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Welcome to the Impossible! – Pomona, Calif.

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Welcome to the Impossible! – Pomona, Calif.
Posted by croteaudd on Friday, October 13, 2023 2:26 PM
Heavy rail Metrolink runs from downtown Los Angeles, El Monte, Pomona, to finally San Bernardino.  Light rail under catenary runs from Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Azusa, and further under construction to Glendora and finally Pomona.  (Pomona to Montclair paralleling Metrolink at this point is still reportedly pending funding.)
 
THE IMPOSSIBLE?  In 2025 when the line through Glendora to Pomona is finally put in service, a huge dilemma will face riders of the two parallel routes at this point.  The light rail line will have a very cheap fare while the heavy rail will have a very high fare!  What do you think will result?
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Posted by zugmann on Friday, October 13, 2023 4:42 PM

croteaudd
The light rail line will have a very cheap fare while the heavy rail will have a very high fare!  What do you think will result?

You can take Septa/NJT  (Trenton shuffle) from Philly to NY, but many still prefer to take Amtrak, so.....

Are people wanting to pay a little more for a fast ride in nicer seats, or pay less for a slower ride* in a glorified bus?  

 

*- I'm assuming the LRVs will go slower. 

  

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer, any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, October 14, 2023 9:52 AM

I would assume that the light rail route would draw more local passengers while Metrolink would be more oriented to passengers going all the way to LAUPT.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, October 15, 2023 2:22 AM

Don't expect the flat-fare light-rail fare-structure to continue.

Similar situations exist in the Chicago and New  York City area with regard to rapid transit and commuter railroads.

But on Transit, one may be forced to stand, and  there  are multiple stops.  On the commuter a railroad, a seat is usually assured, and the trsvel time cut considerably, with fewer stops.

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Posted by jmonier on Sunday, October 15, 2023 7:23 AM

The light rail has many more stops than heavy rail so the transit time will be greater.  It currently takes the same time from Azuza to Union Station as heavy rail takes from Pomona.  Thus I would expect it to be something like 30 minutes more from Pomona.  That's 1 hour lost out of every day.  For many people, the extra fare for heavy rail would be a no brainer!

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Posted by croteaudd on Sunday, October 15, 2023 4:15 PM

Replies:

CSSHEGEWISCH:

Your ‘assumption’ is quite logical and makes much sense.  But the actual area users see it differently.  Several years ago, there was much press coverage and controversy about when the two routes finally construction meet in Pomona, some of it made sense and some not, but back then a frantic desperation could be sensed from the San Bernardino County clan and governing entity, they even suggested heavy rail Metrolink San Bernardino-Pomona trains be replaced by light-rail vehicles!  They simply could see the writing on the wall!  The true logicalness of this thread is seen in that several years ago the press reported many Metrolink riders boarding in San Bernardino County would westbound get off in Covina in Los Angeles County and carpool up to Azusa, and then take the cheap-fair light rail to Los Angeles!  And, of course, the reverse for the rides home.  That should help you, CSSHEGEWISCH, clearly see why this thread was started and the odd awareness it brings.  Even though the powers that be were told that without a solution, to them, getting big Federal funds into the area was the overriding objective.  

BOTH daveklepper and jmonier: 

The two routes from Pomona to Los Angeles under discussion have odd quirks about them.  The light rail via Pasadena is like an upside down backwards “L” and thus is not a direct A to B route.  The heavy rail via El Monte also is not a direct route and made up both commuter and freight lines of the old Pacific Electric, and thus kind of has a zigzagging appearance.  Both situations consume extra running time!

As noted in this thread’s title, overall, it is an impossible situation, with high fares vs. low fares, and incompatible running equipment.  A possible solution is to convert the whole Metrolink San Bernardino Line to light rail, with a restroom stop midway (Pomona?) where passengers would also change what they are riding on AND route use the I-10 Freeway route (single track) and UP’s (ex-SP’s) line through the walled San Gabriel trench!  That trench is three tracks wide, so such a solution is possible. 

It will be incredibly interesting to see what miracles politicians perform!

 

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Posted by jmonier on Monday, October 16, 2023 7:24 AM

croteaudd
BOTH daveklepper and jmonier: The two routes from Pomona to Los Angeles under discussion have odd quirks about them. The light rail via Pasadena is like an upside down backwards “L” and thus is not a direct A to B route. The heavy rail via El Monte also is not a direct route and made up both commuter and freight lines of the old Pacific Electric, and thus kind of has a zigzagging appearance. Both situations consume extra running time!

What does this have to do with my post??

I quoted times from the existing schedules which (of course) are on the existing routes no matter how crazy they are.  The point was that Metrolink is faster.  Time is money, at least to some people, thus that has to be considered when comparing the two routes and their fares.

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Posted by croteaudd on Monday, October 16, 2023 5:40 PM
jmonier:
 
Yes, I agree that ‘time is money.’  But in the cases under discussion, the money with the Metrolink rides is negative, and extremely so!

