A Proposed Coast Daylight Schedule and Service for 2007 (Train #798/799)

A SPECIAL REPORT by Anthony Lee, RailPAC director, Oakland — The proposed schedule is designed to provide advance train schedule of the Coast Starlight train 11/14, since the Coast Starlight is often sold out during peak periods such as holidays and during the summer period

Given the significant population growth along the Central Coast as well as Southern and Northern California, the reduction of Greyhound and airlines service, and increased congestion on the US101 Corridor: The proposed new train will provide an alternative and niche for those wanting to travel to the Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area-Northern California or Los Angeles and Southern California by train.After reviewing comments, suggestions and reviewing old and current train timetables of Amtrak, Caltrain, Metrolink, Coaster and Southern Pacific Lines, I came up with the following schedules and service suggestions for the proposed Coast Daylight.

Your comments would be appreciated.

Trains 798/799

Alternative Schedules:

ALTERNATIVE 1:

Train #799 departs Los Angeles at 07:30; this train would leave Los Angeles too early to be marketable. In this alternative, the schedule stays the same.

ALTERNATIVE 2:

Train #799 departs Los Angeles at 08:00, and arrives in San Luis Obispo at the same time as train # 798; which means one train would have to wait while one train loads and the other unloads. Currently this is done when two trains (#11/14) are in the SLO station. At the same time, In San Jose, the connection to Train #544 (Capitol Corridor) would be shortened to 28 minutes versus 68 minutes in Alternative one. Thus, adjusting train #544 to an 18:00 departure would allow a guaranteed 40 minutes cross-platform connection to Train #544.

ALTERNATIVE 3:

Train #799 departs Los Angeles at 08:15; arrives in San Luis Obispo 15 minutes after train #798 arrives. At San Jose, train #544 should be adjusted to 18:10 departure, allowing a 35 minute cross-platform connection at San Jose.

Making Connections to other Trains in Los Angeles.

Train #563 (Pacific Surfliner) would also provide connection to Train # 713 (San Joaquins) thruway service at Los Angeles. Also eliminating the Los Angeles – Santa Ana – Bakersfield thruway service for trains #799/#713, terminating the thruway service at Los Angeles. Train #563 would not interfere with Coaster or Metrolink operations.

To ensure strong ridership, connections need to be restored to the Southwest Chief Train #3 and the Sunset Limited train #1. Moving Train #3 to a 19:30 departure instead of 18:45 departure, and the Sunset limited from a 14:30 departure to either 20:30 or 22:00 departure, would allow those in Northern California and the Bay Area to connect to these two trains once again.

New thruway bus services should be established at Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara-Bakersfield); San Luis Obispo (San Luis Obispo-Fresno); Salinas (Salinas to Monterey/Seaside and Santa Cruz); and San Francisco-San Rafael-Novato-Petaluma-Santa Rosa.

On Board Services

First Class and Business Class (Premium service)

First Class and Business Class service should and must be provided to earn high yield revenue for this train to ensure a good far -box recovery. By having three classes of services, it would help the train’s bottom line. Assigning two business class cars on the train, will allow you to have one car serving intermediate stops and the other car for those who traveling longer distances.

Food Service:

The train should use a dinette car to provide San Joaquin style type dining service. (Diner/lounge). It would provide sit down seat service along with take away service. The dinette car should also provide lounge car service in the same car. In addition, trolley service should be provided to Coach Passengers as alternative to for those passengers whish not to go the food service car for food and drink, therefore; enhancing the dining car revenue. This would be idea for family travel with young children. Hot Meal service would be provide to First Class and Business Class passenger similarly the way airlines do with separate menus increasing he potential First/business Calls revenue. Serving hot food in the first class car would keep the food service car from being over whelm.

The Market

The First/Business Class should and could be marketed those who especially travel and stay in high end hotel and resorts along the central coast and who currently drive long the U.S 101corridor to these resorts and hotels.

In addition to a significant leisure market, there is also a sizable business and college/university market that travels to the central coast. This train could and would provide an alternative to both driving and flying. Since air service is quite expensive to this area and reduction in Greyhound service in this corridor. The train would be a good alternative in this travel market.

The Equipment:

If the Coast Daylight were to use Amfleet I equipment, the typical consist should look something like this:

  • 1 – Power – P42 (4,250hp)
  • 1 – First Class Car (Aclea style first class service) (23/18 — 23 seats in coach / 18 in first class)
  • 2 – Business class (60 seats)
  • 1 – Dinette (23 seats) (San Joaquin style food service)
  • 3 – Coaches (84 seats) – one Kiddie / Family Car
  • 1 – Cab Control Baggage Car or Cab Control car or Baggage Car
  • Total: 8 cars.

Total capacity: 436 seats

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