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When Will Commuter Rail Arrive?


MontroseNeighborhoodCafe

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The key word is "smooth". The biggest hurdle that METRO has to deal with is the current rail road companies. Sharing the rail is an efficient use of space and current alignments, but the rail road companies has keep their current customers happy while allowing the use of their lines by a different entity that is on a tight schedule.

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Geting a commuter rail that would be sleep and modern would be nice. I don't know why and how they are gonna put a line down Richmnd, they need something elevated like monorail.

They need 2 lines out to SUgarland, 1 down HWY 90 and 1 down 59.

We need atleast 1 out to each suburb(Katy,Sugarland,he Woodlands,CLear Lake) with a few stops along the way. They ocould connect to major points of intrest and places at crossraods . Take the Katy line, it ould go down I-10 and have a stop at the Marquee Ent Center,a shoping/actvity center where Town&Country used to be, a new center at HWY 6 and Katy Mills Mall. notices almots all of those are at the intersections of major routes. So I a crosstown train is developed,say down The Belt, a transit hub could be built where it could interface with the Katy Train and what's now Town and Country.

I sure hope they build lines to the airports.

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How old are you?

The Richmond line will serve: Uptown, Greeway Plaza, Connect to the Red Line, TSU, and UofH. Seems like a very viable line.

Commuter rail will not be a high speed rail service. The stops, although much further apart than LRT, will still be too close for the train to get up to high speeds.

Katy will not likely get any rail anytime soon since it will have a new wider freeway with two toll facilities (one dedicated specifically for mass transit unless you pay a higher price to drive, the other being the Westpark Tollway). The US 290 corridor, I-45 gulf freeway corridor, and US 90A corridor are excellent places to start commuter rail off. If communities in Fort Bend commit, they can extend the line all the way to Rosenberg, but the effort will not be part of metro. Look for the Woodlands to be in the same boat as Katy since it has an alternative of the Hardy Toll Road which TxDOT is considering to partner with HCTRA and METRO to make it a managed HOT lane. Carpoolers will not have to pay as much are at all and the single drivers will pay more. It would be easy to implement and they just need to finish the extension into downtown. The partnering would eliminate to make I-45 much wider especially through the Heights area where opposition is the highest.

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My guess if they will build the rail line to Clear Lake before they widen IH-45 or even construct the NASA 1 Bypass.

That sucks cause they couldhave built it along 45 and made a stop at the former Gulfgate place and saved it as well as a to be built center at 45 &the Belt,Baybrook Mall and have a final stop at NASA.

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Im no train expert, but i remember when reading about the rail situation in austin how the trains they are planning to use(which are not traditional locomotive and coaches, but all in one diesel light rail type things) arent "FRA compliant" or something of that nature because they were built overseas where the safety rules arent as strict or something, and that they couldnt be used on tracks at the same time freight trains are running.

Basically, something tells me that the trains will be EXACTLY like the ones in dallas(which are EXACTLY the ones ive seen in miami and toronto)

either way, if this all goes smoothly, then this city will start to have some of the transportation amenities that people in other places take for granted.

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b-rail.jpg

Sept. 12, 2005, 12:13AM

When will commuter rail arrive?

Metro CEO says if everything goes smoothly, first of 3 lines to suburbs may be up by 2012

By RAD SALLEE and PATRICK KURP

Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

Read More...

Will there be any plans to expand commuter rail to the Woodlands/Conroe, Huntsville, Humble/Kingwood, Katy/Cinco Ranch?

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Hahaha, Bus Rapid Transit does sound like bs. they basically have sleeker lookin buses that look like the rail cars, so we can be happy we have some sort of mass transit. Basically its their way of saying something is being done. I have no clue why they would waste such money, since even if they have a special purpose, they will not be visibly more efficient than any other normal bus. What we do have to realize though, is that unlike the mail line stretch of rail we have now, all these extensions are primarily funded by the Feds, so nobody really cares about what money is spent. Infact, since we get all this money, and we cant really use it for anything else, they figure to waste it instead of speed up the existing rail projects. But atleast they try, huh?

I was at the airport the other day, and observed a group of european tourists (I have nooo idea what would bring them to Houston) who just could not understand that there is really no settled way for them to get from the airport (IAH) to the center of Houston. So, my opinion: rails should definately serve all major transportation hubs, such as airports and inter-city bus stations, and major work zones such as clear lake, katy corridor, greenspoint, and toward fort bend and east to pasadena. And although I dont disagree with widening certain roads, I think its really got to end at some point, we cant just go on and on widening everything, it just doesnt look good and serves little purpose!

