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METRORail University Line


ricco67

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Where in my post did i ever say that Dallas had monorail? I said that they buried a portion of their lightrail underground at Cityplace Station. Yes, i was suggesting just elevating or tunneling part of the train near 610 loop to avoid all that nasty traffic.

I'm kind of finding myself getting a little heated over this so i'm gonna end and say that i respect your opinion Red. I have no gripe with you. Whether if my idea is strictly fantasy, you have to admit that it makes sense and needs to be done or looked into.

You never said Dallas had monorail. And I'm not trying to trash your idea. There have been some previous threads by people who have a fantasy for monorail, i.e. mag-lev technology, and it is just too expensive for what you get. Now that I know that is not what you were advocating, I agree with you that the best route might include elevated or submerged sections of LRT.

You know, WesternGulf is correct. Heavy rail is much more expensive than LRT. In lesser density cities like Houston, Dallas and Atlanta, you don't need a long train. METRO carries 200 people per car. Linking 2 gives you 400. They travel every 6 minutes. That's 4000 per hour, 72,000 per 18 hour day, more than any of the lesser density cities need. Plus, Houston's original plan WAS for heavy rail in 1983. It would've cost $1.3 Billion for 11 miles or so of rail. Voters shot it down, and looking back, that was smart of Houstonians to do. Heavy rail is most useful on commuter lines, where the train doesn't run as often.

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I have never been on DART before. But Rail aside from everything else, out of Denver, San Deigo, and Atlanta which city is known more? Atlanta. Which city has more stuff that you would only find in a big city? Atlanta. I am not trying to sound small minded, but on a national level Atlanta is thought more of as an Alpha city. They have stuff that you can only find in cities like itself. Highend shopping, etc. Also ESPN Zone NikeTown. I now Denver also has NikeTown, but Denver doesn't have HighEnd Shopping like Houston,or Atlanta.

...And I only hear about Atlanta from CityKid. Do you honestly think Atlanta is thought of as an Alpha city. On the same level as NYC, LA, and Chicago. Atlanta is a third tier Gamma City, and will be like that for some time.

Also, San Diego is more widely known than Atlanta. More people know about SD than the big bad ATL.

Edited by Trae
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...And I only hear about Atlanta from CityKid. Do you honestly think Atlanta is thought of as an Alpha city. On the same level as NYC, LA, and Chicago. Atlanta is a third tier Gamma City, and will be like that for some time.

Also, San Diego is more widely known than Atlanta. More people know about SD than the big bad ATL.

You didn't know Atlanta was an Alpha city? You need to get out more. :lol:

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The best way to cure this is to take preventative measures to help deter people from making these type of mistakes.

And yes, no one can change my mind on this- that part of Westheimer/Richmond near 610 is a jungle and putting any train at-grade level is just asking for trouble! Yall can say what you want about me but even a blind person could see that if you put a train in a much busier intersection than the first line (where our train has already been the butt of many jokes as the accident capital), this just spells disaster. PERIOD!!!

Whether or not you're right about that, the fact is that either way Houston drivers are extremely skilled at crashing into the LRT trains relative to drivers in other cities and their LRT trains. This is all despite the fact that LRT in other cities (that I've seen) doesn't always have its own right of way and almost never has a crossing arm or bumpy concrete separators.

Edited by N Judah
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Im curious how they will construct the LRT down Dowling. it isnt as wide as Main street. Hopefully they will not stick with the down the middle of the road idea that they have with Main st. Perhaps they will anchor the rail tracks along both sides of the street rather than down the middle.........

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Im curious how they will construct the LRT down Dowling. it isnt as wide as Main street. Hopefully they will not stick with the down the middle of the road idea that they have with Main st. Perhaps they will anchor the rail tracks along both sides of the street rather than down the middle.........

We're focused on the area near the Galleria so much I don't even know what streets exactly rail is suppose to fall on in the east side or how it will eventually get to Richmond. Isn't there suppose to be advancements to the Wheeler Station in the future?

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Im curious how they will construct the LRT down Dowling. it isnt as wide as Main street. Hopefully they will not stick with the down the middle of the road idea that they have with Main st. Perhaps they will anchor the rail tracks along both sides of the street rather than down the middle.........

Great post. I think too there has been too little discussion regarding the U Line east of Main.

I really am not clear of the proposed alignments out to UH.

If anyone has a scoop...drop it here.

B)

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Great post. I think too there has been too little discussion regarding the U Line east of Main.

