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BAY BRIDGE

MTC Bay Bridge Rail Feasibilty Study

CHAPTER 2. RAIL SERVICE OPTIONS

The feasibility of rail on the Bay Bridge depends largely on the type of rail service that is implemented. For this feasibility study, four rail technology options were studied. It should be noted that the implementation of any service option would depend on the demand for service and the availability of operating funds. No detailed study of demand or patronage was completed for this study; however, previous studies and the MTC Blueprint suggest that a significant market could be served by any of these options. The options included in the Rail Feasibility Study were:

  • Alternative A - Transbay Light Rail Service
  • Alternative B - BART Transbay Bridge Service
  • Alternative C - Basic Bridge Railroad Passenger Service
  • Alternative D - Aggressive Bridge Railroad Passenger Service
Alternatives C and D both include the commuter rail and high speed technologies. A more detailed discussion of the infrastructure requirements and capital costs of each alternative is presented in Chapter 5 of this report.

ALTERNATIVE A - BAY BRIDGE LIGHT RAIL
This would be a modern version of the Key System, characterized by operation from the Transbay Terminal, where space would be shared with transbay buses on the bus deck, over the Bridge to the East Bay where the service would divide into several main transbay trunk routes offering frequent all-day service. In the East Bay, trains of up to three cars would operate primarily at grade in city streets, employing a variety of traffic and transit-priority treatments. Selective grade separations might also be used, as required. Low-floor, high-performance rolling stock would be used. An example of the rolling stock used for this type of service is seen on Figure 2-1.

Portland Type 2 Low-Floor LRV
FIGURE 2-1: PORTLAND TYPE 2 LOW-FLOOR LRV

Route Concept
In this alternative, three illustrative light rail lines would provide Transbay Service from the Transbay Terminal to the East Bay (see Figure 2-2). Each would operate on a 15-minute headway, with evenly staggered timetables providing a uniform 5-minute headway between San Francisco and proposed "Oakland Harbor Station", to be located east of the Toll Plaza. These lines would complement and extend the reach of the BART system through a seamless service and fare structure.

  • Oakland-Foothill Blvd- Airport (designated "OA" below): from 40th via San Pablo, Broadway, East 14th, 1st Avenue, Foothill Blvd., Hegenberger, via Coliseum BART to Airport.
  • MacArthur-Hegenberger (designated "MH" below): via MacArthur BART, MacArthur to Hegenberger, then to a terminal at Coliseum BART.
  • Berkeley-Telegraph-University (designated "BT" below): from MacArthur BART via Telegraph, Bancroft, Shattuck, and University to the Union Pacific mainline.

FIGURE 2-2: ALTERNATIVE A - Light Rail Service Alignment (PDF)

An initial assumption is that the combined 5-minute headway would be operated in both peak and base periods, with trains lengthened to handle peak loadings. This is the most cost-effective way to operate a light rail service; however, when demand forecasts are completed, a balancing of the patronage forecast with light rail capacity may suggest the desirability of providing more trains on a shorter aggregate headway. (The signal system on the Bridge could permit a headway as short as 2 1/2 minutes, or perhaps less if found necessary). For working purposes, it is assumed that trains would operate at 50 mph on the Bridge, with an average scheduled speed of 15 mph (four minutes per mile) in East Bay streets.

This would require a total of 36.3 track miles, over which the three routes totaling 56.1 route miles would operate. The conceptual cost estimate for this system's infrastructure, excluding light rail vehicles, but including track, signals, stations, structures, electrification, maintenance facility, engineering and a 40% contingency, would be an estimated $1.4 billion. This is based, as noted elsewhere, on essentially 0% engineering at this point. The unit costs are based primarily on recent experience in Portland. Chapter 5 provides more background on this conceptual cost development.

Running Times
As noted above, trains would average 15 mph east of MacArthur BART Station. Running time on the Bay Bridge would be similar to that for the BART and passenger railroad options. In the East Bay, stops would be spaced approximately every half mile, emphasizing access to BART stations and key off-line traffic generators. Some approximate distances and running times between illustrative light rail stations are as follows:

Rolling Stock Assumptions
The light rail vehicle used for illustrative purposes in this study is the Portland Type 2 low-floor car. Estimates were prepared assuming either two or three-car trains, which would be associated with an hourly capacity of 3000 to 4500 passengers per peak hour, peak direction. Seventy cars would be provided for the former capacity, and one hundred fifteen cars for the latter. This is the primary reason for the cost range given in the summary above, but there would be an effect from a larger maintenance facility and associated right-of-way, engineering and contingencies. See Attachment A in Section 6 for more background on this estimate.

Capacity
Depending on train length (two or three cars), the capacity delivered across the bridge by light rail in this alternative would range from 3,000 - 4,500 passengers per peak hour per direction. The line would be signalized for shorter headway, higher capacity operation if needed.

