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Author Topic: CRC Revival?  (Read 27494 times)

Bruce

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #50 on: November 20, 2018, 10:20:19 PM »

A nonprofit group is calling for ferry service between Vancouver and Portland.

https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2018/11/ferry-between-portland-and-vancouver-backers-call-for-public-funding-courage.html

17 miles (38 minutes) by boat, versus 9 miles (?? minutes) on I-5.

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #51 on: November 20, 2018, 10:38:10 PM »

Last time I drove from downtown Portland to the WA state line, I think it took about 45 minutes or more. Sounds like a decent plan to me.

A ferry link between the Expo MAX station and the proposed Vancouver terminal might be a consideration as well, especially for those interested in going somewhere other than downtown.
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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2018, 12:23:58 AM »

500 cars? For say best case senerio, that's 2000 cars total out of about 140,000. I wouldn't mind seeing a ferry, but it shouldn't be a subsitute for a CRC. Not to mention how they will put a terminal in Waterfront park, and suddenly, there is the NIMBY factor exists. Would I like to see it, yes, but it needs to be a better plan.

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Sub-Urbanite

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2018, 02:18:11 PM »

Just going to throw out there that it's 10 miles from downtown Portland to downtown Vancouver via BNSF. If you could actually get a train to run 60 mph – which doesn't seem like that much of an ask! – for that length, that's a 10 minute trip.
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sparker

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #54 on: November 21, 2018, 03:31:49 PM »

Just going to throw out there that it's 10 miles from downtown Portland to downtown Vancouver via BNSF. If you could actually get a train to run 60 mph – which doesn't seem like that much of an ask! – for that length, that's a 10 minute trip.

Not really -- reduced (yard limit) speeds within and just north of Union Station; a sharp curve leading to the Willamette River bridge, and reduced speed across both drawbridges (Willamette & Columbia); the Vancouver depot is immediately north of the bridge and wedged into the wye that takes trains north to Kelso and Seattle or east up the north bank of the Columbia River.  The only "open" straight stretch of track is between the bridges through a trench in the St. John section of Portland; but there's a major junction where the UP line merges a couple of miles south of the Columbia River bridge.  I've been on that line taking Amtrak several times, and it takes about 20-25 minutes to go between stations (assuming the drawbridges are down!). 
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Bruce

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #55 on: November 21, 2018, 08:50:53 PM »

Just going to throw out there that it's 10 miles from downtown Portland to downtown Vancouver via BNSF. If you could actually get a train to run 60 mph – which doesn't seem like that much of an ask! – for that length, that's a 10 minute trip.

BNSF is not going to approve commuter rail runs, especially over one of its chokepoints. Not unless you throw a ludicrous amount of money for those slots (which is what Seattle has to do in order to buy more commuter rail trips).

Sub-Urbanite

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #56 on: November 21, 2018, 11:03:26 PM »

Just going to throw out there that it's 10 miles from downtown Portland to downtown Vancouver via BNSF. If you could actually get a train to run 60 mph – which doesn't seem like that much of an ask! – for that length, that's a 10 minute trip.

BNSF is not going to approve commuter rail runs, especially over one of its chokepoints. Not unless you throw a ludicrous amount of money for those slots (which is what Seattle has to do in order to buy more commuter rail trips).

Sure, this is blue-sky thinking… but anyone who's dealt with railroads knows that it's all a matter of negotiations. Inevitably there's something BNSF wants and would be willing to trade it.
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sparker

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #57 on: November 21, 2018, 11:38:41 PM »

Just going to throw out there that it's 10 miles from downtown Portland to downtown Vancouver via BNSF. If you could actually get a train to run 60 mph – which doesn't seem like that much of an ask! – for that length, that's a 10 minute trip.

BNSF is not going to approve commuter rail runs, especially over one of its chokepoints. Not unless you throw a ludicrous amount of money for those slots (which is what Seattle has to do in order to buy more commuter rail trips).

