YES! I support improving Caltrain and Regional Transit!
I support BayRail Alliance's efforts to promote a regional transit system by upgrading Caltrain and extending it to
downtown San Francisco, improving connections between buses, trains, and other transit modes, and establishing
a High Speed Rail system connecting the Bay Area and Southern California.
I am enclosing a contribution to help fund BayRail Alliance's programs.
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Coming in the future? Imagine a Caltrain with express trains
sprinting from San Jose to San Francisco in 45 minutes. Silicon
Valley to SFO in half an hour! No traffic!
Alongside the express trains, Caltrain will need new trains for
its local service. Since they'll serve all the towns that Caltrain serves
today, they should be
able to get people on and
off quickly, and run on a
much speedier schedule.
A similar service serves
most cities in Germany,
called the S-Bahn, for
"suburban" trains. Much
like a fusion of BART
service on Caltrain tracks,
the German S-Bahn runs
short, quick trains on a
very frequent schedule.
In Munich, they're deploying the
second generation of S-Bahn train, model
ET 423, built by Bombardier. The four-car
trains are articulated together into one long
unit, allowing people to move from one end of the train to the other
without opening one door. For boarding, the train is built low enough
that there are no steps needed. Also, many doors let people quickly
Gallery of Advanced Trains
a Model for Caltrain to Follow
By Michael Kiesling, www.arch21.org
move on and off the train, even with bikes. Wheelchair users can
activate a small ramp which automatically extends from any door.
On the train, there are many flip-up seats to make room for
bikes and wheelchairs. The automated announcements are in German
and English, and electronic signs in the cars display the name of the
next station. A glass wall is all that separates the passengers from
the driver, allowing people to see
the tracks ahead.
The trains are also swift,
with very quick acceleration, and
a top speed of about 90mph.
They're very energy efficient at
the same time, even recycling
their own heat to warm the
passengers. And because
they're electrically powered, with
small motors distributed the
entire length of the train, they are very quiet,
inside and out. They serve their passengers
well, and are good neighbors to the people
along the railway.
With forward thinking and continual
passenger advocacy, we can look forward to the day when Caltrain
carries its passengers on pleasant and modern equipment like that
running throughout Germany today.