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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2009, 3:00 AM
tgannaway89 tgannaway89 is offline
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Lone Star Rail District (former ASA Rail)

www.lonestarrail.com

LSTAR will be the name of the passenger rail service linking Austin and San Antonio.
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2009, 10:11 PM
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Very interesting. I wonder how long it will take to get this service going?
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2009, 6:44 AM
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawgboy View Post
Very interesting. I wonder how long it will take to get this service going?
I'd say at least another 8 years, more likely 10 to 12 years. Here's why?
They just got funding to start the environmental studies. For a project over 100 miles in length in four large Texas counties, this will take a minimum of two years. After the EIS studies, there's usually around a 6 month waiting period for public comments, and another 6 months to publish answers to those comments. Then they have to wait for the FTA and FRA to bless the project with formula funds. That's when you start the two year process of designing the project including the train stations and parking lots. Then another two years to build the project. And that assumes everything goes right, that no one pops up opposing it, and money becomes available.
Additionally, the UP corridor they wish to use is crowded with freights, therefore why you read about moving the freight trains to an alternate corridor. That will also require additional money and additional environmental studies of its own. Moving freight trains off this corridor makes this project very complicated and potentially very expensive. Because the corridor is over 100 miles in length, it was already going to be expensive.

Whereas I would prefer local control of this rail project, I think this is one project that might be better for Amtrak to run and control, with Texas financial support.......
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Old Posted Nov 9, 2009, 7:12 PM
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First they have to figure out what to do with the UP trains that run down those tracks.
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  #5  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 3:07 AM
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Commuter rail between SA and Austin

From www.ksat.com
http://www.ksat.com/news/21566591/detail.html


State Senator Talks About Need For Rail Lines

POSTED: Monday, November 9, 2009
UPDATED: 7:02 pm CST November 9, 2009

SAN ANTONIO -- A San Antonio state senator Monday talked about the need for a rail line that would run from San Antonio to Austin.

Rail lines are needed, according to State Sen. Jeff Wentworth. He said more and more people are moving to San Antonio from states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. He said San Antonio must get ready for more population growth.

Wentworth said Monday the most congested part of I-35 from the Mexican border to the Canadian border is the stretch from San Antonio to Austin.

Wentworth said The Lone Star Rail District has already taken several steps to get a 16 station rail line up and running. The district has the funds to do an environmental study. It is also working with Union Pacific Railroad secure using rail lines that connect Austin and San Antonio.

Once the studies are done and the 800 million dollar financing is secured for the passenger rail, it could be operation in within five years.


Enough talk...Let's get this $h!t going!!!
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 3:42 AM
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I merged these two threads. There's also another thread going in the main transportation section of the forum.
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 3:44 AM
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Quote:
Austin to San Antonio commuter rail plans back on track

by Jessica Vess / KVUE-TV

Posted on November 9, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Updated today at 4:35 PM

A commuter rail line stretching from Austin to San Antonio has taken another step forward.

The Lone Star Rail District -- formerly, the Austin-San Antonio Commuter Rail District -- has been a long time in the making. Twelve years ago state lawmakers authorized the train service.

...
http://www.kvue.com/news/LSTAR-Commu...-69574787.html
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 3:46 AM
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From LSTAR's website:
http://www.lonestarrail.com/

Quote:
We don’t need to tell you that traffic on Interstate 35 through the Austin-San Antonio corridor is bad and getting worse. It’s one of the most congested interstate segments in America and the biggest bottleneck on I-35 between Mexico and Canada. It’s also one of the deadliest stretches of highway in the country, with over 100 fatalities a year.

...
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 3:47 AM
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Map of the route and stops:


http://lonestarrail.com/index.php/lstar/map/
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 3:52 AM
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Key facts about the line:

Quote:
Up to 12 trains a day, including midday and evening service, 7 days a week in each direction for commuters, students and other regional travelers.
Quote:
Local service from Georgetown to the South Side of San Antonio with stops at all stations in between.
Quote:
Up to sixteen new stations in convenient locations with ample secure parking, comfortable waiting areas and connections to local transit.
Quote:
How long will it take to travel from San Antonio to Austin?

Express service between downtown Austin and downtown San Antonio (with stops in San Marcos and New Braunfels) should take around 90 minutes. This is comparable to current travel times on I-35, but will likely be faster than driving as I-35 becomes more congested. Moreover, travel times and schedules on the LSTAR will be predictable, whereas accidents, weather conditions and other variables can often cause delays for drivers. But most important, rail travel will offer relaxing, stress-free travel that allows riders the freedom to make the most of their time by reading, studying, working, napping or simply enjoying the scenery. Local service, stopping at all stations, will be about 15-20 minutes longer than express service.
Quote:
Will passengers be able to bring bicycles on board?