OK, another actually:  Except for the section between Union Station and Vancouver, all of the PDX-area trackage belongs to either UP or regional Portland & Western (except for the municipally owned Steel Bridge & approaches trackage, which is owned by the Port of Portland).  Most BNSF freight traffic from the east turns north at Vancouver (around the non-passenger side of the wye), where there is a major terminating yard, particularly the most common stuff -- Asia-bound grain shipments, which head up to either the Port of Kalama or all the way up to Tacoma, or container traffic, mostly bound for Tacoma and Seattle (BNSF uses the Columbia River route, although longer, to avoid the Cascade Tunnel chokepoint; most Seattle-bound or originating containers use that tunnel under Stevens Pass, while Tacoma container trains (which comprise about two-thirds of the total container cargo) are split about evenly between the northern Cascade and the southern Columbia routings.  The Columbia route also has the advantage of fewer and much more benign grades.  On the Portland side of the river, the port facilities are primarily served by UP, whose tracks lie on the Oregon side.  The primary freight traffic using the Columbia River bridge is comprised of UP "run-throughs" to their relatively small Seattle facility (UP has trackage rights on BNSF as far north as Centralia, where they access their ex-Milwaukee tracks into Seattle); these are only one or two in each direction daily.  BNSF traffic usually comes from their ex SP&S line downriver toward Astoria (it used to go all the way into that town, but now terminates at a lumber facility about 10 miles east along US 30); usually one train a day of forest products; also, there are transfer runs to the UP "Brooklyn" yard SE of downtown PDX for freight heading south toward California.  UP doesn't use BNSF's St. John trench; they have their own mile-long tunnel under North Portland to access their main yard on the east bank of the Willamette north of the Steel Bridge.  So the BNSF line over the rivers from Portland to Vancouver is hardly a major freight chokepoint -- but, as Bruce states, they have become quite accustomed to "cashing in" on allowing commute traffic to use their rails.

Because of Seattle's topology there are relatively few useful rail lines in and around that area that lend themselves readily to commute purposes (Lake Washington is a formidable obstacle to any efficiencies regarding a E-W regional commute), and except for the Puget-hugging BNSF line, limited practical ways for a rail line to head north (the old NP line through the U of W campus and heading through Kenmore was pulled up in the early '80's; local NIMBY sentiments were largely responsible for that loss).  Essentially, BNSF, at about 80% of the total trackage game, has Seattle at a disadvantage -- their predecessors (NP & GN) got there well before the population boom and secured the major points of egress.   OTOH, Portland is relatively wide-open; originally served by 3 major railroads (UP, SP and NP/GN subsidiary SP&S), they effectively split all the available egress points.  From what I've heard (and locals can and should chime in about this) there's a rudimentary rail (not LR) commute system connecting Portland, Lake Oswego, Tigard, and Beaverton, using tracks that snake through various valleys to circumvent the West Hills.  These tracks are mostly owned by P&W, a regional freight hauler much more open to the commute concept (hell, they let Doyle McCormack, the locomotive restorer responsible for the SP Daylight and other historic steam, run excursions over their tracks on a regular basis).  But UP hasn't acceded to any commute entreaties to date besides what's currently provided under the Amtrak aegis -- they, more than BNSF, are the party that has kept commute rail from being deployed south and east of town.  And unlike the Caltrain service in the Bay Area and much of Metrolink in greater L.A., where the operating agency owns much of the trackage as well, neither UP nor BNSF has any intention of selling any of its tracks to any public agency.  But historically BNSF has been more open to commute rail operations over its tracks (if compensation can be arranged) than has UP (although the latter grudgingly does allow Metrolink to run its Riverside line over their freight corridor).  UP is notoriously hard-nosed about its dealings with the outside world; the chances of Portland-area "heavy rail" commute service expanding beyond its present state are slim indeed.     
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Bruce

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #58 on: November 21, 2018, 11:42:36 PM »

There is a commuter rail service (WES) that connects Beaverton to Tigard and is meant to feed the MAX lines. It has awful ridership numbers and was pretty much a waste. I imagine once the new MAX line to the Southwest area is built, it might be abandoned entirely.

Sub-Urbanite

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #59 on: November 22, 2018, 01:46:58 PM »

There is a commuter rail service (WES) that connects Beaverton to Tigard and is meant to feed the MAX lines. It has awful ridership numbers and was pretty much a waste. I imagine once the new MAX line to the Southwest area is built, it might be abandoned entirely.

I guess I'd take umbrage with the idea that WES was a waste. It cost $166 million, which is pretty inexpensive for a mass transit project. WES' problems are its long headways (30 minutes if you miss your train) and short hours (5-9 am, 3-7 pm).
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Hurricane Rex

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #60 on: November 22, 2018, 02:44:07 PM »

There is a commuter rail service (WES) that connects Beaverton to Tigard and is meant to feed the MAX lines. It has awful ridership numbers and was pretty much a waste. I imagine once the new MAX line to the Southwest area is built, it might be abandoned entirely.
There were plans to expand it to Salem at one time, but it was abandoned to low ridership. If the SW corridor is built, I don't think they'll get rid of it yet, as their defence would likely be a connector from Tigard to Beaverton.

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nexus73

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #61 on: November 22, 2018, 06:37:42 PM »

There is a commuter rail service (WES) that connects Beaverton to Tigard and is meant to feed the MAX lines. It has awful ridership numbers and was pretty much a waste. I imagine once the new MAX line to the Southwest area is built, it might be abandoned entirely.

