bid already, but all indication shows that CBOSS requirements is still being developed.

  9. datacruncher
    Sep 28th, 2012 at 17:26
    #9

    City of Fresno approved an agreement with CAHSRA yesterday for a High-Speed Rail Business Support Services Program (3 years, max of $4.6 million in HSR funding). The program is for services related to business relocation as ROW is purchased in the city. Funds go to various uses such as additional city employees to expedite permits, licensing, planning, pre-occupancy site inspections, etc for new locations for businesses currently located on the proposed ROW.
    http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/government-and-politics/3416-city-accepts-46m-for-businesses-affected-by-hsr

    Full details are in the city council report:
    http://www.fresno.gov/CouncilDocs/agenda9.27.2012/gaa.pdf

  10. jonathan
    Sep 28th, 2012 at 17:30
    #10

    Mr Cruickshank, are you insane? In what _possible_ way is spending $39m on CBOSS a “good thing”?
    Would you also uncritically cheer-lead if CHSRA just put $39m in cash in a big pile, and set fire to it?

    EJ Reply:

    Yes, Robert has in fact explicitly said that he will mindlessly cheerlead any expenditure on passenger rail. He’s quite proud of it.

    jonathan Reply:

    I’d like to see _him_ say so. In so many words.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    You must be new around here.

    EJ Reply:

    http://www.cahsrblog.com/2012/06/transform-comes-out-in-support-of-hsr-proposal/

    For example. All rail projects are good. Anyone who advocates for intelligent planning is a coward.

    EJ Reply:

    I mean he literally says that he will support any rail related project anywhere.

    joe Reply:

    A total of $39.8 million was approved Thursday, the first step in Caltrain’s $1.46 billion plan to electrify its train system by 2019. The positive train control system is a necessary precursor for the upcoming electrification project.

    Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/transportation/2012/09/caltrain-receives-first-funding-step-quest-electrified-railway#ixzz27p313JF1

    Shall we use craigslist or amazon to buy one?

    I’m sceptical of COBSS – not confident of the contractor being able to build a demonstratively safe system but saying NO doesn’t solve the problem.

    Peter Reply:

    “but saying NO doesn’t solve the problem.”

    But saying “NO, we can do it more than a $100 million cheaper with an already existing, proven PTC system” DOES solve the problem. Well, it would if you actually want to solve the problem, instead of letting your buddies profit from it.

    joe Reply:

    Yes my buddies.

    Any pointer to an implemented PTC system we can buy?

    wikipedia doesn’t show any clear choices.

    To implement the law, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published final regulations for PTC systems on January 15, 2010.[8]

    In December 2010 the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that Amtrak and the major Class I railroads have taken steps to install PTC systems under the law, but the work may not be complete by the 2015 deadline. The railroads and their suppliers are continuing to develop software to test various system components, which could delay equipment installation. GAO also suggests that publicly-funded commuter railroads will have difficulty in obtaining funds to pay for their system components.[9]

    Peter Reply:

    That was obviously not a reference to YOUR buddies.

    Any pointer to an implemented PTC system we can buy?

    wikipedia doesn’t show any clear choices.

    Seriously?

    How about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ETCS?

    Hell, even adopting I-ETMS would be better than blowing even more money on a one-off system that no one else is going to implement. At least that’s been developed with OPM, and HSR trains could use the same PTC equipment on Caltrain as on Metrolink tracks.

    Caltrain originally thought (were deluded into thinking?) they could develop a train control system that other railroads would buy from them. Caltrain’s plan were overcome by events once Congress mandated PTC, and railroads began looking at implementing existing PTC systems, or at least ones that were further along in development than CBOSS, and CBOSS’s market (possibly imaginary) vanished overnight. But Caltrain continued to waste money to develop its one-off system. Are you seriously trying to continue to defend this?

