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  #1301  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2009, 10:02 PM
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The MoKan corridor itself does not come 'into town' and never did - it always ran far to the east of Austin (continuing far to the east further south). The grey lines on this map are NOT supposed to indicate every mile of every rail corridor; they indicate proposed eventual commuter lines - in this instance, a commuter line that would run on the Mokan corridor and then switch to the Elgin/Manor corridor to go into town.

Again, if you don't know our area, how about deferring to those who do?
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  #1302  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 4:33 AM
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To me the line going down Mopac the "Union Pacific" line that they want to use makes more sence for the ASA rail cause it runs through Austin and straight through San Antonio. The only thing about the ASA rail project is what they need is light rail around San Antonio cause if you take the rail down to San Antonio you won't have a car or anything to get around if you want to go to say Six Flags or wherever.
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  #1303  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 6:19 AM
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Originally Posted by M1EK View Post
The MoKan corridor itself does not come 'into town' and never did - it always ran far to the east of Austin (continuing far to the east further south). The grey lines on this map are NOT supposed to indicate every mile of every rail corridor; they indicate proposed eventual commuter lines - in this instance, a commuter line that would run on the Mokan corridor and then switch to the Elgin/Manor corridor to go into town.

Again, if you don't know our area, how about deferring to those who do?
I'll agree that the MKT, Katy, MoKan main line went from Taylor to Smithfield, never-the-less a local spur had a ROW through Pflugerville. It's labeled on the map, that ROW is still visible on Google Earth or Google Map. A ROW that can be used connecting downtown Austin to Pflugerville to Round Rock to Georgetown. Keep the full wye in downtown Austin by Seaholm, and the commuter train can be steered all the way to San Antonio and beyond.
Golly. Round Rock doesn't even like the MoPac (UP) ROW. ASA wants to place their station far removed from Round Rock's destinations. They actually prefer the MoKan ROW.
Source: http://www.statesman.com/news/conten...drockrail.html
Quote:
The people Word is referring to are those running the Austin-San Antonio Intermunicipal Commuter Rail District, which hopes to build a 110-mile commuter rail line from Georgetown to San Antonio. The district has been lobbying Round Rock to join the organization, Word said, and pay the annual fee of about $50,000.
The rail district's proposed line would run on the existing Union Pacific rail as it enters Round Rock from the southwest, then go almost straight north from east Round Rock to Georgetown on newly laid track.
The problem, from the point of view of Word and his staff, is that the rail district's route would go nowhere near the beehive of economic activity in and around the junction of Interstate 35 and the Texas 45 North tollway, an area with more than 12,000 workers. And, Word said, plans show it having only one station in Round Rock, near the quaint and sleepy old downtown.
"That's not where all the action is in Round Rock," Word said. Commuter rail district officials "have never been able to give us a warm-and-fuzzy that they would consider another station in Round Rock."
Of course, Austin wants to tear up most of the wye so the area can be re-developed. I was just pointing out another rail ROW was available to get commuter trains north to Round Rock and beyond. That they don't have to go down the center of the MoPac Freeway. Switching routes would leave more room to expand the MoPac feeway more. 60 feet of UP ROW could be another 5, possibly 6 more lanes in the narrow freeway corridor. Passengers aren't going to be using the ASA to ride from 35th Street to downtown Austin anyways.

According to your thinking, since there isn't room to add a second track, there certainly isn't room to add a station platform either, which requires more space, and concrete barriers to protect passengers from 70 mph semi-tractor trucks. At least on the MoKan ROW, there is plenty of room to double or tripled track the rail line without closing your precious freeway lanes.

Last edited by electricron; Feb 25, 2009 at 6:40 AM.
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  #1304  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 2:23 PM
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The MoKan right-of-way never went into downtown Austin. Once again, you're dead wrong. The map you're looking at shows possible commuter rail routes - which can and do transfer from one old rail corridor to another; in this case, from the MoKan to the Elgin/Manor; NOT coming in on some old MKT spur (there IS no right-of-way coming all the way in from that direction other than the Elgin/Manor).
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  #1305  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 6:11 PM
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You're Both Wrong

What is commonly referred to as the MOKAN ROW (or perhaps more accurately a spur of the MKT) does in fact enter Downtown. The ROW merges with the Cap Metro Giddings-Llano line (more specifically the portion from the East Austin Wye to Elgin) right around where it crosses 183. As Electricron noted, it is visible in air photos and I have personally explored it on foot.

The reason ASA cannot use MOKAN south of Round Rock is that there is no ROW between IH-35 and the UP Town Lake Bridge. Up to about 30 years ago, when the south part of Downtown was still an active warehouse district, freight trains could operate on tracks imbedded in Third and Fourth streets to transfer between the three rail lines. Most of the track is gone, and what remains imbedded in pavement here and there is not servicable.