FIGURE 2-3: TRANSBAY LRT RUNNING TIMES

Line From To Distance (miles) Time (minutes)

OA, MH, BT

Transbay Tmnl. Yerba Buena 3.3 6
OA, MH, BT Yerba Buena Oakland Harbor 3.7 6
OA, MH, BT Oakland Harbor 40th & San Pablo 1.1 4
OA 40th&San Pablo City Hall 1.8 7
OA City Hall East 14th & Oak 0.6 3
OA East 14th & Oak Foothill & Hegenberger 6.0 24
OA Foothill & Hegenberger Coliseum BART 1.8 7
OA Coliseum BART Airport 3.4 13
MH, BT 40th & San Pablo MacArthur BART 0.8 3
MH MacArthur BART Broadway & MacArthur 0.9 4
MH Broadway & MacArthur Mills College 5.5 22

MH

Mills College

Coliseum BART

2.6 10

BT

MacArthur BART

Telegraph & Ashby

2.2 9

BT

Telegraph & Ashby

Telegraph & Bancroft

0.8 3

BT

Telegraph & Bancroft

Berkeley BART

0.7 3

BT

Berkeley BART

University &
M. L. King

0.9 4

BT

University &
M. L. King

University &
San Pablo

1.1 5

BT

University &
San Pablo

Foot of University 0.9 4

ALTERNATIVE B - BART RELIEF LINE
BART's main peak capacity constraint in providing Transbay service is the section between the west end of the Oakland Wye and Daly City; in this segment, while there are crossovers available to turn trains back, there is no third track available. An additional route across the Bay, connecting into the existing BART system south of MacArthur Station, or into the main point of constraint at the Oakland Wye, then running independently to and over the Bridge to the Transbay Terminal, could provide considerable additional capacity. Significant additional transbay BART capacity could be attained by taking one of the four present transbay BART lines out of the Transbay Tube and placing it on the Bay Bridge. Such a program would permit more frequent operation of that line, thus increasing its capacity. This would also create new peak-hour "slots" in the tube itself, this making it possible to increase the total number of peak hour trains on other lines by four or five trains. An example of a BART car is shown on Figure 2-4.

BART C Car
FIGURE 2-4: BART C CAR

Clearly, either a connection from the Oakland Wye to the Bay Bridge, or from MacArthur Station to the Bay Bridge, and the re-routing of any present Transbay BART line, could be used conceptually for demand forecasting. Since the purpose of the evaluation at this point is to illustrate the potentialities of bridge rail alternatives, rather than to assess the strength of different BART bridge strategies, a reasonable case might be made for the selection of any of the BART possibilities. In this case, it will be assumed for initial working purposes that the greatest relative advantage to be gained for any BART line in moving it from the Transbay Tube to the Bay Bridge would probably be for the Richmond-Daly City line, operating over a MacArthur Station-Bay Bridge cutoff bypassing Downtown Oakland. As the Richmond-MacArthur segment is also served by the Richmond-Fremont service, direct service at all hours from all stations north of Ashby to Oakland would be retained despite the re-routing of Transbay trains over the Bay Bridge.

Route and Infrastructure
Conceptually, a new double-tracked BART connection would begin just south of MacArthur Station, with track connections arranged so that trains to the Bay Bridge could come from either track on the "southbound" platform, and trains from the Bay Bridge could reach either track on the "northbound" platform. This would require significant re-arrangement of the current track configuration at MacArthur. The structure with the Bridge tracks would begin to rise immediately, and curve west across the southbound lanes of Highway 24, entering the median of I-580. The structure would continue to a new elevated Oakland Harbor Station, on the south side of the bridge approach, near the toll plaza. The line would continue west onto the Bay Bridge, then over the Bridge to the Transbay Terminal upper level.

It is assumed that three miles of new reinforced concrete aerial structure would be built to connect the current mainline to the bridge. Some modifications to I-580 might be necessary, and potentially involve real estate acquisition if the BART structure's piers resulted in some freeway widening. There would be one fairly straightforward aerial station at Oakland Harbor, one subway station at Yerba Buena Island, and a more complex terminal arrangement at the Transbay Terminal.

The extension as a whole would involve approximately 8.9 miles of double track. Three stations and three sets of universal crossovers are assumed along the extension. Figure 2-5 presents the proposed BART alignment.

FIGURE 2-5: ALTERNATIVE B - BART Transbay Bridge Service (PDF)

Stations and Park-and-Ride Locations
BART Richmond-San Francisco trains would serve all stations presently served by Richmond-Daly City trains between Richmond and MacArthur. On the new alignment, new stations would be constructed at the following locations (common to all rail alternatives):

  • Oakland Harbor: East of the Toll Plaza to serve City of Oakland redevelopment objectives, and providing a "last chance" park-and-ride lot.
  • Yerba Buena: A tunnel station in Yerba Buena Island to provide access and support for San Francisco redevelopment objectives.
  • San Francisco: Transbay Terminal
Travel Times Between Stations
North of MacArthur station, travel times between stations for Richmond-San Francisco trains would be the same as they are at present for Richmond-Daly City trains. Travel times between Bridge line stations are estimated approximately as follows:
From To Distance (miles) Time (minutes)
MacArthur Oakland Harbor 1.9 3
Oakland Harbor Yerba Buena 3.7 6
Yerba Buena Transbay Terminal 3.3 6

The estimated running time of 3 minutes between Oakland Harbor and MacArthur Stations is based on the scheduled running time of 3 minutes between MacArthur and Ashby Stations, approximately the same distance.

Headway
Assumed headway (minutes between trains) for Richmond-San Francisco trains would be based on present Richmond-Daly City service, augmented in the peak to take advantage of the additional capacity created by the new line.