    Elizabeth Reply:

    It would be difficult to sell it. As I recall, the contract gives the IP to the vendor.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Just a minor technicality. Staff (our public servants) can simply go through the revolving door and get hired by the vendor.

    joe Reply:

    No, they can’t. It is a criminal statue in some cases that disallows the revolving door from government oversight to the vendor. There are cooling off periods (year to years) and lifetime bans on specific projects they had oversight.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I don’t feel like spending the time on finding all the counterexamples that have been discussed on this and other blogs. Help, people?

    joe Reply:

    One google search and I find this

    http://www.doi.gov/ethics/post_employment_activities.html

    and

    http://www.dcbar.org/for_lawyers/ethics/legal_ethics/600.cfm

    A permanent prohibition (roughly paralleled, as to lawyers, by Rule 1.11) on former executive branch officers or employees making representational communications with or appearances before government agencies in particular matters involving a specific party or parties, in which they participated personally and substantially while in government. (18 USC § 207(a)(1), discussed under 1.11:610, below)

    A two-year prohibition on former executive branch employees making representational communications with or appearances before government agencies in particular matters involving a specific party or parties, that were under their “official responsibility” while in government. (18 USC § 207(a)(2), discussed under 1.11:620, below)

    A one-year prohibition on former senior executive branch employees making representational communications with or appearances before their former agencies in any matter. (18 USC § 207(c), discussed under 1.11:630, below).

    A one-year prohibition on former very senior executive branch employees making communications with or appearance before either their former agencies or senior employees of other executive branch agencies. (18 USC § 207(d), discussed under 1.11:640, below).

    A one-year prohibition on former members of Congress and certain categories of former employees of the legislative branch making representational communications with or appearances before specified categories of persons and entities in the legislative branch. (18 USC § 207(e), discussed under 1.11:650, below).

    A one-year prohibition on former members of Congress and former employees of the legislative and executive branches who are subject to the preceding three prohibitions (i.e., those imposed by 18 USC §§ 207(c), (d) and (e)) representing, aiding or advising foreign governments or political parties with the intent to influence any officer or employee of any department or agency of the United States. (18 USC § 207(f), discussed under 1.11:660, below).

    A one-year prohibition on former members of Congress and former employees of either the executive or the legislative branch aiding or advising any person (other than the United States) regarding trade negotiations in which the former members or employees had participated while in government. (18 USC § 207(b), discussed under 1.11:670, below).

    Three of these seven prohibitions—nos. [1], [2] and [4] in the listing above—apply to former employees of the District of Columbia, as well as of the federal government; the other four apply only to former federal employees.

    joe Reply:

    With the federal keywords in search 2 I found this

    http://oag.ca.gov/ethics/accessible/leaving
    Restrictions While Seeking Employment
    Prior to leaving government office or employment, Government Code section 87407 prohibits most state officials from making, participating in the making or using their official position to influence the making of government decisions directly relating to any persons with whom they are negotiating or otherwise involved, in connection with prospective employment

    One-Year Ban
    Government Code section 87406 places a one-year ban on former state government officials from contacting specified government agencies. Former officials may not accept compensation to act as the agent, attorney or representative of another person for purposes of influencing specified government agencies through oral or written communications. (For additional restrictions, see Pub. Contract Code, § 10411.)

    Back To Top

    Permanent Ban for Specified Proceedings or Contracts
    The prohibition contained in Government Code section 87400 and following provides that: No former state administrative official, shall, for compensation, act as agent or attorney for any person other than the State of California, before any court or state administrative agency, in a contract, judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding, if previously the official personally and substantially participated in the proceeding in his or her official capacity.

    If the elements of the Permanent Ban are found to be present, a former state administrative official is forever banned from acting as an agent or attorney in a covered proceeding or from assisting another to so act.

    Government Code section 1090 reaches a similar result with respect to contracts that the official participated in making.

    Please find counter examples: forward them to the State’s Attorney general’s office.
    http://oag.ca.gov/contact

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Joe, remind me, who was the last employer of the current CAHSRA CEO and what was he working on?

    joe Reply:

    Jeffrey Morales

    I am fascinated to understand his conflict of interest. I can figure out how a government employee can direct money to a contractor and then be rewarded with a high paying job. Or even be influenced by a promise or implied job at a later date. All lllegal.