There is no way the City would allow FRA compliant diesel locomotives to operate in streets across Downtown in one of the busiest and dense neighborhoods. It is no longer an industrial area. I doubt the FRA/FTA would allow it either.
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  #1306  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 6:41 PM
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Originally Posted by SecretAgentMan View Post
What is commonly referred to as the MOKAN ROW (or perhaps more accurately a spur of the MKT) does in fact enter Downtown. The ROW merges with the Cap Metro Giddings-Llano line (more specifically the portion from the East Austin Wye to Elgin) right around where it crosses 183. As Electricron noted, it is visible in air photos and I have personally explored it on foot.

The reason ASA cannot use MOKAN south of Round Rock is that there is no ROW between IH-35 and the UP Town Lake Bridge. Up to about 30 years ago, when the south part of Downtown was still an active warehouse district, freight trains could operate on tracks imbedded in Third and Fourth streets to transfer between the three rail lines. Most of the track is gone, and what remains imbedded in pavement here and there is not servicable.

There is no way the City would allow FRA compliant diesel locomotives to operate in streets across Downtown in one of the busiest and dense neighborhoods. It is no longer an industrial area. I doubt the FRA/FTA would allow it either.
True enough, and the Convention Center blocked that route on 3rd. But, instead of building the freight bypass all the way east in the median of SH 130, use the MoKan ROW. In either case, new or refurbished subgrade and new tracks will be needed. Where the MoKan connects to the ROW to Manor and Elgin, build a new railroad bridge across the Colorado River. A new railroad bridge would have had to be built along SH 130 route, so it's not an extra cost. There's already a freight spur heading east, but it's blocked by the Airport. So build the new rail line south on the east side of the Airport to connect to the existing UP main line south of town. Briefly, build a 20-30 mile freight rail bypass instead of a 80 mile freight rail bypass.

You could even build a new rail yard and industrial, warehouse district east of the airport. Air, rail, and highways would all be nearby to feed goods in and out. In the median of SH 130, that would not be possible. Now, that's economic development! This would fix Austin's severe lack of rail infrastructure. It has less rail infrastructure than Temple, and some have asked why HEB huge new warehouse is being built in Temple instead of Austin? Ever wondered why Dell moved its manufacturing plant to Tennessee?

What ever happen to keeping new infrastructure projects short, cheap, and sweet?

Last edited by electricron; Feb 25, 2009 at 7:16 PM.
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  #1307  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 6:54 PM
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
What ever happen to keeping new infrastructure projects short, cheap, and sweet?
This happened:

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  #1308  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 6:57 PM
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Originally Posted by SecretAgentMan View Post
What is commonly referred to as the MOKAN ROW (or perhaps more accurately a spur of the MKT) does in fact enter Downtown. The ROW merges with the Cap Metro Giddings-Llano line
Which more accurately stated is exactly what I said: the CM (proposed Green) line comes into downtown; there is no separate "MoKAN ROW" that can be used apart from that line; there's no other entry to 'downtown'.
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  #1309  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 8:05 PM
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How close are we to this (ASA) actually happening? It seems like we have taken our eyes off the prize which is a line that projects more than 30,000 riders. http://www.impactnews.com/central-au...3246?task=view this link posted earlier by tgbAustinite makes it look like we wont even be voting for this until 2010 now, does anyone know if this is accurate and if yes then why? That would put delivery a LONG ways off. This should be of utmost importance, transportation will guide development and density which will help protect our environment from never ending sprawl.
I appreciate the dialogue, even if you are not all on the same page, it has been helpful and enlightening to me.
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  #1310  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 8:32 PM
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How close are we to this (ASA) actually happening? It seems like we have taken our eyes off the prize which is a line that projects more than 30,000 riders. http://www.impactnews.com/central-au...3246?task=view this link posted earlier by tgbAustinite makes it look like we wont even be voting for this until 2010 now, does anyone know if this is accurate and if yes then why? That would put delivery a LONG ways off. This should be of utmost importance, transportation will guide development and density which will help protect our environment from never ending sprawl.
I appreciate the dialogue, even if you are not all on the same page, it has been helpful and enlightening to me.
The UP doesn't want any more passenger trains on their line until they have somewhere else to run their freight trains. The State of Texas can't afford over $2 Billion to build the UP a freight bypass line in the median of SH 130 from Round Rock to Seguin. Until this logjam is broken up, nothing can happen. Which is why I have recommend using a different, cheaper, and new rail ROW for the freight bypass line.