  • AM Peak: 10 minutes
  • Weekday Base: 15 minutes
No major changes are assumed for other transit systems. However, additional BART trains serving other Transbay lines may be scheduled to take advantage of capacity created in the Transbay Tube. Alternatively, the enhanced capacity may be used to improve operational reliability.

Rolling Stock Assumptions
Taking one BART line out of the Transbay tube would provide additional capacity that could be added to other lines. Assuming that the existing Richmond-Daly City service could also be re-routed from the Transbay Tube onto the Bay Bridge, some additional peak service could also be added to boost capacity on this line. Additional capacity created in the Tube (four trains per hour) could then be used to increase service on other lines. For illustrative purposes in this paper, it is assumed that:

  • a shortening of the peak headway on the Richmond Transbay line would be accomplished by taking advantage of the shortened running time to the Transbay terminal in comparison with Daly City and Colma, and running more frequent service with the number of trains presently assigned to the Richmond Transbay line; and
  • four trainsets would be acquired to run more peak trains through the Transbay Tube and thereby increase capacity on other Transbay lines.
Assuming 10-car trains, and a 20% spare ratio, this would imply 48 cars.

Capacity
Assuming a shortening of the peak headway on the Richmond Transbay Line from 15 to 10 minutes, six 10-car trains per hour would be operated across the Bay Bridge in each direction. At 150% of seated load (68 seats), this would represent a delivered capacity of 6120 passengers per peak hour per direction. The line would be signalized for shorter headway, higher capacity operation if needed.

ALTERNATIVE C - BASIC BRIDGE RAILROAD PASSENGER SERVICE

Route, Infrastructure and Service Pattern
In this alternative, it is assumed that both an electrified commuter rail service and high speed trains would be operated up the Peninsula, through Downtown San Francisco's Transbay Terminal, and over the Bay Bridge. The line would be operated with FRA compliant trainsets illustrated in Figures 2-6 and 2-7.

FRA Compliant Regional Rail
FIGURE 2-6: FRA COMPLIANT REGIONAL RAIL

High Speed Electric Train
FIGURE 2-7: FRA COMPLIANT HIGH SPEED RAIL


Bridge trackage could also be used to provide a link between San Francisco and Oakland for California's potential high speed rail system. While trains would operate at conventional speeds on the Bridge, through service could in this way be provided from Southern California points to both East Bay and San Francisco stations. Equipment assumed for purposes of analysis was the Amtrak "Acela" high speed trainset, due to be deployed shortly in Northeast Corridor service. The Acela trainset is compliant with safety requirements of the Federal Railroad Administration, and represents the probable outer envelope of weight likely to be experienced with high speed equipment. This does not rule out the possibility that different, non-FRA compliant high speed equipment might, under certain conditions, be operationally co-mingled under FRA waiver with conventional FRA-compliant intercity passenger and commuter trains for a limited distance (essentially from Fourth and Townsend, via the Transbay Terminal and Bay Bridge to Oakland).

Key assumptions in this alternative are:

  • From Fourth and Townsend Streets to the Transbay Terminal in Downtown San Francisco and then over the Bay Bridge to Oakland, high speed and commuter trains will both operate at conventional speeds, and share the same tracks.
  • High speed trains will operate on a 30-minute headway in both directions.
  • It is assumed that Caltrain is electrified using electric multiple unit trains (EMU), at least as far south as Tamien station in San Jose. Service to Gilroy may remain diesel operated initially.
  • The skip-stop "A train/B-Train" concept used in MTCs "Blueprint" assumptions for Caltrain are assumed, including all assumed running times and station stops. With this type of skip-stop operation, all stations are designated as an "A" station, a "B" station, or an "A+B" station. (All major stations are "A+B" stations.) Trains are designated either an "A" train or a "B" train. "A" trains stop only at "A" stations and "A+B" stations; "B" trains stop only at "B" stations and "A+B" stations. Trains therefore make fewer stops, and achieve faster running times, and all major stations have the benefit of being interconnected by fast trains on a short headway. The less busy stations still have good service with fast trains linking them to the major stations. The disadvantage is that travel from an "A" station to a "B" station requires a transfer from one train to another, and, in some cases, doubling back.
  • All "A" and "B" trains are assumed to be extended from the present Caltrain Terminal at Fourth and Townsend Streets to the Transbay Terminal, then via the Bay Bridge to a West Oakland station near the Toll Plaza, referred to as Oakland Harbor Station for working paper purposes. This will be a major station, and the terminal for high speed trains coming from the Peninsula.
  • "A" trains and "B" trains will each operate on a 30-minute base headway in both directions. The schedules will be evenly staggered so that the headway between the major stations (the "A+B" stations) will be 15 minutes.
  • In general, peak passenger loads will be accommodated by lengthening trains from, perhaps, four cars in the base period to as many as ten cars in the peak. In the peak hour, an additional "A" train and an additional "B" train will originate in San Francisco for the Peninsula, but not run over the Bridge. In other words, commuter rail service over the Bridge will be the same as base level service (30 minutes on each, with a common 15-minute headway between common stations), but peak hour service between the Transbay Terminal and San Jose will be doubled (15 minute headway on each, with a 7_ minute headway between common stations). These service levels are assumed here for initial working purposes only. However, the signal system being considered in concept for the extension from Fourth and Townsend to Oakland, including the signalization of the six-track rail station in the Transbay Terminal, might permit reliable operation on a shorter headway, depending upon operating assumptions. When demand forecasts are completed, a balancing of patronage forecasts with capacity may suggest the desirability of providing more trains on a shorter aggregate headway.
  • "A" and "B" commuter trains will stop at a Yerba Buena Island station.
  • East of Oakland Harbor Station, the railroad line will divide as it passes over the Union Pacific mainline at the site of the former Interurban Electric grade separation. "A" trains will head north on a new track along the east side of the Union Pacific mainline, on a thirty-minute headway, stopping at Emeryville, and West Berkeley (foot of Gilman Street), terminating at Richmond BART station. "B" trains on a thirty-minute headway will turn south and run along a new track east and north of the Union Pacific mainline, stopping at 16th Street; they will then run along Third Street, stopping at Broadway and at Oak, where they will terminate. It is assumed that special treatment will be given to the design of Third Street trackage to accommodate pedestrians, traffic concerns and urban design features.
  • From Richmond, it is assumed that some "A" trains will be extended as part of the Capitol Corridor Service to Sacramento on a two-hour base/ one-hour peak headway. For this alternative, it is assumed that the Capitol Corridor will not be electrified, but that the Bridge EMU trains will be incorporated into the consist of diesel-powered Sacramento-Oakland-San Jose trains. It is assumed that EMU cabs will be specified to be capable of providing either all-electric or diesel-electric control; for these through trains, an additional ten minutes will be built into the station dwell time at Richmond to accommodate the operational requirements for combining or separating trains. No additional stations will be assumed.
The routing option for basic FRA compliant rail service is shown in Figure 2-8.