I guess I'd take umbrage with the idea that WES was a waste. It cost $166 million, which is pretty inexpensive for a mass transit project. WES' problems are its long headways (30 minutes if you miss your train) and short hours (5-9 am, 3-7 pm).

Restricting time means restricting ridership.  Anyone who has ever driven in SW suburban PDX knows what a congested mess it is. 

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Bickendan

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #62 on: November 22, 2018, 07:27:35 PM »

IIRC the restricted times are a result of the shared right of way with the local railroad.
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Sub-Urbanite

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #63 on: November 22, 2018, 10:46:58 PM »

IIRC the restricted times are a result of the shared right of way with the local railroad.

Yes, which is why it's still being considered as a possible future transit project (assuming Portland actually builds any more transit projects), possibly including changing to light rail.
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Tarkus

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #64 on: November 24, 2018, 06:27:45 AM »

IIRC the restricted times are a result of the shared right of way with the local railroad.

Yes, which is why it's still being considered as a possible future transit project (assuming Portland actually builds any more transit projects), possibly including changing to light rail.

Frankly, I don't know why they didn't consider a WES-to-MAX conversion as the way to get light rail down to Bridgeport Village--it'd be a heck of a lot cheaper, and probably have faster service times to boot.  Of course, TriMet and the powers that be are still obsessed with their ridiculous "wheel-and-spoke" philosophy toward laying out the MAX, and running everything through that downtown chokepoint.
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Hurricane Rex

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #65 on: November 24, 2018, 03:02:55 PM »

IIRC the restricted times are a result of the shared right of way with the local railroad.

Yes, which is why it's still being considered as a possible future transit project (assuming Portland actually builds any more transit projects), possibly including changing to light rail.

Frankly, I don't know why they didn't consider a WES-to-MAX conversion as the way to get light rail down to Bridgeport Village--it'd be a heck of a lot cheaper, and probably have faster service times to boot.  Of course, TriMet and the powers that be are still obsessed with their ridiculous "wheel-and-spoke" philosophy toward laying out the MAX, and running everything through that downtown chokepoint.
What baffles me more is them not considering a downtown tunnel(s) for the max to make it more high speed. Also, those trains are designed for 65 yet the maximum they can go on the system is 55.

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Bruce

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #66 on: November 24, 2018, 06:39:27 PM »

IIRC the restricted times are a result of the shared right of way with the local railroad.

Yes, which is why it's still being considered as a possible future transit project (assuming Portland actually builds any more transit projects), possibly including changing to light rail.

Frankly, I don't know why they didn't consider a WES-to-MAX conversion as the way to get light rail down to Bridgeport Village--it'd be a heck of a lot cheaper, and probably have faster service times to boot.  Of course, TriMet and the powers that be are still obsessed with their ridiculous "wheel-and-spoke" philosophy toward laying out the MAX, and running everything through that downtown chokepoint.

It makes too much sense. This is the one place where a branch wouldn't affect overall frequency and could be a decent one-seat ride from terminal to downtown.

What baffles me more is them not considering a downtown tunnel(s) for the max to make it more high speed. Also, those trains are designed for 65 yet the maximum they can go on the system is 55.

Portland is not going to like the sound of a $3 billion tunnel that will disrupt downtown streets for a few years. No matter how it's built, a downtown tunnel is going to be a hard sell.

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #67 on: November 25, 2018, 03:08:24 AM »

IIRC the restricted times are a result of the shared right of way with the local railroad.

Yes, which is why it's still being considered as a possible future transit project (assuming Portland actually builds any more transit projects), possibly including changing to light rail.

Frankly, I don't know why they didn't consider a WES-to-MAX conversion as the way to get light rail down to Bridgeport Village--it'd be a heck of a lot cheaper, and probably have faster service times to boot.  Of course, TriMet and the powers that be are still obsessed with their ridiculous "wheel-and-spoke" philosophy toward laying out the MAX, and running everything through that downtown chokepoint.

It makes too much sense. This is the one place where a branch wouldn't affect overall frequency and could be a decent one-seat ride from terminal to downtown.

What baffles me more is them not considering a downtown tunnel(s) for the max to make it more high speed. Also, those trains are designed for 65 yet the maximum they can go on the system is 55.

