Thursday, April 14, 2011

LOSSAN North Rail Corridor

Source: LOSSAN North Corridor Strategic Plan

One existing railway corridor in a portion of the coastal route between Los Angeles and San Francisco is the LOSSAN North Corridor. California coastal region passenger train customers and freight trains traveling from many cities with existing train stations between these two major California coastal cities could enjoy convenient schedules and reduced travel times if existing railway corridors were improved with comprehensively planned rail bed improvements. Separately, the planned California High-Speed Rail (HSR) project is aiming for a different route basically serving cities in the Central Valley.

Some coastal region cities with existing station stops north of Los Angeles Union Station are: Glendale, Bob Hope/Burbank Airport, Van Nuys, Chatsworth, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Goleta, Surf-Lompoc, Guadalupe-Santa Maria, Grover Beach, and San Luis Obispo.

Passenger train customers using the existing route and station stops from San Luis Obispo (SLO) to Los Angeles (Union Station) probably would be delighted if train speeds between existing stations could frequently be a consistent 60 to 70 mph. Passenger train travel times could be shortened by reducing the need for side track waiting periods that currently allow different trains to pass by each other in areas with one main line track.

It seems, to this less than an expert railroad engineer, that the existing track bed in the rail corridor might be improved to accommodate some additional tracks. Some existing railway bridges might also need to be improved or replaced. Train schedules and travel times could be improved if the additional tracks allowed both passenger trains and freight trains to travel north and south without one waiting motionless on a sidetrack in some locations. The scale (and cost) of these track bed improvements probably would be something less than the California High-Speed Rail (HSR) project that promises to serve other parts of the state. And the train speeds and potential travel time reductions may not be as great as in the proposed areas served by California HSR.

Question for Blog Readers:
Would you be pleased to travel at a consistent 60 to 70 mph between established train stations in familiar Central Coast locations?

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