Yes, and we hope they do!
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 3:54 AM
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I would love for this to get built. One of the stations is just 3 miles from me. I would absolutely use this. I can see the train tracks from my backyard.
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  #12  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 4:37 AM
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Thing is didn't somewhere it said something about it taking like 90 minutes to go from DT Austin to DT San Antonio? if that's true it's not a whole lot quicker than driving down there lol. Cause you can drive down to SA in an hour without traffic on 35 or going 281
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 6:06 AM
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Someone in the other thread had said that wouldn't be a problem, but really in Texas you have to make it more attractive to get people to take the train over driving. Sure, you'd be beating traffic on the train, but people are still chained to their cars so much that it had better be faster. People can't get over the idea of not using a car to get around. It's like people don't know any better--or anything different.
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 7:51 AM
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yeah I mean I would love for this to be up and running I would defanatly ride it once and a while but I would probably drive down there more so I had a car to get around SA.
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  #15  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 4:14 PM
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Lightbulb

Unless they move the 24 UP freight trains off the single track corridor, it'll take far longer than what you can drive it. Assuming the Lone Star trains can achieve the same average speed of the Texas Eagle (~45 mph), it'll take over two hours to ride the entire 100 miles. Considering the Lone Star trains will be stopping at far more train stations than the Texas Eagle, let's just be kind and suggest it'll take at least three hours to ride the entire 100 miles.......

To average faster speeds, the freight trains must be moved. The main problem with that is that there isn't an alternative route today, and building one will cost anywhere from $800 Million to $2+ Billion.

Add those costs to those putting the Lone Star into service, another $800+ Million, and this commuter rail project costs soar.

Considering a brand new high speed rail line is also being considered between San Antonio and Austin, and all the way to Dallas-Fort Worth, it might be best to wait and build it instead. No reason for building both trains.

But since neither train has been fully financed, I guess there's no harm doing environmental studies for both. The major capital costs don't arise until one starts to build them.
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  #16  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 6:21 PM
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What's nice about the Lone Star is it will come straight into Austin the high Speed rail from SA to Dallas would run east of Austin right?
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  #17  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 7:30 PM
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Here's a San Marcos article about it:
http://www.sanmarcosmercury.com/archives/10637
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  #18  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 9:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PartyLine View Post
What's nice about the Lone Star is it will come straight into Austin the high Speed rail from SA to Dallas would run east of Austin right?
I can't imagine high speed rail bypassing Austin, or for that matter, not specifically stopping downtown.
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  #19  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2009, 12:38 AM
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By the map, it looks as though this project will benefit SA International Airport much more than Bergstrom Airport.
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  #20  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2009, 5:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricon
Unless they move the 24 UP freight trains off the single track corridor, it'll take far longer than what you can drive it. Assuming the Lone Star trains can achieve the same average speed of the Texas Eagle (~45 mph), it'll take over two hours to ride the entire 100 miles.
78 miles - Austin and San Antonio are 78 miles apart. And actually, the south side of Austin and the north side of San Antonio are more like 65 miles apart. We can get into North San Antonio in around an hour.

I do think the trains would still be faster time wise than driving. Trains obviously wouldn't have the traffic issue that I-35 deals with on a daily basis. Good grief, they're doing some roadwork on I-35 right now south of Slaughter past SH-45, and it's bumper to bumper for miles every night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by electricon
To average faster speeds, the freight trains must be moved. The main problem with that is that there isn't an alternative route today, and building one will cost anywhere from $800 Million to $2+ Billion.
The plan is to move the freight off the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UTSABA06
By the map, it looks as though this project will benefit SA International Airport much more than Bergstrom Airport.
True, the line that is being proposed for for this rail system does not run near the airport. However, there are train tracks that spur off this same line and go toward our airport. That spur line was actually built to service Bergstrom when it was still an air force base. There's also a good bit of warehouse/light industrial along the line. This rail system could make a stop at the airport, but it would almost be pointless since it wouldn't be on the way. And there's no loop track. They would pretty much have to drive backwards to get back to the main line.

Here's a map that shows the railroad tracks in Austin. The pink line near the bottom goes to the airport. The blue line of course is the one that goes to San Antonio. The purple one goes up through Hutto and Taylor and eventually goes all the way to Houston.

http://www.stayoffthetracks.com/
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