FIGURE 2-8: ALTERNATIVES C and D - Commuter and High Speed Rail Service Alignments (PDF)

Infrastructure Assumptions
The Basic Bay Bridge railroad passenger service option would require a double track line from the Bay Bridge to connect with the existing freight and passenger rail network in the East Bay. Additional tracks would be added to increase the total capacity and avoid adverse impacts on railroad freight service. Investments have also been targeted at improving the connectivity of the jointly used lines so that delays will be minimized at points where rail traffic patterns change. This would also provide important flexibility for handling situations where a train arrives outside of its appointed time slot. In joint use areas, there are only a few cases in which a specific track be designated for the sole use of either passenger or freight trains; wherever possible, existing operational patterns have been matched to reduce potential conflicts. Where a new main track displaces freight sidings, replacement in kind would be provided. It is important to maintain ease of movement for freight in the areas of joint operation, because rail freight carriage reduces the number of trucks on local highways, just as passenger service offsets peak highway usage by commuters.

The route of the commuter trains would parallel I-80 on the bridge approach, following the same general alignment as the former Bridge Railway. Like the former Bridge Railway approach route of the Interurban Electric Railway Company, commuter trackage would divide and cross over the Union Pacific's main lines, with branches turning north and south to parallel the Union Pacific mainline in both directions. This would require some intricate design to minimize any conflict with the piers of I-880, which pass over the UP line at this point.

To the north, a double track connection would merge into the UP mainline at Emeryville. North of Emeryville, there would be four tracks as far as Richmond. During normal operations, the passenger trains would use the eastern two tracks with the two remaining tracks for through freight operations. Local freight service, however, would still be provided off the eastern track. All four tracks would be electrified as far as Richmond. Interlockings would be located at North Richmond, Stege (expanded from present configuration), North Emeryville, and South Emeryville. The south leg of the BNSF wye between Richmond and El Cerrito would also be provided with a power operated turnout.

To the south, another double track connection would turn and merge with the Union Pacific near the former 16th Street Station. From that point, there would be four main tracks up to Seventh Street where many of the UP trains bound for the port or intermodal terminal enter the freight yard. Three main tracks (one new) would continue to Jack London Square via First Street/Embarcadero.

Rail rights-of-way in the Bay Area typically carry several buried utilities as well as trackage. These utilities include the fiber optic cables of several different providers, as well as petroleum pipelines. Wherever a main track is being added, the grading would be likely to disturb the utilities, so a relocation allowance must be provided in all cases.

Track structure would follow typical UP freight mainline practices, with continuous welded rail on timber ties. The option to build new tracks with concrete ties also exists, and the choice will not seriously impact the cost of construction. Special fastenings may be required for the Bay Bridge, depending on how the structure is modified for rail.

Although much of the Union Pacific's mainline route through Oakland has been recently resignalled as part of the I-880 rebuild and Capitol Corridor Improvements, electrified operation would require much of this work be redone. Similarly, grade crossing warning circuitry would also have to be redone. However, while the circuitry would have to be redone, the technology for electrified operation would be relatively easy for the UP's signal maintenance crews to become familiar with.

The power system recommended for this service is 25 KV/60 Hz, readily available from local utilities. Increased clearances have been provided at overhead bridges to insure that all current rail freight cars will be able to pass safely underneath the catenary system. Unlike older electrified systems in the East, there would be no high voltage power transmission along the right-of-way. Instead, local utilities (PGandE) would be tapped along the routes where necessary.

