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Caltrain wants high-speed rail to start locally

Original post made on Sep 14, 2010

Caltrain has joined a growing swell of Peninsula critics of California's proposed high-speed-rail system. But Caltrain isn't opposing the system; it wants it to start first on the Peninsula -- and to resurrect below-grade alternatives it believes are "achievable and constructible."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 11:09 AM

Comments (4)

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Posted by James
a resident of Castro City
on Sep 14, 2010 at 2:18 pm

I think CalTrain smells the $ running out quick for this and wants them to upgrade the CalTrain lines to electrical before the project dies.
Works for me.

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Posted by Mark
a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 14, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I agree that building a below-grade ("trenching") system is a good alternative to overhead on same-grade construction. In the UK you see the medium-speed express trains (about 100mph) passing through small towns below grade and are relatively quiet. The brick-lined walls below grade seem to act better than simple freeway-style soundwalls here because there's nothing for the sound to go through. Houses can be just above grade (usually on the other side of a frontage-road next to the trench) and you can't hear the trains when they pass. Also, at those speeds trains pass a house in about 5 seconds - before you know it. A bit different than the constant din of living next to a California freeway soundwall.

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Posted by Seer
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 16, 2010 at 12:22 am

This is completely ridiculous: CalTrain, run by a conflict-of-interest CEO who also heads SamTrans, proposing ideas about how HSR should be implemented when they can't even manage their own finances?

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Posted by R. Pollak
a resident of North Whisman
on Sep 19, 2010 at 8:44 pm

At-grade crossings are not viable at high speeds because of safety issues.

At grade, Japan's Shinkansen (120mph) noise level at 25 m (82 ft.) is 82 db(A), Intercity Express (Germany)at 200 mph is 92 dB(A).Noise generated by high speed trains is objectionable above ground. The only noise-reduction alternative is covered trench or tunnel.

There is documentation of reduced property values along high speed train right-of-ways.

To reduce noise level to acceptable levels, at grade, for speeds close to 200mph, one needs a 480 ft. corridor approximately.

I'd be worried if I was an Atherton resident living next to the proposed tracks.

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