    What’s Jeff’s scam?

    jonathan Reply:

    Don’t confuse Joe with facts.

    joe Reply:

    Laws are facts.

    Staff (our public servants) can simply go through the revolving door and get hired by the vendor.

    Jeff Morales didn’t get hired by a vendor. Clearly not an example of a public servant moving to industry.

    Noone has offered even a non-plausible conflict of interest or financial gain motivation for him.

    Peter Reply:

    Laws are facts.

    Brain twitch. Wow.

    joe Reply:

    Well you got me there –

    For a second I thought you had an example.

    Public servants have revolving door at CAHSRA and it’s obvious to everyone.

    But laws establish restrictions and no examples of bed feathering are offered.

    Some confusion about Jeff Morales who went form industry to the government – okay what’s the conflict? What’s the scam? How does Jeff make money or rip off the public by taking a job on the project?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    “For years I thought what was good for California was good for PB and vice versa. There is no difference.”

    joe Reply:

    I’m not defending CBOSS. Not a lemming that the sky is falling for every project. I wrote that I am skeptical it will be successful with some specific concerns.
    Not so impressive CBOSS presentation here dated 6/3/121
    http://www.ptcworldcongress.com/upload/pages/Day%201%2011_45%20Karen%20Antion.pdf
    Jargon-ish and provides no insight into how this project be done right. Nothing. .

    So I looked at Metrolink http://www.metrolinktrains.com/agency/page/title/ptc

    The estimated cost for developing, installing and deploying PTC on the Metrolink system is $201.6 million. However, if unanticipated issues arise with the implementation of this cutting-edge technology, additional funding may be needed.
    . Metrolink awarded a contract in October 2010 to Parsons Transportation Group (PTG) to design, supply and install PTC technology throughout the 216-mile publicly owned portion of Metrolink’s 512-mile rail network.
    Parsons Transportation Group is the COBOSS prime – cited their experience with commuter PTC. Total cost $231 million.

    Interesting explanations on CBOSS here – not taken at face value but consider the difference (claimed between Metro and caltrain) and most interesting – the impact CEQA might have on any Caltrain/PTC/HSR procurement. http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Minutes/10-6-11+Final+JPB+Minutes.pdf

    Chair Elsbernd asked Legal Counsel David Miller to respond to the letter that was received. Mr. Miller said last evening a letter was received from the Community Coalition on High Speed Rail questioning whether a Board action at this time might violate CEQA. Mr. Miller said the letter starts with an inaccurate that CBOSS is “inextricably intertwined with Caltrain’s electrification project.” This factual matter is not the case. The Federal law requires installation of a PTC system and associated components by a specified deadline and as the Board has heard the system is going to be installed on the JPB’s diesel system.

    It’s very probable that any tying between CBOSS’s requirements to HSR would violate CEQA. I refer to Clem’s Q&A findings (that the HSR is not part of this CBOSS Phase and to refer to the public CAHSRA website). I suggest this is an area to explore for CEQA reform. Should be able to allow other projects to build capabilities/compatibility for a project that is under CEQA review.

    Finally RISK differentiates Caltrain and Metrolink.

    Project PMO Director Karen Antion, Deputy PMO Director Sherry Bullock, Mr. Elliott and Project Manager Jack Buckingham.
    Ms. Antion said risk was shared and there was a turnkey solution different then what other agencies did, in particular Metrolink. There is a big communications component and data communications component to the system. Caltrain decided to use an off-the-shelf technology that is being integrated in a way that’s being used on railroads for the first time. From a risk- sharing point of view staff wanted to put the risk on the contractor. Staff carved out a commercial package with Parsons that provides, with the exception of negligence on the part of the JPB, unlimited liability and indemnification for the JPB, which is an extraordinary package under the risk-sharing umbrella. The commercial terms and conditions, as well as the scope of work, were defined and negotiated in a manner that was intended to share the risk appropriately between the JPB and the successful contractor.

    jonathan Reply:

    Joe, this is nonsense. Automatic train protection (ATP) systems are _not_ cutting edge technology.
    That’s just a fact. In point of fact, Europe has _too many_ such systems, essentially one per national rail ocmpany. The cost of equipping trains with a dozen such systems (even finding space in the cab!) is prohibitive, and the risks of switching from one to another (or switching drivers) at national borders, is also prohibitive. So the Europeans standardized on ETCS and ERMTS, and _all_ new lines are using that. It’s the standard for greenfield deployment, all over the world.