Your post got involved because it very nicely showed that the present 20-25 minute difference in running time between the two routes is, I don’t believe, worth the extreme difference in fares, and perhaps the riding public senses that too.  I suppose it is just another the rich vs. the poor situation.  The Metrolink clan in San Bernardo Country decerned that very early on and basically freaked out, and justifiably so! 

mdw
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Posted by mdw on Monday, October 16, 2023 10:24 PM

Probably no real effect. Metrolink from those joint stations will be much faster to Downtown LA.  Taking the L line to Downtown is slower because of the many stops between Pomona and Downtown because of the path through the Foothill cities and Pasadena

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, October 17, 2023 10:13 AM

These two are different services, with different perceived ridership requirements, and very different (political) subsidy arrangements.

Much of the Gold Line is adaptive reuse of a previous Amtrak route, including the single-track 'trench' alluded to above.  (One of the great steam videos is of 3751 at speed there!)  As we have often discussed about the longer-distance Amtrak LD trains in other threads, the 'ridership' on these is not intended to be primarily, or even substantially, 'end-to-end' (I think we can all agree that sleeper traffic or reserved-club/parlor car service will not characterize either service in the indefinite future!) with most of the traffic being in between the 'local' points, or as either directional or counterflow commuter 'feeding' between various multiple points and the main center of Los Angeles.  Obviously these are radically different for most of the served areas -- all that has been added with the 'extension' of the Gold Line to Pomona are some additional route options.

In theory, I could cross the river from Philadelphia and transfer in Camden to the Light Rail diesel multiple-unit service that goes... eventually... to Trenton, instead of riding SEPTA for a bunch of stops, or Amtrak more quickly.  It is nice to have the choice, in principle, especially if the DMU is cheap enough, and my schedule relaxed enough, and my patience good enough, to suffer making the trip that way.  Likewise, I could take the train north to Newark, get off, and totter over to 33rd St in Manhattan -- very, very eventually -- on PATH, as opposed to zipping into NYP and walking a couple of blocks down and over.  (I have never actually done that except as a railfan, but here again the idea is all the stops between Newark and 33rd in places the NEC doesn't go near).

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, October 17, 2023 12:06 PM

Except that if you want to get to 33rd Street from Newark, you're going to have to change trains at Journal Square.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, October 17, 2023 2:57 PM

Yeah, and to go to Trenton you'd have to change from the Lindenwold line to the diesel light rail.  Just another little cost to save the money...

Look as it as getting 'two rides a day out of it'... but only having to go one way!

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Posted by croteaudd on Tuesday, October 17, 2023 6:03 PM
Replies:
 
Hi, mdw!
 
You are a little behind times, like I was some months ago!
 
The “A” Line (ex-Blue) now runs from Long Beach all the way to Azusa, and the eastern section is no longer called the “L” Line, ex-Gold Line.  That has all been made possible because of the opening of the Regional Connector in downtown Los Angeles on June 16, an underground subway-like trackage that is a wonder for the area!
 
With the official name of “Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority” for that authority the “old” Gold Line extension name is becoming obsolete, as the “A” Line name becomes fully entrenched in people’s mind, the construction authority’s name will soon start taking on a confusing, bewildering mysteriousness all its own.
 
In 2025, when the Glendora to Pomona light rail section finally opens, it will be most fascinating to see if westbound Metrolink’s have a mass exiting of passengers at Pomona to ride the way cheaper Metro to Los Angeles via Pasadena.
 
To Everyone, a Slight Bit Off Topic:
 
Coaster in San Diego County is scaling back operations (and the rummer is that two of the four NEW Siemens locomotives may be put up for sale); and the Riverside County Transportation Commission on Metrolink’s Perris Valley Line is or will soon two-track much of the line along the I-215 Freeway.  The latter news is super strange, especially since ridership Perris to Riverside is super poor!  The talk is that there would be hourly or half hour service!  Hey, I wonder when that new trackage opens, if everybody there would be allowed to ride FREE for two years!  With such, people would miraculously come out of nowhere, and the massive traffic jams at the I-215 / 60 Freeway interchange would just clear up!
 
Overmod:
 
Not to be offensive or commendation-like, but however it is interpreted by you, are you related in some way to the preacher Jessie Jackson?  You post so much like he speaks!  
 
Has steamer Santa Fe 3751 ever gone through the back-to-back UP-SP San Gabriel and Alhambra Trenches?
 
Reference the old Santa Fe “Second District” (later the “Pasadena Sub”), in past correspondence with the 1989-1991 President of the Santa Fe, the famous Michael R. Haverty, he indicated the intention for the then future Gold Line trackage was to have Santa Fe have trackage rights on the line!  That all came to a crashing halt when the 1994 Northridge earthquake struck early that year, necessitating what I would call the spectacular Santa Fe bridge over the eastbound lanes of the I-210 Freeway to be replaced.  Years later the “Iconic Bridge” finally replaced it after over a decade and a half of the through route being closed.  The new bridge was only built for light rail, not to hold up freight, so we will never see a BNSF pass on it, even in an emergency!   

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