ASA has asked Amtrak to do a study to see if they will initiate local intercity train service. If they do, it'll only stop once in San Antonio and Austin, with potential intermediate station stops in San Marcus and New Braunfels. I don't anticipate Amtrak would increase their local service to SW San Antonio or NE to Round Rock and Georgetown, unless they extended the train south to Laredo and/or South Texas, and to Fort Worth via Temple. Amtrak should finish their study in 2009. Amtrak would expect some State of Texas financial support to startup this new service. I'd be surprise to see more than once a day service in each direction from Amtrak, so any more Amtrak service would be worthless for daily commuters.

If the State of Texas ever gets serious about intercity trains, either standard or high speed, it needs to establish a separate agency within TXDOT overseeing Trains. Until that happens, not much can or will be done by the State.

Last edited by electricron; Feb 25, 2009 at 8:44 PM.
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  #1311  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 9:34 PM
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Yes, we're looking at a 2010 vote at the earliest, as far as I can tell, and I'm frickin' disgusted at it (and the willingness of people to pretend that Capital Metro's idiotic plans to spend another $100M or so of local money on commuter rail won't end up hurting us later on when we could have used that as a local match for Federal dollars for urban rail).
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  #1312  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 11:18 PM
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Maybe if they made phase 1 of the 4 downtown to Riverside all the way to at least Pleasant Valley they could start quicker. It seems to be easier to plan than the tricky and crucial "backbone" and even less complicated than the UT stretch. We can't let this thing sit until just a vote 2010, it should be u/c by 2010.
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  #1313  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 11:54 PM
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KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad

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Originally Posted by M1EK View Post
There is no "MoKan ROW 'all the way into Austin'". It runs so far east of Austin that it's a joke even by your joke commuter rail standards. (It'd be like a 20-30 minute bus ride back in to downtown from there).
I hate to break it to you but you M1EK are wrong.
KATY RAILROAD (KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad) did come into Austin. See the classic photo by J.Parker Lamb dated July of 1964 from page 97 of his book "Steel Wheels Rolling" copyright 2003 Boston Mills Press, Ontario, Canada. The M-K-T (KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad) came into Austin from Georgetown (east of then U.S. Hwy 81), south crossing U.S. Hwy 79 into Round Rock then south thru Pflugerville (thus Rail Road Street) thru Dessau under U.S. 290 across Webberville Road near the old State School and the new Jail, where it continued south till it paralleled (ran next to) the Southern Pacific under U.S. 183 and into downtown Austin. I think the original M-K-T (KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad) depot was on 6th street near Congress Avenue but later moved to wye that's immediately east of Lamar and the Lamar Blvd railroad underpass. The former M-K-T (KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad) depot at Lamar is still standing and is across Lamar from the Amtrack (former MoPac) depot. When MoKan (KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad) abandoned the railroad right of way back in the 80's Capital Metro bought it for light rail.



photo by J.Parker Lamb dated July of 1964 from page 97 of his book "Steel Wheels Rolling" copyright 2003 Boston Mills Press, Ontario, Canada
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  #1314  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2009, 8:21 AM
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I hate to break it to you but you M1EK are wrong.
KATY RAILROAD (KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad) did come into Austin. See the classic photo by J.Parker Lamb dated July of 1964 from page 97 of his book "Steel Wheels Rolling" copyright 2003 Boston Mills Press, Ontario, Canada. The M-K-T (KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad) came into Austin from Georgetown (east of then U.S. Hwy 81), south crossing U.S. Hwy 79 into Round Rock then south thru Pflugerville (thus Rail Road Street) thru Dessau under U.S. 290 across Webberville Road near the old State School and the new Jail, where it continued south till it paralleled (ran next to) the Southern Pacific under U.S. 183 and into downtown Austin. I think the original M-K-T (KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad) depot was on 6th street near Congress Avenue but later moved to wye that's immediately east of Lamar and the Lamar Blvd railroad underpass. The former M-K-T (KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad) depot at Lamar is still standing and is across Lamar from the Amtrack (former MoPac) depot. When MoKan (KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad) abandoned the railroad right of way back in the 80's Capital Metro bought it for light rail.



photo by J.Parker Lamb dated July of 1964 from page 97 of his book "Steel Wheels Rolling" copyright 2003 Boston Mills Press, Ontario, Canada
To add, if the MKT could get to the wye with freight trains, so can CapMetro's DMUs.
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  #1315  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2009, 3:36 PM
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I didn't say freight trains never came in from that direction in the past; I said there is no ROW for them to do so today apart from the well-known Elgin-Manor line (which merges with the Red Line).

Again, there's no additional ROW to get into downtown Austin other than the Green Line to Red Line path.