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Hahaha, Bus Rapid Transit does sound like bs.  they basically have sleeker lookin buses that look like the rail cars, so we can be happy we have some sort of mass transit.  Basically its their way of saying something is being done.  I have no clue why they would waste such money, since even if they have a special purpose, they will not be visibly more efficient than any other normal bus.  What we do have to realize though, is that unlike the mail line stretch of rail we have now, all these extensions are primarily funded by the Feds, so nobody really cares about what money is spent.  Infact, since we get all this money, and we cant really use it for anything else, they figure to waste it instead of speed up the existing rail projects.  But atleast they try, huh?

I was at the airport the other day, and observed a group of european tourists (I have nooo idea what would bring them to Houston)  who just could not understand that there is really no settled way for them to get from the airport (IAH) to the center of Houston.  So, my opinion:  rails should definately serve all major transportation hubs, such as airports and inter-city bus stations, and major work zones such as clear lake, katy corridor, greenspoint, and toward fort bend and east to pasadena.  And although I dont disagree with widening certain roads, I think its really got to end at some point, we cant just go on and on widening everything, it just doesnt look good and serves little purpose!

I know everyone has heard this before but all we have to do is look at the mistakes LA has made.

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@Dobiestud

You do realize that the BRT will function similar to light rail just with reduced capacity. They will also be placing rails underneath the street so when ridership demands it those lines can be converted to LRT. Also this is speeding up all of the projects. Now we will have all the BRT and LRT (to uptown) sooner than when the plan was LRT originally for all routes. So we get all of our lines sooner and hopefully soon the BRT will be converted to LRT.

There is not enough traffic to sustain a line just to the airports (maybe Hobby). What would be more feasible is a commuter rail with an offshoot or stop at the airports.

800 posts.

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I don't really see why we need light rail What Houston needs is commuter. Screw the Main line only city lines we need are down Westheimer and 1960.

Thsi commuter rail sound good except the locomotives are ugly and they cross exsistig roads and higyways. If we could get a way from the streets and the tracks not to cross eachother we would have a perfect rail plan.

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I don't really see why we need light rail What Houston needs is commuter. Screw the Main line only city lines we need are down Westheimer and 1960.

Thsi commuter rail sound good except the locomotives are ugly and they cross exsistig roads and higyways. If we could get a way from the streets and the tracks not to cross eachother we would have a perfect rail plan.

WHAT? :blink:

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^^ What he said.

How can commuter rail function without light/heavy rail in the city? Or do you assume these people will just transfer to a bus.

Also regarding

"Thsi commuter rail sound good except the locomotives are ugly and they cross exsistig roads and higyways. If we could get a way from the streets and the tracks not to cross eachother we would have a perfect rail plan."

Do you somehow know the plans and models of vehicles they are using? I sure hope you don't work for metro. Also seriously read your post before posting. It lets you fix your grammar and spelling mistakes.

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Well most commuter rail engines aren't attractive. That the one thing I like about Light Rail.

They way I see it, the should lay some railline in the middle of each freeway and run it to the edg eof the city. Have 3-4 stops on it, some extra ones in the cases like Greenway Plaza and NASA. Each route would take off from dowtown and let off at a major transit hub at 610, The Belt, HWY6/1960, and the far subrurbs.

There sould be 2 routes, an express route that goes to all the stops and a Park and Ride route that goes from 1 stop straigh to Downtown.

There also be connections to the airports and any Amtrak or hi speed rail stations. That's one mistake Metro made witht he light rail. They go a major line going Main St. and no stop adjacent to the Greyhound station. I tell ya, this city needs to learn geometry.

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Well most commuter rail engines aren't attractive. That the one thing I like about Light Rail.

They way I see it, the should lay some railline in the middle of each freeway and run it to the edg eof the city. Have 3-4 stops on it, some extra ones in the cases like Greenway Plaza and NASA. Each route would take off from dowtown and let off at a major transit hub at 610, The Belt, HWY6/1960, and the far subrurbs.

There sould be 2 routes, an express route that goes to all the stops and a Park and Ride route that goes from 1 stop straigh to Downtown.

There also be connections to the airports and any Amtrak or hi speed rail stations. That's one mistake Metro made witht he light rail. They go a major line going  Main St. and no stop adjacent to the Greyhound station. I tell ya, this city needs to learn geometry.

geometry? Ok Plastic please explain..... :blink:

Commuter rail engines can be attractive if you have ever been to southern Cali San Diego has really cool looking ones and so does LA.

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  • 2 years later...

The findings from a “Regional Commuter Rail Connectivity Study” were presented at the Livable Houston Initiative meeting on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC). The study has been submitted to H-GAC for consideration. This important study will have a profound effect on the the future of the Houston region.