Substations would be located along the line to provide utility connections, power management, and signal power. The passenger operating authority would have to contract with Union Pacific to develop forces for maintaining the overhead catenary and power distribution system.

It is assumed that Union Pacific's communications infrastructure would provide enough capacity for passenger operations in joint areas. For the Bay Bridge and any modifications required for joint areas, a system level allowance has been made. The Union Pacific has been assumed as the dispatcher of service, at least on the joint trackage. The train traffic on the Bay Bridge can be handled through an extension of Cal Train's dispatching territories.

The Basic passenger system would take advantage of existing stations where possible, with appropriate modifications for higher passenger volumes. New stations would be added at Oakland Harbor and Berkeley-Gilman Street. As noted above, Oakland harbor Station would be located near the junction of I-80 and I-880, just to the east of the Bay Bridge toll booths and will have a parking garage. All stations would have provisions for local bus access and layover, and kiss Œn ride spots. New tracks for terminating trains would be added at Oakland-Jack London Square and Richmond. New stations can be designed very simply because the proof of payment fare collection system would not require ticket clerks.

In the Basic service network, most, if not all of the additional trackage required could be added within existing railroad rights-of-way. The Union Pacific would expect the passenger operator to pay a fee for this usage; this has not been included in the capital cost estimates, but its inclusion in an annual operating budget could be anticipated.

Stations and Running Times
Where High Speed Rail (HSR) is shown in parenthesis under "Lines," it signifies that while high speed trains pass over this segment, they do not make the station stop in the "To Station" column. On the Bridge, assumed speed is approximately 50 mph; Transbay Terminal approach speeds to and from the Bridge are on the order of 15-20 mph due to grades and curvature.

FIGURE 2-9:
BASIC RAIL SYSTEM RUNNING TIMES

Lines From Station To Station Distance (miles) Time (minutes)
A, B, HSR 4th & Townsend Transbay Tmnl.

1.6

5

A, B, (HSR) Transbay Tmnl. Yerba Buena

3.3

6

A, B, HSR Yerba Buena Oakland Harbor (HSR Terminal)

3.7

6

A Oakland Harbor Emeryville

1.5

3

A Emeryville West Berkeley

2.0

4

A West Berkeley Richmond BART (Terminal for most A Trains)

5.8

8

A Richmond BART Martinez

19.7

30+10=40

A Martinez Suisun- Fairfield

17.3

20

A Suisun- Fairfield Davis

26.7

24

A Davis Sacramento (Terminal for A/Capitol Corridor Trains)

13.4

20

B Oakland Harbor 16th Street

0.8

3

B 16th Street Broadway

2.6

6

B Broadway Oak

0.5

2

Park and Ride Locations
A major park and ride facility with access from toll plaza lanes is assumed at Oakland Harbor Station. Other park and ride facilities either are or will be located at Emeryville, Richmond, Martinez, Suisun-Fairfield and Davis.

Rolling Stock Assumptions

In the Basic option, it is assumed that Transbay rail service would be provided by electric multiple unit trains (EMUs), as an extension of electrified Caltrain service running through from the Peninsula via the new Transbay Terminal to the East Bay. Some of these EMUs could also be handled as coaches in diesel-powered Capitol Corridor trains between Richmond and Sacramento, in order to provide through train service from Sacramento to San Francisco and the Peninsula without having to electrify the Union Pacific mainline between Richmond and Sacramento.

Both Bridge railroad service options assume that electrified Caltrain commuter rail service is being provided from the Peninsula to the Transbay Terminal, and that most trains are extended through the Terminal to the East Bay via the Bay Bridge. Two half-hourly EMU commuter rail services are assumed to be provided across the Bridge, with schedules staggered to provide a 15-minute headway on the Bridge itself. Half the service ("A" trains) would turn north, and operate via Emeryville and Berkeley to Richmond. The other half ("B" trains) would turn south and run to Downtown Oakland. Each branch has a one-way running time from San Francisco of less than 30 minutes, so that round-trip running time would be one hour on each branch. With a 30-minute headway, two trains would be required for each branch, or a total of four trainsets plus spares.

It is assumed that during the peaks, all trains would be ten cars, or five married pairs, in length, so that 40 cars, or 20 married pairs would be required for the four trainsets. Assuming a 20% spare ratio, 8 spare cars, or 4 married pair would be required, yielding a total fleet of 48 cars, or 24 married pairs, spares included.

It was further assumed that through cars to Sacramento could be carried on some of the "A" trains to Richmond, operating as EMUs to Richmond, and as trailers in diesel-propelled Capitol Corridor trains from Richmond to Sacramento. Assuming a two-hour headway to Sacramento, and a two-hour running time from San Francisco to Sacramento, which includes ten minutes for switching at Richmond, and further assuming that one married pair would be run through between San Francisco and Sacramento in each Capitol train, two married pairs and one spare pair would be required.

As a final requirement, it was assumed in this option that California high speed trains entering San Francisco from the south, and reaching the Transbay Terminal over shared Caltrain trackage, would be extended over the Bay Bridge and terminate at Oakland Harbor Station. This extension could require at least one additional high speed trainset.

