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Tom Matoff on SMART



Text and Photos by Carl Morrison,

Tom Matoff of  Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit  (SMART)

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Tom Matoff of
Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit  (SMART)

SMART is a 70-mile Marin County/Sonoma County corridor for light rail DMU units to help relieve the heavily congested Hwy. 101 in that area.  In 2008, a 1/4% sales tax was passed by both counties.  They are using a former Northwest Pacific property that they now own.  It will run from Cloverdale to Larkspur Ferry with 14 stations with high platforms.  There will be 36 scheduled trains (18 each way).  The unsignalized track was shut down in 2001 and has not had passenger service since 1958.  The  original bridges are old and must be replaced.  One instance is a swing bridge that must be replaced by a wide-channel lift bridge so the Coast Guard can service the area upstream.  The plan is for single track with passing sidings.  There will be 5 to 6,000 boardings a day on seven 2-car DMU trains with two spare 2-car trains for a total of 18 cars, expandable to 3-car trains. The trains will be FRA compliant because of daytime freight operations on the same line.  Six proposals for the new DMU trains have been received:  1 Spanish; 1 Japanese; 2 Siemens; 1 Swiss; 1 USRail.  Decision will be made Dec. 15 on the builder.  Sumitomo's proposal is 20% below the estimated cost of $3 million per car.    Proposals call for 60% American content and assembled in US.  There will be gauntlet tracks for freights to pass the level platforms for passengers.  Service set to start 2014.  

Mr. Matoff gave an excellent, clear, concise report to the TRAC attendees.  Their website is:

Next Page:  Lea M. Simpson, Branch Chief  Capital Projects South Branch

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