This study was presented by Sam Lott of Kimley-Horn & Assoc, the project consultants. Lott described the philosophies driving the study and the methodology for choosing the Baseline System Plan. There was also an open session for questions and comments.

http://www.vimeo.com/1266170

Edited by lockmat
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If there are plans to re-use the existing rail line along Hwy-3... all I have to say is that I will not be on that train. I was stopped near the intersection of Hwy-3 and Clear Lake City Blvd with the train passing right in front of me. It was traveling, probably 25 to 30 mph and it was rocking, big time. I looked closer at the track and you could see what appeared to be a one-inch+ deflection at one of the rail ties, every time a wheel went over that spot. This resulted in about a 6-inch sway/rock at the top of the rail cars. If you were riding on that train, you'd be hitting heads with the person next to you. If the train were traveling any faster, there would have been a derailment... with a "GA TX" boxcar slamming right into my little tin can of a car.

They're going to have to do a lot of track work along Hwy-3 before you put people on that line.

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When doing these studies, they consult a lot of different people and organizations. They know the need to base the lines according to major employment centers and residential areas that will use them. But my question is, do they consult development companies that play a major role in creating what our city is and is becoming? I would think that they'd know almost just as well as anyone else what direction the population and employment centers are going. Sure they are just a small piece to the puzzle, but I think it's worth getting their perspective as well. Anyone know if they do or not?

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If there are plans to re-use the existing rail line along Hwy-3... all I have to say is that I will not be on that train. I was stopped near the intersection of Hwy-3 and Clear Lake City Blvd with the train passing right in front of me. It was traveling, probably 25 to 30 mph and it was rocking, big time. I looked closer at the track and you could see what appeared to be a one-inch+ deflection at one of the rail ties, every time a wheel went over that spot. This resulted in about a 6-inch sway/rock at the top of the rail cars. If you were riding on that train, you'd be hitting heads with the person next to you. If the train were traveling any faster, there would have been a derailment... with a "GA TX" boxcar slamming right into my little tin can of a car.

They're going to have to do a lot of track work along Hwy-3 before you put people on that line.

The old GH&H track along Texas 3 is not a high priority for UPRR. BNSF has upgraded it's tracks to Galveston along Texas 6 and are now able to travel 55mph from the causeway to all points north. UPRR is behind the times, and is probably just milking the line as long as they can until they have to make major improvements or abandon it. The real estate itself is probably worth more than the future freight dollars.

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UPRR is behind the times, and is probably just milking the line as long as they can until they have to make major improvements or abandon it.

Or maybe they know that they can get the entity who wants to use the line for commuter rail service to pay for the upgrades.

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Didn't some congressmen or counselmen want to put commuter rail along the RR tracks that go next to 290 when they first talked about rail and METRO said no, that they wanted light rail instead?

Actually, it was The (dis)Honorable Tom Delay and he was opposed to LRT in Houston. BUT if we built a connection to his Sugarland (which just HAPPENS to be his district....oh...the coincidences...) he would open up the purse strings.

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Didn't some congressmen or counselmen want to put commuter rail along the RR tracks that go next to 290 when they first talked about rail and METRO said no, that they wanted light rail instead?

No. Metro always wanted commuter rail there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Check out this item that a reader posted in the forum over at Intermodality

Looks like the US90 route has definitely been greenlighted by Metro.

There is both a Metro presentation that mentions a LRT transit corridor from Fannin to Old Main and a link to a MTFP amendment requesting a street reclassification for W. Belfort in this location.

This proposed MTFP amendment for the TCS designation is being requested for this segment of

W. Bellfort because it is the only portion where existing street right‐of‐way will be needed to

accommodate a proposed commuter‐like LRT extension of the existing Red Line from Fannin to

the Sam Houston Parkway, generally along the north side of the Union Pacific railroad line

adjacent to US 90A. The proposed addition of an LRT within the current alignment of W.

Bellfort will not result in the reduction of the number of vehicular travel lanes. METRO will

acquire additional adjacent street right‐of‐way along the north side of existing W. Bellfort to

provide for the necessary expansion of right‐of‐way to accommodate the same number of

vehicular lanes as currently exist (2 lanes in each direction for a total of 4 lanes). Additionally,

there will be no reduction in lane width.

Full request letter to the City from the firm representing Metro.

Edited by Highway6
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Check out this item that a reader posted in the forum over at Intermodality

Looks like the US90 route has definitely been greenlighted by Metro.

There is both a Metro presentation that mentions a LRT transit corridor from Fannin to Old Main and a link to a MTFP amendment requesting a street reclassification for W. Belfort in this location.

Full request letter to the City from the firm representing Metro.

This doesn't sound like commuter rail at all, just the extension of the Red Line, westward.

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