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March 1988 - Page 37


RDC service to one round trip daily, in bound to Montreal as train 1 5 9 in the morning, returning from Montreal to Trois Rivieres as train 1 64 in the evening. One daily VIA bus connects Trois Ri vieres with Quebec City, leaving Trois Rivieres in the morning and Quebec City in the evening, so doesn't offer a through connection with the solitary RDC service.

breakthrough on this politically sensitive transit issue.
C ompton Freight Bypass OKed

the number planned at this time. In re gard to bodywork, the cars will be pat tcrned as closely as p ossible after Port l a n d ' s fa m i l i a r C o u n c i l C r e s t c a r s (double-truck, semi-convertible Brills, dating from the early 1 900s). The degree of "exactness" of the duplication work will be limited , to some extent , by the fact that the cars must use bow collectors (or pantographs) and have powered gates in t h e d o o r wa y s . " S e m i - n e w l y b u i l t , " means that it i s intended for the cars' running gear to be acquired used-for example, from Melbourne W2s or other cars-then new frames and bodies will be fitted . The cars will be double-ended. Council Crest car No. 506, which still has its original (narrow-gauge) trucks, is owned by the City of Portland and stored at Glenwood. This is the only Council Crest car besides the 503 to have been saved, so it will be used as the pattern for the new cars. After standard-gauge trucks have been acquired, new steel frames and floors will be fitted , then the wooden body and interior fi ttings of No. 506 will be duplicated as much as possible. The motors acquired will most likely have to be rewound for 750 volts d . c . As for cur rent collection, the intention at this time is to use bow collectors (rather than pan tographs), if at all possible. Car 506, it self, will not be used, since 80 to 90 per cent of the materials in it (including the trucks) would have to be replaced, ac cording to Tri-Met engineers. This alternative was selected mainly because ( 1 ) these cars will have a higher capacity than the single-truck Porto cars, and (2) it was found that rehabilitating old streetcars and making them compati ble with the platforms, signaling, and so on, of Tri-Met's LRT sytem would cost "virtually the same" as building new, pseudo-old cars. It was also felt that semi new cars will be more durable and reli able . And of course the Council Crest de sign has tremendous public appeal in Portland . It is also though t , probably cor rectly, that most users of this service will not be able to tell-or won't care-that the cars are not true vintage ones. The single-truck, ex-Porto Brills are owned by Portland businessmen Bill and Sam Naito. They should be able to sell them elsewhere, eventually, since there is clear ly a market for such cars in this country nowadays. Once again, the anticipated inaugura tion date of the service has been pushed back-this time by another full year. It is not expected to begin until at least late 1989. Realistically, this probably means it will not happen until at least spring 1 990. Initial operation will cover all summer weekends and holidays; any expansion beyond that will likely depend on rider ship and , therefore, not be implemented until after the service has run for a time , if at all. The vintage streetcar service will have its own carba rn , alongside (and partly unPACIFIC RailNEWS


TRANSIT
L ig ht Ro i l U pdate
by Herb Horton
S an Jose Opens

T he first segment of the Santa Clara County Light Rail Transit line opened amid festivities on Friday, Dec . 1 1 , 1 9 8 7 . There was an 1 1 a . m . VIP train, then free rides were given the balance of that day as well as on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1 2 1 3 . A n estimated 50 ,000 rode free o n a ten-minute headway over the weekend. Monday, Dec . 1 4 , was the first day of revenue service; most trains were rela tively empty. Two-car trains were operated on the 14th, but as of the next morning, all trains were cut to singles due to low rider ship. With a 50-car fleet and a six-car peak requirement, there had been talk of the Portland LR V system leasing several San Jose cars for a few years, to benefit both properties for now. The Santa Clara (Old Ironsides station) to San Jose (Youn ger station, north of downtown) segment now in service travels through sparse de velopment, mostly industrial and com mercial.
S acramento Cutback

C onstruction of a connection to divert freight traffic away from central Comp ton has been agreed to by that city and the L o s A ngeles County Tran sportation Commission, it was announced in No vember. The so-called "Mealy S t . diver sion" would carry freight tracks over Rosecrans Ave . on a $67 million bridge (Compton has pledged $ 1 0 . 5 million for this project). This would divert all S P freight activity to the original S P right-of-way along Ala meda S t . , while the one-time Pacific Elec tric route will be reserved for passenger rail service. Through SP freights present ly approach the harbor by way of Los Nietos and the former PE La Habra Branch , which connects with the old PE Long Beach line near Slauson and Alame da streets in South Los Angeles.
L ong Beach Line Progress

P ortions of the replacement line for S P freight trains are now in service as t h e first step toward construction of Long Beach light rail line tracks. The first portion of the new line that will be completed is between Willow S t . in Long Beach and t h e abuilding shop and yard complex at the Los Angeles Riv er, next to the Union Pacific line to the harbor. Subgrade and trackbed is now ready for track and overhead wire struc tures, and this segment will be used as a test track when cars begin arriving from Japan in 1 98 9 .

(Dick Stephenson , Art Wheeler)

S acramento's RT Metro light rail route has cut trains to singles during base peri od service, expanding to two- and three car trains during peak hours .

P ORTLAND L IGHT R AIL
Steve Morgan

L os A NGELES METRO

City Center Trolley Decision

Valley Light Rail On Hold

I f we had to summarize the status of light rail transit in the San Fernando Valley, it would be best portrayed as "shelved . " Loud and stiff opposition from one homeowners group or another has met every proposed route (at least five so far) , so it appears there will not be an early

O ver the past several months, the board of Vintage Trolley Inc.-the non-profit group set up to oversee the start-up of Tri-Met's vintage trolley service-has been studying the various options avail able for cars which could be used on the service, which will run on the LRT tracks between downtown Portland and Lloyd Center. Around the end of November, it was decided the service will use semi newly buil t , replica-old cars, instead of the single-truck, ex-Porto (Portugal) Brill cars which everyone had originally ex pected to be used. The available budget is estimated to be sufficient to build only two cars, so that is

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