    What _is_ cutting-edge, is having US contractors design brand new ATP systems, designed for long, low-density, mostly single-tracked systems.

    joe Reply:

    I am unfamiliar with “cutting edge” technology but more familiar with safety critical concerns.

    We recall cars for defects and makers have liability risks we’ve been flying airplanes for over 100 years – clearly automobiles and avionics are not cutting edge.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Your FUD makes the PAMPA hysterics look rational.

    joe Reply:

    FUD how? Avionics are very expansive systems to build and test. Code reuse not common in that market. These are examples. The US tracks mishaps and looks for patterns in the commercial automobile market so they can issue recalls and maintain safety.

    Safety is an emergent property and not guaranteed by integrating Commercial Off The Shelf or system reuse unless it was designed for reuse – and that’s still hard.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Right, but we’re not talking about avionics. We’re talking about rail signaling, and so far what you’re doing is FUDding about how ETCS is unsafe.

    joe Reply:

    I did say ETCS is unsafe.

    Project PMO Director Karen Antion, Deputy PMO Director Sherry Bullock, Mr. Elliott and Project Manager Jack Buckingham.
    Ms. Antion said risk was shared and there was a turnkey solution different then what other agencies did, in particular Metrolink. There is a big communications component and data communications component to the system. Caltrain decided to use an off-the-shelf technology that is being integrated in a way that’s being used on railroads for the first time. From a risk- sharing point of view staff wanted to put the risk on the contractor. Staff carved out a commercial package with Parsons that provides, with the exception of negligence on the part of the JPB, unlimited liability and indemnification for the JPB, which is an extraordinary package under the risk-sharing umbrella. The commercial terms and conditions, as well as the scope of work, were defined and negotiated in a manner that was intended to share the risk appropriately between the JPB and the successful contractor.

    joe Reply:

    TYPO

    I did NOT say ETCS was unsafe.

    The reference shows Caltrain and metrolink are different in that Caltrain shifts liability to the Contractor. “unlimited liability and indemnification for the JPB,” That isn’t the case with Metrolink.

    A formally verified protocol that is proven to be 100% safe can be implemented incorrectly. There Not FUD. Absolutely not.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Ms. Antion said risk was shared and there was a turnkey solution different then what other agencies did, in particular Metrolink. There is a big communications component and data communications component to the system

    a big communications component and data communications component to the system?

    The aggregate data demand for train control on a trivial, low-traffic little shuttle line like Caltrain — 50 route miles, on the order of 20 trains in service — are trivial: on the order of hundreds of bits per second, even if the level of traffic were to triple. Meanwhile the “CBOSS premium” — above what any non-fraud-abetting non-Special-Snowflake agency staff would pay for such a trivial PTC system — is in the hundred million dollar ballpark.

    That’s quite the “big telecommunications component” nugget the Caltrain staff person and friends have chosen/b>, by their gaming of the project “requirements” and contract terms, to throw at Parsons Transportation Group and its subcontractors.

    Either she is so grotesquely professionally incompetent that she should not be employed in any position by any body every again, or she and her colleagues are engaging in systematic fraud.

    joe Reply:

    Her presentation slides (given in Europe this spring) was horrible.

    BTW, you forgot to rip into the contractor assuming liability. “risk was shared”.

    BrianR Reply:

    this news is definitely a bummer. Maybe by the time CAHSRA and it’s connection to Caltrain becomes a tangible reality the CAHSRA will have gained the authority, credibility and influence to just rip out CBOSS and replace it with ERTMS figuring there is no way in hell they want to bother with equipping their entire fleet for CBOSS compatibility. However that turns out many years from now we do not know.

