Capdiamont\’s Weblog

SMART DMUs will be delivered next year
Monday 20 Feb 2012, 05:16
Filed under: Marin, Novato, Railroad, Santa Rosa, SMART, Sonoma, transit

Santa Rosa Press Democrat

The cars have passed the crash test for use with freight(NCRA/NWP). The shells were and are built in Japan. Over sixty percent of the work will be done in Illinois. Then they will be transported over the rail network to be delivered by NWP. These cars and the new petaluma bridge will generate additional revenue for NWP/NCRA.

The new Haystack bridge in Petaluma was bought from Texas. SMART did a smart move with buying that bridge. Train speeds will be higher, the channel will be wider, and will save about thirty million over the long haul. Barge operators will be happier with the wider channel.

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SMART to have computer aided control
Sunday 22 Jan 2012, 08:53
Filed under: Marin, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Novato, Railroad, Santa Rosa, SMART, Sonoma, transit

SMART system to depend on computer-aided routing

Also using GPS to aid in location biased control

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SMART continues to gain steam
Saturday 7 Jan 2012, 07:22
Filed under: Marin, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad, Santa Rosa, SMART, Sonoma, transit

Despite sales tax and criticism SMART continues to gain, making it as good a project as it can be with the funds they have.

A long process allowed the moving of the Rohnert Park station to a more desired location to bring more riders on board. Because of the density of the new location, that allowed another station in Novato to be built adding riders.

Many financial companies looked at the books. They decided the financial outlook was good. The only problem with the bonds seems there wasn’t enough for everybody to buy.

Construction has been signed, for two million less than expected for more stations than expected. Smart was able to add in a busy northern Santa Rosa station at Guerneville Road and redoing the Novato bridge.

Ridership is expected to be 80% with this segment vs the whole line.

I do intend to ride it when I can.

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SRPD: Freight trains to return to North Bay on Wednesday

Freight trains could roll on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad in Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties today after the Novato City Council late Tuesday agreed to revise a legal settlement that sets guidelines for trains running through the city.

Two council members voted against the proposed changes in the settlement, saying they were worried about the impacts of train traffic.

SMART-EcoOdyssey Santa Rosa Excursion
Saturday 16 Apr 2011, 07:52
Filed under: Marin, NCRA, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Novato, Petaluma, Railroad, Santa Rosa, SMART, Sonoma

MOW is pleased to announce our first motorcar excursion on the newly
renovated ex NWP rails since they were bought by SMART (Sonoma Marin Area
Rail Transit). This is also a very special excursion in support of
“eco-tourism” in Sonoma and Marin counties. EcoRing is a non-profit
organization which is organizing this “EcoOdyssey” event to promote tourism
using alternatives to cars for transportation. Since SMART is not in service
yet EcoRing asked if we could provide rail transportation for this event. We
will have guests joining us from the railroad, local and state politicians
and dignitaries, and members of the press who support rail transportation.

May 6 Set-on, Santa Rosa to Healdsburg and return to Santa Rosa. May 7,
Santa Rosa to Petaluma and Navato and return and set-off. Limit 25 cars each
day. $40 for both days, $15 for May 6 only, $25 for May 7.

This is supported by the Motorcar Operators West, a wonderful group of speeder enthusiasts. Done using a group of speeders. The kind environmentalists threw a fit up here about. Down there, they are eco-transportation.

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SRPD: Santa Rosa’s Handcar Regatta to charge for first time
Sunday 10 Apr 2011, 10:14
Filed under: NCRA, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad, Santa Rosa, SMART, Sonoma

Producers of the Great West End & Railroad Square Handcar Regatta, scheduled for its fourth incarnation in Santa Rosa this fall, will charge admission this year for the first time.

Good luck to you all, and I hope you have another great year! Twelve to fifteen thousand people attended the event last year.

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THA gets Santa Rosa passenger cars, and other railroad news
Sunday 18 Apr 2010, 09:54
Filed under: Fortuna, Humboldt, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad, Samoa, Santa Rosa, SMART, Sonoma, THA

Besides the five passengers we are getting from Portola, looks like we are getting the NWP Passenger cars sitting next to the Santa Rosa depot.

The dining car is the most restored of the group. It does have thin
wheels. The parlor car is fairly well along in the restoration.
Mechanically, is looks pretty good. The business car needs more interior
wood work restoration. The business car and parlor car are made from NWP
harriman coaches. The diner is a six axle heavyweight car, from SP
subsidiary. There is also a six axle Santa FE former tourist sleeper that
was in work train service. The interior has been sand blasted and primed.
It is similar to our Inside Track car stored at Calif Redwood on US 101.
There is also a wooden Fruit Growers Express refrig car, full of wood and
items from the cars. There is also some rail and ties.

As steps has been removed from 4 of 5 passenger cars in Portola. The remaining one is welded on. The speeder trailer, is coming along nicely. Brake test done and decking being installed.

EDIT: The dinner seemed to go pretty well last night with a pair of NWP books going over $400.

Innovative surveying work was done for SMART

Amberg Technologies’ (Regensdorf, Switzerland) rail and tunnel solutions are well established in Europe and Asia, but are just being introduced to the United States. Dickey asked the Kara Company, Inc. (Countryside, IL), Amberg’s U.S. distributor, to demonstrate the system, which is based on a three-wheeled instrument that rides along rails. The GRP is equipped with extremely precise sensors that continuously measure track gauge and super-elevation, as well as an odometer for relative stationing. The horizontal and vertical alignment of the track is established by streaming position data (N, E, Z) to the GRP from either a Leica robotic total station or RTK GPS. All of the data are simultaneously managed in the onboard Amberg Rail software. In practice, the GRP is pushed along the track and in a single process, provides all track information. Depending on how it is configured, the GRP System FX can also be used for real-time track adjustment in slab track construction (used in high-speed and light rail projects), tamping surveys for ballasted tracks, real-time clearance analysis and 3D mobile laser scanning. (See sidebar)

“The Kara Company provided training for the system”, says Dickey. “We trained four people–two field guys and two office guys–which took about a week. Once we learned the software, the field work went very efficiently.”

For this project, the GRP’s horizontal and vertical positioning was provided by RTK GPS. A Leica GX1230 receiver was connected via cellular modem to the California Surveying Virtual Survey Network (CSVSN). The CSVSN covered the SMART corridor and allowed CPI to start work each morning without setting up a base station or stopping every few miles to move the base station forward.

The only GRP-specific setup needed was a daily calibration of the cant sensor, which measures the super-elevation of the track. The calibration takes only a couple of minutes and works much like checking any level: the GRP is set on the track, a measurement is taken, then the GRP is turned the opposite direction (one person can do this) and a new measurement is taken and automatically evaluated by the onboard software.

Although the GRP only requires one person to operate, a two-man crew was used on this project for safety reasons. CPI had estimated that the time required to complete this survey with traditional methods would have been three months. The GRP enabled CPI to cover five to nine miles a day and complete the fieldwork for the entire 60-mile corridor survey in just under two weeks.

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