Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

New passing track at Oceanside, Ca.

This looks like a big deal for Amtrak, an $8.5 million project of which the California Division of Rail will pay half. Put in the proper perspective, it is probably about a half day in Iraq.

This is important for commuters and Amtrak’s San Diego service.

North County Times has a complete report.

Vernae Graham, a spokeswoman for Amtrak, said that her company generally does not build track anywhere in the United States. But she said that the additional track, taken together with other improvements planned for the Los Angeles to San Diego rail corridor, should help Amtrak improve its on-time performance, which currently stands at 81 percent.
“When the project is finished, we will be able to run a lot more smoothly through that area,” Graham said.

Oceanside, and specifically the Oceanside Transit Center on South Cleveland Street, has become a hub of rail traffic. Oceanside is one of only three —- Solana Beach and San Diego are the other two —- Amtrak stops in San Diego County. The station also handles Coaster commuter train traffic and the station is the southern terminus of the Metrolink commuter system that runs north through Orange and Riverside counties.

When the Sprinter light-rail operation begins operations in December, it will also have its westernmost stop at the transit center. However, the Sprinter has its own set of tracks, so it does not compete for space with coastal trains.

Fernandes said the rail handles 44 Coaster and Amtrak trains per day on weekdays plus multiple Metrolink trains and about three much longer freight trains daily.


Filed under: Uncategorized

New Superliner lounge configuration

I have been way behind, and this should have been posted sooner. Texas ARP has a page devoted to Amtrak’s destruction of Superliner lounge cars.

Once the heart of social life on long distance trains, these have several disadvantages.

  • Seats in the “diner” section face the aisle, over which other passengers must traverse and food servers must deliver prepared meals. This creates a situation in which drinks and dishes are bound to end up on the floor. Embarrassing, inconvenient, messy, and dangerous on a moving train. Seriously, does OSHA know about this? Has anybody at the FRA passed hands over this arrangement?
  • Passengers must face strangers while eating.
  • Passengers are denied a clear view of passing scenery.
  • There seems to be no arrangement for smaller groups of individuals to conveniently be seated in the “lounge” section of the car.

This is not just a mistake, it is an expensive mistake. Here’s the link. Let me know what you think.

Filed under: Amtrak

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October 2007