    This news would not be so bad if not for the fact that $39 million could be allocated toward so many more important Caltrain funding projects, particularly grade separating more crossings.

    joe Reply:

    No PTC, not electrified Caltrain. 2015 is the deadline for PTC.

    jonathan Reply:

    Bat shit nonsense. If 2015 is the deadline, then 2015 is the deadline. Electrification doesn’t change that.
    And the 2015 deadline seems unlikely to occur, as the freight railroads aren’t getting the Wabtec solution working and deployed in time for 2015.

    What electrification _does_ change is that the current signalling system and block-occupancy detection won’t work properly and safely with electrification.

    joe Reply:

    I can see a waiver for existing service, I see none for electrified Caltrain service.

    We need something.

    jonathan Reply:

    You just don’t get it, do you?

  11. Tom CV
    Sep 29th, 2012 at 09:35
    #11

    Judge combines lawsuits against high-speed rail

    Three lawsuits were filed within weeks of the rail authority board’s May 3 vote approving the project: One by the Madera County Board of Supervisors, Madera County Farm Bureau, Merced County Farm Bureau, Chowchilla Water District, Preserve Our Heritage, and the Fagundes farming family in Madera and Merced counties. One by the city of Chowchilla. And one by Timeless Investment Inc. and other companies that own property along the proposed rail line in Madera and Fresno counties.

    Read more here: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/09/28/2563599/judge-combines-lawsuits-against.html#storylink=cpy

    Read more here: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/09/28/2563599/judge-combines-lawsuits-against.html#storylink=cpy

    VBobier Reply:

    Well how nice of the Judge, that will get rid of a lot of Nimbys if they lose, all in one fell swoop…

    YESONHSR Reply:

    Do you not love the “socialist” corporate farms and their “cries” of abuse

    VBobier Reply:

    Their pathetic… That’s what I think of the CorpoRATe farms…

  12. Peter
    Sep 30th, 2012 at 07:23
    #12

    I wonder how many of the vaunted dairies will still exist when HSR starts purchasing property in the CV: http://news.yahoo.com/calif-dairies-going-broke-due-feed-milk-prices-163004062–finance.html

    joe Reply:

    When you read the article it’s clear there is a problem and it is painful to read.

    HSR Opponents exaggerating the ROW impact on the dairy farmers obscures what’s happening. it also shows we depend on each other.

    “Recently, I had two men over 60 years old who broke down and sobbed in court,” Walter said. “You would be surprised how much these men care about their cows.”

    At the Overland Stock Yard in Hanford, owner Peter Belezzuoli said he sees two to three dairymen selling their entire herd every month, compared to about four per year before the crisis. More cows are being sold for slaughter, he said. And the value of dairy cattle has plummeted by as much as 50 percent in the past five years.

    Cameron recently saw a bankruptcy lawyer and may have to sell her entire herd and dairy.

    “It just makes me sad,” Cameron said. “This is a world I love, this is my life.”

    For her woes, Cameron blames state officials’ decision to keep milk prices lower than those in other states.

    California has had its own milk pricing system for dairy since the 1930’s, separate from that operated by the federal government in other states. The California Department of Food and Agriculture sets minimum prices that must be paid to farmers in the state for five classes of milk.

    CDFA spokesman Steve Lyle said the reason for lower prices is that milk supply exceeds demand in California.

    The glut forces California producers to sell much of their milk to makers of products such as cheese, which pays much less than selling milk for drinking. And since much of the milk is sold out of state, the price farmers receive is lower to reflect higher transportation costs.

    For Cameron, higher prices would mean she could keep her dairy. When she dies, she wants her children to scatter her ashes in the corrals.

    “That’s where I belong,” she said, “…that’s where I’ve been all my life.”

  13. Elizabeth
    Sep 30th, 2012 at 14:24
    #13

    OT Sunday afternoon frivolities

    Here is the structures report for the Fresno RFP http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/assets/0/443/484/f8b9b1d7-acc6-48e5-826c-efcc39151729.pdf
    What is your bid?