I really am not clear of the proposed alignments out to UH.

If anyone has a scoop...drop it here.

B)

I have seen surveyors and their marks along Scott, Wheeler and Elgin. I normally would think its just a possibility that there a part of this project except Wheeler has just been repaved and they said they ARE surveying for the new Metro lines. Also businesses along Scott Street down by OST have asked Metro to consider an MLK alignment for the Southeast line. That alignment would certainly gain riders from the UH residential halls.

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B)

I have seen surveyors and their marks along Scott, Wheeler and Elgin. I normally would think its just a possibility that there a part of this project except Wheeler has just been repaved and they said they ARE surveying for the new Metro lines. Also businesses along Scott Street down by OST have asked Metro to consider an MLK alignment for the Southeast line. That alignment would certainly gain riders from the UH residential halls.

Thanks for the info, CE. I am ashamed to say I have lived here all my life and I don't know squat abot this part of town. I think tomorrow I am going to get in the truck and drive the area. I think TSU and UH are just as important to the U Line-if not more so-than the portion we have been focusing on.

You know, sometimes you just need to have a Cher to slap you silly and say "Snap out of it!" :lol:

B)

Edited by nmainguy
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I have never been on DART before. But Rail aside from everything else, out of Denver, San Deigo, and Atlanta which city is known more? Atlanta. Which city has more stuff that you would only find in a big city? Atlanta. I am not trying to sound small minded, but on a national level Atlanta is thought more of as an Alpha city. They have stuff that you can only find in cities like itself. Highend shopping, etc. Also ESPN Zone NikeTown. I now Denver also has NikeTown, but Denver doesn't have HighEnd Shopping like Houston,or Atlanta.

Have you ever even been to Denver or San Diego? If not, then you need to go back and delete your post.

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Also according to this hideous power point presentation dealing with preliminary designs; it looks like they are going with diesel engines along the University Cooridor, which might rule out a underground segment.

http://metrosolutions.org/posted/1068/Pre_...fing.112219.pdf

You're correct about an ugly powerpoint. My question is this: Why is METRO considering diesel? Also, if diesel is a serious contender, why was it not considered for the Main St. line? It seems like it would have been cheaper, and easier on overhead clearance without having to install all those power lines.

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You're correct about an ugly powerpoint. My question is this: Why is METRO considering diesel? Also, if diesel is a serious contender, why was it not considered for the Main St. line? It seems like it would have been cheaper, and easier on overhead clearance without having to install all those power lines.

My guess is Metro is serious about Westpark being a future rail corridor. Opponents of the Richmond line do have it right when they say Westpark is the cheapest. If a line is built down Westpark west of Chimney Rock ten or fifteen years down the road, those vehicles would still be usable. Bam, they've saved more money. Then the existing university line can be upgraded to electrification.

The more I think about it, the more I see that Westpark alignment west of Weslayan could work if the U-Line were extended to the Hillcroft TC. Then a rider would only have to transfer to the Uptown line at Post Oak to get to the heart of the Galleria.

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I really hope that Metro doesn't go with diesel light rail on the University Line. Yes, the up front construction costs are cheaper, but that means that they will have to operate two very different LRV types, which will lead to increased operational costs for years to come. Using a diesel-powered LRV also eliminates some of the advantages that light rail has over traditional buses, such as decreased noise and pollution.

I also wonder if the lifespan of a diesel LRV is shorter than that of an electric LRV. I know with buses, electric trolley buses have a much longer usable lifespan than a diesel bus, even though the initial cost of aquisition is much higher for electric. I'm sure that LRVs are similar. I'd rather see Metro spend the money up front to do it right and go with an all-electric system.

And one more point. When the Metro Solutions plan was modified last year, and BRT was substituted for light rail on several lines, the plan was to go ahead and put down the tracks and have everything ready light rail except the electric power system. If Metro is getting into the diesel light rail business, why even bother with BRT on the other lines? If there's not going to be any electric system, but the rails are in the street, then why not just go ahead and put diesel LRVs on those lines from the start? This diesel light rail business seems to negate the need for BRT on those lines.

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Diesel powered LRT is something I think we will come to regret a few years down the line. Of course the optimal solution would be 3rd rail technology in a tunnel but we know that's not going to happen. Perhaps METRO is going with diesel to placate some who are wary of LRT on Richmond with overhead lines. Perhaps the diesel decision won't be the ultimate solution. I suppose we'll find out soon enough.

