Posted by Susanna, a resident of another community, on May 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm
It is my understanding that this may be illegal. The bonds for HSR may not be diverted to Caltrain. Smart move--get voters to approve bonds for a specific project, then divert the funds. Bait and switch.
Posted by Zoo, a resident of the Whisman Station neighborhood, on May 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm
Otto, BART's high noise level is due to a poor design choice for their rolling stock (ie. cars). Caltrains vehicles don't have that problem, as you can tell by listening to a Caltrain. The bulk of the noise comes from the Diesel engine, not from track squeal. As such, electrified Caltrain will reduce noise, unless they for some reason switch to rolling stock with fixed axle flat wheels, which is unlikely.
Hopefully BART's new rolling stock will also eliminate this problem for them and BART will become nice and quiet too.
Posted by Alex M., a resident of the Willowgate neighborhood, on May 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm
@Zoo: "The bulk of the noise comes from the Diesel engine"
Actually, from my perspective, the bulk of the noise comes from the horn. The noise from the diesel engine dissipates rapidly with distance, but the horn seems to propagate a lot further. We live 2 blocks from the Mountain View Caltrain stration. At that distance, the engine noise is a faint rumble that's easy to ignore. Not so with the horn.
I don't see the horn going away with an electrified Caltrain. It's required by regulation because the tracks cross through other rights-of-way used by other vehicles and pedestrians.
Posted by Reality Check, a resident of another community, on May 4, 2012 at 6:44 pm
BART is notoriously bad with keeping up with track grinding, which is especially important on systems like BART with very homogeneous trains and train traffic, largely in tunnels or on viaducts, to keep the rail head smooth and passing trains quiet. The conversation-precluding howl BART suffers in many of its subway tunnels is an example of what happens when you fall way behind on rail grinding. BART has talked up purchasing one or two new rail grinders over the past years ... but it seems they're still not doing enough grinding frequently enough to keep the wheel/rail interface as quiet as it should be.