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SMART news
Wednesday 7 Jan 2009, 11:40
Filed under: Marin, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, SMART, Sonoma

MIJ: 2009 may bring transit funding to local projects.

The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit agency, which received voter approval in November for a sales tax measure to finance a passenger train, is asking for $150 million from the feds, the biggest-ticket item being $70 million for the rehabilitation of 70 miles of track from Larkspur to Cloverdale. Another $12 million would be used for tracks inside the Cal Park Hill Tunnel, $30 million for a bridge over the Petaluma River and $6 million for a bridge over Novato Creek.

The sales tax passed by voters and other funds have been identified to do the SMART work, but federal dollars could speed work and get trains running as soon as 2012. Service is now set to start in 2014.

“It would allow us to move service up,” said Chris Coursey, SMART spokesman.


– SMART track rehabilitation: $70 million

– SMART Cal Park Hill Tunnel, new tracks: $12 million

As previously reported here.
SR PD: Railroad car company stops production but SMART trains on track

The Colorado manufacturer of the passenger railcars initially chosen by transit planners for the Sonoma-Marin commute train service has gone out of business.

Colorado Railcars, the only U.S. maker of passenger cars to meet federal crash specifications, shut down its Fort Lupton, Colo., manufacturing plant on Dec. 23.


The closure may have little effect on SMART, which can choose to run lighter, European-style, diesel-powered railcars instead.

If it chooses to stay with the heavier cars, however, Siemens Transportation Inc. of Germany is planning to develop and build such cars at its Sacramento plant, filling the void left by Colorado Railcar.

“It is part of our growth strategy and product development plan, we clearly see a niche market,” said Frank Guzzo, business development director in Sacramento. “We are in the development stage.”

Since passing a quarter-cent sales tax in Sonoma and Marin counties in November, SMART is now looking to start Cloverdale-to-Larkspur service in 2014.

SMART is planning to issue requests for proposals for its rail cars within the next two months and award a purchase contract next year.

MIJ: SMART must find new builder for rail cars

They missed that Siemens is looking at producing the same style of cars, allowing the same mixing with freight.

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