Capacity Assuming a fifteen-minute combined commuter rail headway, plus two Acela high speed trains per hour, the capacity delivered across the Bridge would be 6600 passengers per peak hour per direction. The line would be signalized for shorter headway, higher capacity operation if needed.

ALTERNATIVE D - AGGRESSIVE BRIDGE RAILROAD PASSENGER SERVICE

Route, Infrastructure and Service Pattern
This alternative has some basic similarities to Alternative C, in that it is assumed that both an electrified commuter rail service and high speed trains would be operated up the Peninsula, through Downtown San Francisco's Transbay Terminal, and over the Bay Bridge. The commuter rail service would be an extension of Caltrain through San Francisco to the East Bay, but in this "Aggressive" alternative, the northern "A" and southern "B" branches extend beyond the Central East Bay core cities. Alternate high speed trains would be extended at conventional but fast speeds to Sacramento over an electrified Capitol Corridor. The aggressive rail scenario is shown on Figure 2-8.

Key features assumed in this alternative include:

  • From Fourth and Townsend Streets to the Transbay Terminal in Downtown San Francisco and then over the Bay Bridge to Oakland, high speed and commuter trains will both operate at conventional speeds, and share the same tracks.
  • High speed trains will operate on a 30-minute headway in both directions.
  • It is assumed that Caltrain is electrified using electric multiple unit trains (EMU), at least as far south as Tamien station in San Jose. Service to Gilroy may remain diesel operated initially.
  • The skip-stop "A train/B-Train" concept used in MTCs "Blueprint" assumptions for Caltrain, as described above under Alternative C, is assumed, including all assumed running times and station stops.
  • All "A" and "B" trains are assumed to be extended from the present Caltrain Terminal at Fourth and Townsend Streets to the Transbay Terminal, then via the Bay Bridge to a West Oakland station near the Toll Plaza, referred to as Oakland Harbor Station for working paper purposes. It is assumed that this will be a redevelopment node for the City of Oakland. This will be a major station, and the terminal for alternate High Speed trains (those not extended to Sacramento, as explained below).
  • "A" and "B" trains will each operate on a 30-minute base headway in both directions. The schedules will be evenly staggered so that the headway between the major stations (the "A+B" stations) will be 15 minutes.
  • In general, peak passenger loads will be accommodated by lengthening trains from, perhaps, four cars in the base period to as many as ten cars in the peak. In the peak hour, an additional "A" train and an additional "B" train will originate in San Francisco for the Peninsula, but not run over the Bridge. In other words, commuter rail service over the Bridge will be the same as base level service (30 minutes on each, with a common 15-minute headway between common stations), but peak hour service between the Transbay Terminal and San Jose will be doubled (15 minute headway on each, with a 7.5 minute headway between common stations).
These service levels are assumed here for initial working purposes only. However, the signal system being considered in concept for the extension from Fourth and Townsend to Oakland, including the signalization of the six-track rail station in the Transbay Terminal, might permit reliable operation on a shorter headway, depending upon operating assumptions. When demand forecasts are completed, a balancing of patronage forecasts with capacity may suggest the desirability of providing more trains on a shorter aggregate headway.
  • "A" and "B" commuter trains will stop at a Yerba Buena Island station.
  • East of Oakland Harbor Station, the railroad line will divide as it passes over the Union Pacific mainline at the site of the former Interurban Electric grade separation.
  • "A" trains will head north on a new track along the east side of the Union Pacific mainline, on a thirty-minute headway to Martinez, with every "A" train (30-minute headway) in the peak period, and alternate "A" trains (60 minute headway) in the base period continuing to Suisun-Fairfield. Stations, some served by commuter trains, some by High Speed trains, and some by both (as noted in Figure 2-11) are assumed at Emeryville, West Berkeley (foot of Gilman Street), Richmond BART, Hilltop/Point Pinole, Hercules, Martinez, Benicia, Suisun-Fairfield, Davis and Sacramento.
  • It is assumed that high speed trains will operate over the Bay Bridge on a 30-minute headway. Every other high speed train, providing an hourly headway, will be extended to Sacramento to provide the Capitol Corridor service; conventional diesel-powered Capitol Corridor trains will be withdrawn, and the equipment re-deployed elsewhere in the AMTRAK California system. Service now provided south of Emeryville and north of San Jose by the Capitol Corridor will be replaced by the "B" train commuter service, described below. Capitol Corridor passengers traveling to and from stations between Oakland and San Jose will transfer at Oakland Harbor station. San Jose passengers to and from Capitol Corridor points north of Oakland would have direct hourly service to Sacramento using high speed trains via the Peninsula and the Bay Bridge.
  • "B" trains will be used to provide a new commuter rail service between Oakland and San Jose. Running on a thirty-minute headway, "B" trains will turn south from the junction point located east of Oakland Harbor Station, and run along a new track east and north of the Union Pacific mainline, stopping at 16th Street; they will then run along Third Street, stopping at Broadway and at Oak. East and south of this point, it is assumed that the Union Pacific's former Western Pacific line between Oakland and Fremont will be acquired for passenger use, and rebuilt and electrified. Stations are assumed at Coliseum BART, Hayward BART, Fremont-Centerville, Santa Clara- Great America, and San Jose-Diridon. In Oakland, it is assumed that special treatment will be given to the design of Third Street trackage to accommodate pedestrians, traffic concerns and urban design features.