Portland is not going to like the sound of a $3 billion tunnel that will disrupt downtown streets for a few years. No matter how it's built, a downtown tunnel is going to be a hard sell.
How long did the Seattle Transit tunnel take to get built and how disruptive was it?
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Bruce

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #68 on: November 25, 2018, 04:42:29 PM »

About three years with stations being excavated from the surface (for cut-and-cover) and the sections in between bored with a pair of TBMs. The Westlake/Pine section was all cut-and-cover, and was hugely disruptive (but the retail area recovered, and there were temporary backfills during the Holiday shopping season). 3rd Avenue didn't quite recover, and remains a pretty dead zone outside of office hours. The addition of Benaroya Hall did help a little, though.

sparker

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #69 on: November 25, 2018, 09:09:16 PM »

^^^^^^^^^
Considering the shit that MAX had to go through in the mid-90's when constructing the West Hills tunnel, they'd likely be a bit gun-shy regarding any more large-scale excavation -- considering that it would have to rise to the surface somewhere near the Steel Bridge unless ambitions were to tunnel under the Willamette -- which, IIRC, has never been seriously proposed.  Since TriMet has openly promoted the transit system as enhancing the economic ambitions of downtown, the concept of bypassing downtown businesses and attractions via a tunnel might not be considered to be conducive to this notion. 
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Bickendan

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #70 on: November 26, 2018, 01:38:52 AM »

There was a proposal and recommendation to tunnel I-5 under the river when Vera Katz ordered a study to remove the Eastbank Freeway to 'restore' access to the east shore (never was public access; it was industrial buildup prior to I-5's construction). The study concluded that the I-5/405 loop was too integral to Portland's economy, but that it was inadequate, and that the choices boiled down to leaving it as is, turning it into a giant traffic circle, or burying I-5 under the river and the Eastside Industrial District, ripping up the Eastbank (but leaving the Marquam Bridge for local uses).
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #71 on: November 26, 2018, 01:48:04 AM »

Never been to Portland, but is the city not getting to the point where HRT should be looked at or at least studied?
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Bruce

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #72 on: November 26, 2018, 02:14:33 AM »

Never been to Portland, but is the city not getting to the point where HRT should be looked at or at least studied?

Portland is way, way too small of a metro area to try and tackle a heavy rail subway system. Why bother, with the higher costs and the appearance of less flexibility.

Any new subway is going to be a souped-up light rail like what Seattle is building out. Mostly grade-separated, but using stock LRT cars and with a few grade crossings where deemed necessary. It's cost-efficient, doesn't really impact capacity for cities that aren't large enough to fill so many subway cars, and can be used creatively to make stations easier to access.

sparker

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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #73 on: November 26, 2018, 05:43:23 AM »

There was a proposal and recommendation to tunnel I-5 under the river when Vera Katz ordered a study to remove the Eastbank Freeway to 'restore' access to the east shore (never was public access; it was industrial buildup prior to I-5's construction). The study concluded that the I-5/405 loop was too integral to Portland's economy, but that it was inadequate, and that the choices boiled down to leaving it as is, turning it into a giant traffic circle, or burying I-5 under the river and the Eastside Industrial District, ripping up the Eastbank (but leaving the Marquam Bridge for local uses).

With sections of 2+2 freeway on both halves of the "loop", inadequate doesn't even begin to describe the scenario here.  Barely enough for local traffic; when through I-5 traffic is added to the mix -- even split between east and west alternates -- it produces congestion even in off-peak hours.  At both a.m. and p.m. commute times, it's gridlock central (injecting I-84 and US 26 traffic sure doesn't help).  At least the former signage on I-5 north down at the I-205 split at Wilsonville tried to persuade through traffic to shift to the east bypass; it seems the current signage doesn't do so, for reasons only known to ODOT (maybe TriMet started getting complaints about traffic noise/exhaust fumes/etc. from West Linn residents and decided to downplay I-205 as the through route of choice!). :rolleyes: 
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Re: CRC Revival?
« Reply #74 on: November 26, 2018, 06:28:46 AM »

There was a proposal and recommendation to tunnel I-5 under the river when Vera Katz ordered a study to remove the Eastbank Freeway to 'restore' access to the east shore (never was public access; it was industrial buildup prior to I-5's construction). The study concluded that the I-5/405 loop was too integral to Portland's economy, but that it was inadequate, and that the choices boiled down to leaving it as is, turning it into a giant traffic circle, or burying I-5 under the river and the Eastside Industrial District, ripping up the Eastbank (but leaving the Marquam Bridge for local uses).

With sections of 2+2 freeway on both halves of the "loop", inadequate doesn't even begin to describe the scenario here.  Barely enough for local traffic; when through I-5 traffic is added to the mix -- even split between east and west alternates -- it produces congestion even in off-peak hours.  At both a.m. and p.m. commute times, it's gridlock central (injecting I-84 and US 26 traffic sure doesn't help).  At least the former signage on I-5 north down at the I-205 split at Wilsonville tried to persuade through traffic to shift to the east bypass; it seems the current signage doesn't do so, for reasons only known to ODOT (maybe TriMet started getting complaints about traffic noise/exhaust fumes/etc. from West Linn residents and decided to downplay I-205 as the through route of choice!). :rolleyes: 
I-205's 2+2 segments on the north and south ends don't help, nor does the continual congestion from Johnson Creek to Airport Way.
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