From what little research I've done, the current Siemens cars can be configured for diesel thereby allowing all cars to head out to the Fannin yard from Wheeler Station for service but I still have my doubts.

It just seems that consistancy regarding rolling stock is the most economical.

As others have said, a stinky and noisey U Line diesel system would be just that: stinky and noisey-a definate step backwards from our quiet and clean current Red Line.

B)

Edited by nmainguy
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I also wonder if the lifespan of a diesel LRV is shorter than that of an electric LRV. I know with buses, electric trolley buses have a much longer usable lifespan than a diesel bus, even though the initial cost of aquisition is much higher for electric. I'm sure that LRVs are similar. I'd rather see Metro spend the money up front to do it right and go with an all-electric system.

And one more point. When the Metro Solutions plan was modified last year, and BRT was substituted for light rail on several lines, the plan was to go ahead and put down the tracks and have everything ready light rail except the electric power system. If Metro is getting into the diesel light rail business, why even bother with BRT on the other lines? If there's not going to be any electric system, but the rails are in the street, then why not just go ahead and put diesel LRVs on those lines from the start? This diesel light rail business seems to negate the need for BRT on those lines.

These trains are more similar to actual train locomotives than buses. Locomotives run on electricity coming from diesel generators. It is true their lifespan is shorter, probably 15-20 years versus 25-30 for pure electric.

Also here are some proposed schematics for the uptown line

http://metrosolutions.org/go/doc/1068/112149/

actually the alternative analysis pdf.'s are up for all BRT cooridors

Edited by CE_ugh
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This stinks literally. However, just be thankful they didnt pick "Unguided Diesel GRT" aka BRT aka Bendy Buses

Interesting, austin is on there. I think for them diesel was smart, considering their starter line is a 30 mile stretch of former freight railway and its cheaper than electric rail but still has the light rail benefits...I noticed CapMetro is calling it 'Urban Commuter Rail' instead of Light Rail, which actually makes sense since its sort of hybrid, out in cedar park it will be commuter rail with normal train track, but in town it will be like light rail with tracks in the street and smaller close together stations.

However, this is not houston's case....or is it? With these vehicles metro could build a commuter line out to the beltway and beyond, or a line out of fannin paralleling 90 thru missouri city and Fort Bend to Sugarland all with the SAME TRAINS...Imagine a one seat ride from Stafford to the Med Center...

Too bad metro really isnt that smart.

Edited by zaphod
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I just saw a diesel/electric hybrid bus driving down Rusk street on Friday night. Looked like a normal bus, but had a big 'turtle shell' thing on the rear of the roof. Its front display read "out of service" so I can only assume it was out for a test drive.

Could a similar powerplant be proposed for the new trains?

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I just saw a diesel/electric hybrid bus driving down Rusk street on Friday night. Looked like a normal bus, but had a big 'turtle shell' thing on the rear of the roof. Its front display read "out of service" so I can only assume it was out for a test drive.

Could a similar powerplant be proposed for the new trains?

I've seen them running in service on the 82/53 for at least a year now.

Edited by Jeebus
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I don't get why those guys always resist anything proposed for Richmond Ave., hello, its already got a mini superhighway of 6 lanes going through your neighborhood.

From what it sounds like, they do not want it in the vicinity of the neighborhood at all. Somehow I think the question "Where would you place the line besides Westpark and Richmond?" would not work out to well with the residents of the neighborhood.

edit: Why was Westpark an option to begin with?

Edited by WesternGulf
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One reason was that METRO owns the ROW.

B)

To my knowledge they only own the right of way West of Kirby, and even then it is shared with a power line easement. East of Kirby the former railroad ROW narrows significantly and finally peters out just after the 59 trench at Hazard Street. From there its a crowded narrow easement with pump stations and power poles blocking the corridor. That area is a hornets nest of opposition so Richmond IS the only way to go at least through Greenway Plaza

Edited by CE_ugh
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I hate Afton Oaks!

Seriously, these folks act as if Richmond is a beauitiful boulevard. It's six lanes of traffic with strip malls, gas stations, and drive-thru Burger Kings.

If I lived in Houston, I'd take my own protest to the streets; literally. I think we should bring back the Lower Westheimer cruising scene only this time on the stretch of Richmond from 610 to the railroad tracks. Make continuous circles. Blare some Cabaret Voltaire, Peter Murphy, and Ultravox. Throw out clove cigarrettes from the convertable. Honk at cars on the other side of the road...

