Originally Posted by M1EK
Relies on the questionable contention that there's enough room in the Red Line ROW between Lamar/Airport and Pickle for 2 lines of commuter rail + 1 line of urban rail (+ some segments of rails with trails). IE, pure fantasy.
I would think there would be room for three tracks in the corridor, except I would prefer 2 for light rail and 1 for commuter rail. You are always suggesting there isn't room to lay tracks in a certain sized right of way. How wrong can you be, just look at what DART is doing in Dallas in a railroad corridor just as wide as CapMetro's.
This first photo shows the southern approaches to the Trinity Mills Station in the background. The two light rail tracks are lowering to grade to join the standard track. DCTA's A Train terminates here using the standard rail track approaching from the north. Note how the standard track diverts around the train station.
This photo shows the Market Center Station light rail station, which will have side platforms with a pedestrian bridge to the Market Center. Note the standard tracks in the background, and how close it is to the light rail tracks and station platform.
This photo shows the Love Field light rail station, which will have side platforms. Note the standard track in the background.
This photo shows the Walnut Hill/Denton Road light rail station with light rail tracks being elevated and standard tracks at grade. Note how close the tracks are, and how narrow the corridor is. I find it very difficult to believe the Red Line corridor in Austin is much narrower, or that a similar solution couldn't be used......
This photo shows the Lawnview light rail station, which has a center platform. Note the standard rail track in the background.
This photo shows the Downtown Carrollton light rail station, where the light rail tracks are elevated over a standard rail junction that has three different freight lines, the junction is at the bottom left corner of the photo. Immediately in front of the wall under the light rail tracks is another standard track
This photo shows the Downtown Carrollton light rail station from a different angle. Note DART elevated stations have center platforms.
And this photo too looking in the opposite direction (in this case north)
My point is, if DART can engineer three and more tracks into an existing rail corridor, so can CapMetro. Don't dismiss what engineers can design beforehand.
These photos show the major advantages of using light rail well. The ability to change grades using 6% to 8% slopes is far better than 1% to 2% for freight trains. The ability for having multiple grades in a corridor allows much more to be squeezed into a narrow corridor. The ability to go over, under, or around an obstacle is very handy too.
That's not to say commuter rail can't do the same things. They just needs more room (vertically and horizontally) to do so. Commuter rail can also be powered from electricity, you don't have to use diesel engines if you don't wish too. The Stadler GTW comes in both EMU and DMU models. You can have just as many automatic doors on a GTW as any light rail vehicle to increase passengers boardings at stations.
Here's a photo of a CapMetro 2/6 GTW with 2 doors per side:
Here's a photo of an EMU powered 2/8 GTW with 6 doors per side:
I think it is easily apparent that a 2/6 GTW can have 4 doors per side. So, the GTW is a very flexible train, although not as maneuverable in tight places as light rail trains.