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High Speed Rail -- Caltrain issues

From: domainremoved <Morris>
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2015 14:32:40 -0700

City Council Members:

I attach an opinion piece that appears in the
current (10-21-2015) edition of the Menlo Park Almanac (page 18).

I also copy its contents below. As you are aware
the High Speed Rail Authority has decided to turn
its attention again to the Peninsula.

  As you start on what will be a very long path
toward finding solutions to the transportation
issues affecting the whole area, I hope you will take into account this view.


morris brown
stone pine lane
menlo park

(copy of opinion)

End the Caltrain – High Speed Rail Authority alliance

By Morris Brown

Time moves on and it has become obvious that the
memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the
High-Speed Rail Authority and Caltrain is no longer viable.

  Since the two systems agreed to the MOU,
circumstances and conditions have changed
dramatically. Back then, in exchange for Caltrain
allowing the high-speed rail project to use
Caltrain’s right-of-way, the rail authority was
to fund and construct its own dedicated tracks.
In exchange for access to this right-of-way, the
authority was going to fund the electrification
of Caltrain’s existing separate tracks. All the
tracks would have all road crossings
grade-separated, and this funding would also come
from Proposition 1A bond funds.

With the huge cost escalation of the high-speed
rail project, a new plan was conceived. No longer
would Caltrain and the high-speed rail run on
separate tracks. Rather, they would share a
two-track roadbed an idea dubbed the” blended plan.”

  Funds for grade-separating the road crossings
now are no longer available. The latest plan
shows Caltrain would run six trains in each
direction at peak times, and high-speed rail,
four trains in each direction. Thus during peak
travel times, a total of 20 times each hour, the
crossing gates would come down. The gridlock and
congestion to our cities thus produced is simply not acceptable.

Adding on to this is the major upsurge in
passenger traffic on Caltrain. It is obvious that
in the near future, six trains per hour in each
direction for Caltrain will not be sufficient.

The Peninsula communities have been unanimous
that four tracks along the Peninsula corridor are
simply not acceptable. The blended plan is simply
not adequate so long as high-speed rail is allowed on the corridor.

  It is time for the Peninsula communities to
step up and demand that Caltrain dissolve its
alliance with the High- Speed Rail Authority.
Caltrain will need the full passenger carrying
capacity provided by the two-track “blended system” for its own use.

  Yes, this will mean the loss of around $600
million that the high-speed rail project was
going to provide to Caltain for its
electrification project. New sources for this
funding must simply be found elsewhere.

Morris Brown is a longtime
resident of Stone Pine Lane in
Menlo Park.

Received on Thu Oct 22 2015 - 14:33:53 PDT

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