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To my knowledge they only own the right of way West of Kirby, and even then it is shared with a power line easement. East of Kirby the former railroad ROW narrows significantly and finally peters out just after the 59 trench at Hazard Street. From there its a crowded narrow easement with pump stations and power poles blocking the corridor. That area is a hornets nest of opposition so Richmond IS the only way to go at least through Greenway Plaza

Yes, they own the Westpark ROW west of Kirby-that is where Westpark begins; there is no Westpark east of Kirby. Those who oppose LRT on Richmond argue the ballot language says "Westpark". OK then. Let's use their logic: The Westpark line is just that: Westpark only. This assures there will be no U Line as that was not specificly addressed in the ballot lanquage-except that the ballot language clearly states the WESTPARK line begin at Wheeler Station

Once again I will post the ballot language:

From the ballot:

4. WESTPARK

**Wheeler Station to Hillcroft Transit Center

This alignment does not exist. The next time someone comes at you with that argument, just quote from the ballot. Require them to justify their logic-not the other way around. Perhaps you could agree the ballot language is flawed [which it is] but it is important to confront them and NOT let them take the high ground when they are clearly skating on thin ice.

B)

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I really dont care about Afton Oaks. If they dont want a train through their neighborhood, fine. I feel that after Weslayan or the UP tracks either Westhiemer or Westpark is a better route. I'm not saying that Richmond doesn't have great benefits, rather any plans for expansion and extension are better served by Westpark or Westhiemer. Richmond has alot of strip centers and night clubs in west Houston, while in contrast Westpark passes large population centers like Sharpstown and can act in tandem with the tollway. Along Westhiemer there are similar qualities and of course Westchase.

What I dont like is how some in Afton Oaks have decided to feed misinformation and lies to residents futher down Richmond. It is understandable to have concerns about how this line will affect their neighborhood, but the fact is Richmond is wide enough to not require land acquisition. It will almost certainly be at-grade. It will (if METRO HAS learned from Main Street) be put on a fast track construction. If it was METRO's intention to kill a neighborhood like some along Richmond claim, where would they get their riders from?

I just think they have forgotten they live in a very large city inside of there obscenly expensive mid-century ranch homes.

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I really dont care about Afton Oaks. If they dont want a train through their neighborhood, fine. I feel that after Weslayan or the UP tracks either Westhiemer or Westpark is a better route. I'm not saying that Richmond doesn't have great benefits, rather any plans for expansion and extension are better served by Westpark or Westhiemer. Richmond has alot of strip centers and night clubs in west Houston, while in contrast Westpark passes large population centers like Sharpstown and can act in tandem with the tollway. Along Westhiemer there are similar qualities and of course Westchase.

What I dont like is how some in Afton Oaks have decided to feed misinformation and lies to residents futher down Richmond. It is understandable to have concerns about how this line will affect their neighborhood, but the fact is Richmond is wide enough to not require land acquisition. It will almost certainly be at-grade. It will (if METRO HAS learned from Main Street) be put on a fast track construction. If it was METRO's intention to kill a neighborhood like some along Richmond claim, where would they get their riders from?

I just think they have forgotten they live in a very large city inside of there obscenly expensive mid-century ranch homes.

You know what Dallas residence did that didn't want DART though there neighborhood don't you? They built a 3.5 mile tunnel (subway). This was so popular that they plan to expand with other subway tunnels. If Houston doesn't like tunnels they should go up.

I was also thinking wouldn't a light rail running around 610 be a good idea?

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You know what Dallas residence did that didn't want DART though there neighborhood don't you? They built a 3.5 mile tunnel (subway). This was so popular that they plan to expand with other subway tunnels. If Houston doesn't like tunnels they should go up.

I was also thinking wouldn't a light rail running around 610 be a good idea?

Well you'll soon get your wish for houston to look more urban because the Uptown line will not only be underground but also elevated AND in the middle of 610!!! Hooray!!!!!!!
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Richmond is the way to go and the project should be put on the fast track :) I personally dont give a merry damn about Afton Oaks whiners that are standing in the way of progress........

There is a bright side to the whining though.....if they whine often and long enough, people will eventually tune them out.......

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I'm not too enthused about the choice of diesel LRT myself, especially given the likelihood that fuel prices are only going to increase over the coming years. There's also the noise and pollution issue, although I've heard people say that the River Line in New Jersey is remarkably quiet for being DLRT and I'm pretty sure METRO would use the same ultra-low-sulphur diesel for their rail fleet as they currently use for their bus fleet.