    Clem Reply:

    This is a concrete-pouring civil engineer’s wet dream. Clearly an ultra-complex lubricated jacked box design (and I am not making this up!) was necessary to go under SR 180 because Caltrans said we couldn’t move their bridge abutment by more than a half inch back when we called them up in 2011, and frankly replacing their bridge would (a) be far far cheaper and simpler and booooring so our buddies in the industry wouldn’t profit as much, (b) besides we ruled it out in section 2.4.7 because it would require us to coordinate with Caltrans when we really don’t want to disrupt their operations, and (c) lubricated jacked boxes are almost as much fun as crawling on the ground under imaginary laser beams!

    I’m gonna have me a bentonite milkshake.

    Clem Reply:

    Come to think of it, a lubricated jacked box is just what I’d choose to tunnel an extra track under the Millbrae station without so much as cracking BART’s marble mezzanine floors.

    J Baloun Reply:

    All this talk of a lubricated, jacketed, tunnel, I think CHSRA Blog is about to lose its PG rating.

    thatbruce Reply:

    Caltrans has hired Bridge-specific contractors in the past who have managed to relocate/lengthen/etc traffic-critical bridges and abutments in the span of days, without resorting to complicated or expensive methods. Just bite the bullet, close/shift SR180’s bridges in successive weekends, and put a regular trench in. Still cheaper.

  14. Jos Callinet
    Sep 30th, 2012 at 18:35
    #14

    For the likes of Cameron and other dairy operators, it appears they are facing a cowtastrophe and cattleclysm of heroic proportions.

  15. brian
    Oct 1st, 2012 at 06:46
    #15

    O/T but a good videotaped review/discussion of the All Aboard Florida project given to the FECRS (FEC railway society) convention on sept. 22 by a AAF representative. Of interest are that AAF verified that it will be 125mph operation between Cocoa and Orlando (single track with long passing sidings, south of West Palm Beach might be tripled tracked. double tracked elsewhere), trains will have level boarding, Cocoa will be the next station added due to cruise line interest (Disney), station in downtown Miami will be elevated to avoid blocking street crossings, and the 10 trainsets will be from a foreign manufacturer (2 under consideration) and consist of 7 cars with 2 locomotives (1 on each end). delivery will be 20-30 months from placing order. definitely an interesting video! link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dl1yVSD_Tv8

  16. blankslate
    Oct 1st, 2012 at 12:34
    #16

    Related news item:

    More Transit Service For Caltrain, ACE And VTA On Oct. 1
    From the Oakland Tribune, Mercury News, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Saturday, September 29, 2012

    By Gary Richards

    Transit riders will be getting more service across the Bay Area on Monday.

    Caltrain and the Altamont corridor line will begin running more trains, and bus service will be upgraded in the South Bay on Stevens Creek Boulevard.

    All three agencies report an increase in passengers. Caltrain will add two new trains and restore four others that had been cut because of budget constraints.

    In June, Caltrain reached an all-time high, averaging more than 50,000 riders each weekday, leading to full or standing-room-only trains during commute periods.

    The new schedule includes what the agency calls “shoulder” trains, or trains on the edges of the regular morning and afternoon commutes. It adds either a Palo Alto or Sunnyvale stop to 12 limited service trains.

    “These changes are a response to the high demand we’re seeing for Caltrain services,” said Chuck Harvey, deputy chief executive officer for Caltrain. “We’re hoping to reduce some of the crowding on peak-hour trains by providing more options for our customers.”

    The Altamont Commuter Express will add two new trips, between the San Joaquin and Tri-Valley areas to San Jose with a later westbound trip in the morning and a later eastbound trip in the evening.

    VTA’s new 323 bus line will make fewer stops and run every 15 minutes on weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from downtown San Jose to DeAnza College in Cupertino. There will be 28 stops that will be spaced about one-half to one mile apart, compared with the 94 stops on line 23.

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