Infrastructure Assumptions
In the Aggressive Bay Bridge railroad passenger service option, the rail network over the Bay Bridge to Richmond and Jack London Square would look much the same as it would with the basic option. Beyond those points, however, capacity would have to be added to local and through freight routes, each of which has unique issues associated with it. The Union Pacific has several concerns that would have to be addressed in order to make joint operation of freight and passenger service successful. These include:
  • Current rail freight capacity and network performance must not be reduced.
  • Union Pacific's right to add future capacity for freight growth must be maintained.
  • The addition of capacity for public purposes must not place an undue cost burden on Union Pacific for future freight capacity increases.
No capacity modeling was carried out in connection with this initial evaluation, but some broad observations can be used for illustrative purposes at this stage. It must be kept in mind, though, that firm conclusions about physical improvements which might be required for capacity purposes would require sophisticated analysis based on a rigorous methodology acceptable both to the UP and to the public sector.

Some of the passenger routing in the basic option enjoyed a more intensive passenger service in the past, and some of the pathways used by the UP's predecessor, the Southern Pacific, for that service still exist. Also, with the decline of carload freight in favor of containers and unit train operations, local freight service is less demanding. Many local industries have been phased out in favor of housing and commercial development. In general, it appears that capacity, with appropriate reinvestment, can be added for passenger service with relative ease in the immediate East Bay area.

However, outside of the immediate terminal area, capacity issues with respect to combined freight and passenger operations become more complex. When passenger projects are implemented, complex modeling efforts are required to determine what infrastructure investments are required. In a conceptual study, such analyses are beyond the scope of effort. Instead, improvements are provided that have been shown to provide congestion relief in prior cases.

In either the basic or aggressive case, the passenger operating authority would have to contract with the Union Pacific for access to its property. This contract would have to recognize the increased costs of maintenance, both fixed (associated with more assets) and variable (associated with usage). Typically, these contracts spell out the public investments required for a defined level (frequency, speed, schedule, etc.) of passenger service. Liability issues would have to be resolved as well.

West Oakland to Sacramento
On this segment, the aggressive option calls for commuter operation to Suisun-Fairfield and frequent intercity service beyond to Sacramento. From Emeryville to North Richmond, the four tracks provided in the basic service case would suffice. From Richmond to Suisun-Fairfield a third track would probably be required over most of the alignment because of the combined impact of commuter and intercity passenger services.

The only area where a third track would probably be prohibitively costly would be between Martinez and Benicia, where the UP crosses the Carquinez Strait on a double-track lift bridge. Since passenger and freight speeds will be similarly restricted over the moveable portion of this bridge, careful dispatching may be able to accommodate both freight and passenger volumes. Any delay resulting from congestion would probably not impair freight as much as passenger operations. Only a detailed operations simulation could forecast what level of passenger service could be reliably maintained. If additional capacity is eventually required in the future, a crossing without a moveable span might make sense, however the cost is likely to be quite high.

Another area of concern is the feasibility of adding a track in the environmentally sensitive Suisun Marsh segment between Benicia and Suisun-Fairfield. Grading for added roadbed capacity at this location, while difficult in current environmental thinking, may be preferable to the continued expansion of highway networks which are even more invasive, if the total environmental picture is considered. For the train densities proposed in this study, a third track across the marsh is included.

Beyond Suisun-Fairfield, the largest impediment to frequent intercity service would be the Yolo Causeway, between Davis and Sacramento. This section, now single tracked because of the need for costly bridge construction, would have to have its double track restored; the capital cost estimates provided here include provisions for it.

To provide for Union Pacific's future growth, the new trackage added for passenger service has been costed on the basis of providing the same margin of room for expansion that now exists. That is, if there is now space for another track, there will also be space after the passenger expansion. In some cases, this results in costly grading, but the high value of this corridor for both freight and passenger traffic justifies a long term planning horizon. Some of the individual projects will have benefits for freight service as well, especially from North Richmond to Martinez where the route follows the edge of San Pablo Bay, with many curves and slow running speeds. One such project, included in this plan because of heavy local freight service requirements, is a new tunnel at Oleum. It would shorten passenger and freight running times. For the long term, additional projects of this type should be considered.

West Oakland to San Jose
There are three existing Union Pacific lines to between Oakland and San Jose. One, the "Mulford Line" running via Newark, is the Union Pacific's through freight route. Part of that route already carries Capitol Corridor trains as well as the Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) service. The route chosen for this service combines UP's former Western Pacific line leaving downtown Oakland, part of which must be restored to service, with the Newark route.

The former WP right-of-way is just sufficient for two tracks, but no longer is needed for through freight service. With only local freight operating, two main tracks should be sufficient far into the future. At Niles, a long connection is envisioned that would permit trains to turn onto the Centerville Line, already double tracked. The connection would shorten the existing run by more than a mile. This Centerville line intersects the UP's busy through freight line at Newark. The Centerville line once continued from Newark across San Francisco Bay on the Dumbarton Bridge to intersect the San Francisco Subdivision (now operated by Caltrain) at Redwood City. There is already considerable interest in reviving this route for passenger operations. One of the attractive parts of developing the route proposed here between Oakland and San Jose is that it dovetails with other passenger service needs. By turning the WP route into a passenger line, south of Jack London Square and up to the point where it reaches Newark, the passenger service would no longer interfere with through UP freight movements.