Frank Wilson obviously wants to build these things as quickly and as cheaply as possible. And, since none of the BRT lines are going to be electrified, why not eliminate the expense of designing, procuring and building catenary systems altogether and go with diesel on the new LRT line as well? Also, using diesel LRT along Westpark makes the eventual extension out to Gessner, Westchase or even Fort Bend County that much easier.

As with the BRT lines, they'll probably make room for electrical conduits and vaults so that future electrification can occur. And, as somebody else noted, diesel LRT works similar to standard freight locomotives in that the diesel engine does not actually drive the vehicle but rather generates power for the electric drive motors, so acceleration, braking, etc. should be similar to that of the existing electric trains. Furthermore, it's likely the trucks, bogeys, motors, etc. Siemens uses on their diesel LRT product would be similar to that used by their electric LRT product, which would make cross-maintience of the two fleets easier (provided, of course, that METRO goes with Siemens for its DLRT product).

One downside is that the whiners will use this as another weapon against a Richmond alignment. "The diesel train is going to worsen pollution in our neighborhood!" They'll no doubt claim. As if the 25 and 53 buses that constantly run up and down Richmond don't do that already...

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This is the first time I have ever heard of these Diesel LRT vehicles. It just sounds disgusting. Are these part of the plans and what is the point?

I believe that is what Galveston uses with their streetcars. No overhead wires I believe. Also the Perley Thomas streetcars on St Charles in New Orleans.

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what im hoping for is that they eventually electrify the line...

Also, I wonder if whatever trains they pick will be able to run on the red line aswell?

Also, wouldnt it be great if they planted grass on the tracks like they do in france?

maquette_tramway.jpg

P5200335.jpg

P5200321.jpg

Edited by zaphod
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Ive always wondered why the 610 overpass at Post Oak spanned such a long distance. Looking at the proposed route for the uptown line, it looks like they actually worked with TXDot and made room for the below grade alignment. There is a large gap between piers. Of course I somehow wouldn't be surprised when the freeway mainlanes is finished there is no space for the line to exit to a proposed elevated portion in the median of the freeway.

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Ive always wondered why the 610 overpass at Post Oak spanned such a long distance.

Are you talking about the overpass just east of the Uptown shopping area? It is the only location where Post Oak intersects with the loop. It doesn't look like it has ever been altered from it's original configuration. Am I missing something?

B)

Edited by nmainguy
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I'm not too enthused about the choice of diesel LRT myself, especially given the likelihood that fuel prices are only going to increase over the coming years. There's also the noise and pollution issue, although I've heard people say that the River Line in New Jersey is remarkably quiet for being DLRT and I'm pretty sure METRO would use the same ultra-low-sulphur diesel for their rail fleet as they currently use for their bus fleet.

Frank Wilson obviously wants to build these things as quickly and as cheaply as possible. And, since none of the BRT lines are going to be electrified, why not eliminate the expense of designing, procuring and building catenary systems altogether and go with diesel on the new LRT line as well? Also, using diesel LRT along Westpark makes the eventual extension out to Gessner, Westchase or even Fort Bend County that much easier.

As with the BRT lines, they'll probably make room for electrical conduits and vaults so that future electrification can occur. And, as somebody else noted, diesel LRT works similar to standard freight locomotives in that the diesel engine does not actually drive the vehicle but rather generates power for the electric drive motors, so acceleration, braking, etc. should be similar to that of the existing electric trains. Furthermore, it's likely the trucks, bogeys, motors, etc. Siemens uses on their diesel LRT product would be similar to that used by their electric LRT product, which would make cross-maintience of the two fleets easier (provided, of course, that METRO goes with Siemens for its DLRT product).

One downside is that the whiners will use this as another weapon against a Richmond alignment. "The diesel train is going to worsen pollution in our neighborhood!" They'll no doubt claim. As if the 25 and 53 buses that constantly run up and down Richmond don't do that already...

no disrespect intended but... what the hell you just say? I'm sorry but i was with you in the first paragraph but after that i was asleep :wacko:

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Are you talking about the overpass just east of the Uptown shopping area? It is the only location where Post Oak intersects with the loop. It doesn't look like it has ever been altered from it's original configuration. Am I missing something?

B)

Really? It seems to me to be a very long overpass. Much longer than those at San Felipe and Westhiemer

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Really? It seems to me to be a very long overpass. Much longer than those at San Felipe and Westhiemer

The new West Loop overpass at Post Oak is considerably longer than the one it replaced. I assumed it was to allow for eventual light rail as well.

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