Stop looking for gotchas and focus on the actual claim being made, please.
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  #1316  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2009, 3:37 PM
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To add, if the MKT could get to the wye with freight trains, so can CapMetro's DMUs.
The fact that they could in the 1960s is irrelevant - much of that track is gone; the Convention Center covered up some of the remainder; and we will now not tolerate diesel trains stinking up downtown.
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  #1317  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 12:21 AM
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The UP doesn't want any more passenger trains on their line until they have somewhere else to run their freight trains. The State of Texas can't afford over $2 Billion to build the UP a freight bypass line in the median of SH 130 from Round Rock to Seguin. Until this logjam is broken up, nothing can happen. Which is why I have recommend using a different, cheaper, and new rail ROW for the freight bypass line.

ASA has asked Amtrak to do a study to see if they will initiate local intercity train service. If they do, it'll only stop once in San Antonio and Austin, with potential intermediate station stops in San Marcus and New Braunfels. I don't anticipate Amtrak would increase their local service to SW San Antonio or NE to Round Rock and Georgetown, unless they extended the train south to Laredo and/or South Texas, and to Fort Worth via Temple. Amtrak should finish their study in 2009. Amtrak would expect some State of Texas financial support to startup this new service. I'd be surprise to see more than once a day service in each direction from Amtrak, so any more Amtrak service would be worthless for daily commuters.

If the State of Texas ever gets serious about intercity trains, either standard or high speed, it needs to establish a separate agency within TXDOT overseeing Trains. Until that happens, not much can or will be done by the State.
The MOKAN ROW is not suitable for freight. The ROW seems to disappear in North Austin / South Pflugerville. I think potions of Dessau Road was built on the ROW. Pflugerville also used ROW Downtown for a biclycle trail. It might be possible to redesign Dessau Rd for street-compatible rail, but not freight. I don't think the adjacent single family properties would go for that.

The MOKAN ROW is owned by TxDOT. They acquired it as a possible alignment for SH 130. They apparently are doing a study to determine how best to use it, and I have heard the conclusion is BRT.

SH 130 is also not suitable for freight. The northern section was supposed to be designed to allow rail in the median, but they designed the vertical curves to be up to 3%. Taht is suitable for passenger rail, but not freight. To get to a 1% vertical curve suitable for freight would require trestles up to 50 or 60 feet high in places.
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  #1318  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by texastarkus View Post
I hate to break it to you but you M1EK are wrong.
KATY RAILROAD (KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad) did come into Austin. See the classic photo by J.Parker Lamb dated July of 1964 from page 97 of his book "Steel Wheels Rolling" copyright 2003 Boston Mills Press, Ontario, Canada. The M-K-T (KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad) came into Austin from Georgetown (east of then U.S. Hwy 81), south crossing U.S. Hwy 79 into Round Rock then south thru Pflugerville (thus Rail Road Street) thru Dessau under U.S. 290 across Webberville Road near the old State School and the new Jail, where it continued south till it paralleled (ran next to) the Southern Pacific under U.S. 183 and into downtown Austin. I think the original M-K-T (KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad) depot was on 6th street near Congress Avenue but later moved to wye that's immediately east of Lamar and the Lamar Blvd railroad underpass. The former M-K-T (KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad) depot at Lamar is still standing and is across Lamar from the Amtrack (former MoPac) depot. When MoKan (KATY and M-K-T and MoKan are all the same railroad) abandoned the railroad right of way back in the 80's Capital Metro bought it for light rail.



photo by J.Parker Lamb dated July of 1964 from page 97 of his book "Steel Wheels Rolling" copyright 2003 Boston Mills Press, Ontario, Canada
There were two passenger depots on opposing corners of Third and Congress that were torn down in the 60's. I believe the depot west of Lamar was built to serve Amtrak when they took over all passenger service from the private railroads. I'm not aware of any depot ever existing on the east side of Lamar, and there definitely is not one there anymore.
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  #1319  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 12:29 AM
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Last edited by SecretAgentMan; Feb 27, 2009 at 1:17 AM. Reason: misread previous post
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  #1320  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 1:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M1EK View Post
I didn't say freight trains never came in from that direction in the past; I said there is no ROW for them to do so today apart from the well-known Elgin-Manor line (which merges with the Red Line).

Again, there's no additional ROW to get into downtown Austin other than the Green Line to Red Line path.


Stop looking for gotchas and focus on the actual claim being made, please.
In post 1250 M1EK said:
"There is no "MoKan ROW 'all the way into Austin'". It runs so far east of Austin that it's a joke even by your joke commuter rail standards. (It'd be like a 20-30 minute bus ride back in to downtown from there)."
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