The largest problems with the proposed route to San Jose are on the segment from Newark to San Jose. This route, currently single track, crosses the environmentally sensitive wetlands that border the south end of San Francisco Bay. En route across these wetlands, the line crosses a moveable bridge. While not frequently opened, the bridge will restrict operating speeds as long as the moveable rails are in place. With through freight operations and a short passenger train headway, it is unrealistic to expect this segment of the line to be operated with single track. Even with double track, it would have a constraining effect similar to that of the Martinez drawbridge on the Sacramento line. The solution costed for this study is a double tracked concrete bridge that rises just high enough to provide clearance on the water to eliminate the need for a moveable span. To maintain low gradients, this structure would total nearly four miles in length, but it would eliminate the need for additional permanent grading in the marsh. The length is dictated by keeping the gradient to a minimum of 0.4% to achieve a minimum 35 foot clearance over the water at the location of the former moveable span. An interlocking was assumed at the south end of the new alignment at Alviso to provide maximum operating flexibility.

In conversations with the Union Pacific, the railroad has stated a serious concern about the capacity of this segment to handle both the freight and passenger volumes anticipated. If capacity modeling should validate the railroad's statement, then other potential remedies might include upgrading the parallel Milpitas line as a freight relief route or leaving the present moveable bridge in place as a relief route to the new double-tracked bridge. Capacity analysis may also show that by moving service from the Oakland to Elmhurst line and the Hayward line to the former WP, that the improvement for through freight operation in those areas may help mitigate delay south of Newark. In any case, the Newark to San Jose segment would be among the most expensive in the electrified network. This analysis assumes that the electrification of the Caltrain Peninsula service would provide the electrification for the Bay Bridge trains from Santa Clara to San Jose.

Stations and Running Times
Where high speed rail (HSR) is shown in parenthesis under "Lines," it signifies that while high speed trains pass over this segment, they do not make the station stop shown in the "To Station" column. High speed trains providing the Capitol Corridor service are assumed to make all stops presently being made by Capitol Corridor trains between Oakland and Sacramento; new commuter rail stations are added for service by commuter trains only. On the Bay Bridge, maximum assumed train speed is approximately 50 mph; Transbay Terminal approach speeds to and from the Bridge are on the order of 15-20 mph due to grades and curvature.

FIGURE 2-10: "AGGRESSIVE" RAIL SYSTEM RUNNING TIMES

Lines

From Station

To Station

Distance (miles)

Time (minutes)

A, B, HSR

4th &Townsend

Transbay Tmnl.

1.6

5

A, B, (HSR)

Transbay Tmnl.

Yerba Buena

3.3

6

A, B, HSR

Yerba Buena

Oakland Harbor

3.7

6

A, HSR

Oakland Harbor

Emeryville

1.5

3

A, HSR

Emeryville

West Berkeley

2.0

4

A, HSR

West Berkeley

Richmond BART

5.8

8

A, (HSR)

Richmond BART

Hilltop/Point Pinole

4.1

6

A, (HSR)

Hilltop/Point Pinole

Hercules

4.7

7

A, HSR

Hercules

Martinez

10.9

17

A, (HSR)

Martinez

Benicia - I680

5.9

10

A, HSR

Benicia - I680

Suisun - Fairfield

(Terminal for commuter trains)

11.4

10

HSR

Suisun - Fairfield

Davis

26.7

22

HSR

Davis

Sacramento (Terminal for High Speed trains)

13.4

18

B

Oakland Harbor

16th Street

08

3

B

16th Street

Broadway

2.6

6

B

Broadway

Coliseum BART

4.7

7

B

Coliseum BART

Hayward BART

8.8

13

B

Hayward BART

Newark - Centerville

12.5

16

B

Newark - Centerville

Santa Clara - Great America

13.9

16

B

Santa Clara -

Great America

San Jose - Diridon

5.8

12

Rolling Stock Assumptions
In the aggressive Bay Bridge railroad alternative, both the EMU commuter rail and the high speed rail elements are present, but they are extended beyond the more immediate catchment area of the Central East Bay, as described in Working Paper 3A.1. To the north, "A" commuter trains coming from the Peninsula are routed through the Terminal, across the Bay Bridge, and north along the Capitol Corridor (Union Pacific mainline) to Martinez, with alternate trains extended to Benicia and Suisun-Fairfield. To the south, "B" commuter trains are extended through Oakland, and along the Union Pacific's ex-Western Pacific line to Niles Jct. (Fremont), then over the Centerville and Newark lines to Santa Clara and San Jose.

Capitol Corridor trains would be discontinued in their present form, and replaced by conventional speed but fast extensions of the California high speed trains, running on an hourly headway. Thus, Sacramento-to-San Jose service would operate via the Bay Bridge, the Transbay Terminal, SFO and the Peninsula. As it is assumed that high speed trains are running on a 30-minute headway overall, alternate high speed trains would terminate at Oakland Harbor Station.

It is estimated that this service pattern would require 13 EMU sets, or 78 married pairs inclusive of spares, and 5 Acela high speed trainsets.


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