Friday, November 1, 2013

Trains are slow

Trains in California are slow.

I was looking at a list of future rail stations in Los Angeles County. I saw that the Gold Line is working its way far to the East with future stations which go near where I work.

Then I started reading about the gold line:
The Gold Line takes 54 minutes to travel its 19.7-mile (31.7 km) length. This means the Gold Line averages 21.9 mph (35 km/h) over its length, making the Gold Line the slowest of all of Metro Rail's lines. In particular, the Gold Line is slow through the Highland Park area, where trains reach speeds of only 20 mph (32 km/h), and through the curves, where trains travel at about 25 mph (40 km/h).
As slow as traffic is, it is pretty hard to compete with cars when your average speed is not even 25mph. Even worse, this is some of the newest track on the rail system. It was all built in the past decade, and they still can't manage to get something capable of moving at a reasonable speed!

At least they are considering extending the gold line to the Ontario Airport. Connecting the train network to several airports and colleges strikes me as about the best way to make it actually useful. Unfortunately that seems likely to be delayed even longer than connections to LAX. 

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