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September Coast Daylight report

The Coast Rail Coordination Council met at the Paraiso Winery in Soledad on Fri 9/22.

Meeting in Soledad was mainly a good-will gesture, and to familiarize the council members of the growth and potentials of the area persuant to a Coast Daylight stop in Soledad.

After the normal opening business (minute approval etc) was over a lively discussion commenced on getting the Daylight started. Tom Mulligan of UP stated that they would need a formal request from Amtrak (on behalf of DoR) to start service. This request “shall include a start date”. A joint evaluation of the road would also be required as the last capacity study has a “limited shelf life”.

Jonathan Hutchison of Amtrak stated that lease (Amtrak) rolling stock is available from Beech Grove (both single level and Superliner). This equipment would need refurbishing and would fill the need till new cars come online. Chair Dave Potter emphasized how we all have to get behind Prop 1B [The Sierra Club after much arguing is neutral on this ballot measure, mostly because of the excessive highway components. -Pat] and that CRCC is striving to get local support from cities and counties. 1B would yield $450 M for transit, $125M needed for rolling stock and $50M required for track and signals. [In other words a small token percentage goes to transit] Art Lloyd emphasized that key persons from the counties make appeals to Bill Bronte (DoR) to persue the Amtrak cars.

Art Lloyd will make a Daylight presentation to the Peninsula Joint Powers Bd (Caltrain) on Oct 5th persuant to obtain a “Bullet” slot in their 96 train schedule.

Hutchison (Amtrak) reported that “The Starlight” has been badly bruised by the On-time Performance (OTP) [1 train on time in January – see this post for more information] with ridership and revenue plummeting and in name (e.g “Starlate”). Amtrak and UP are now in “High Level” meetings addressing the OTP.

Mulligan (UP) stated that track gangs have now moved to the Zephyr route and UP is striving to keep a max 90 minute “down” time on #11 and 14 north of Sacramento.

Posted in sierraclub, transportation.

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