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New commuter trains - Chuck Fisher's LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
From Bay Area to Barcelona

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New commuter trains [ Saturday, 26 Aug 06 | 15:14 ]
ursine1
[My Location |el Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[My Music |Perez Prado - Mambos]



New train taken from my terraza.

In July new commuter trains started to appear on linea 1 de las Cercanias de Barcelona, which runs in front of my home. Like the trains before them, they are made by Spanish company CAF headquarted in Euskadi (the Basque Country.) The trains are called Civia and are high-speed electric units which run on urban and suburban commuter lines, with a large passenger transport capacity and frequent stops.

The new trains look a bit different than the previous series of models that are used on my line. A big difference is that instead of separate cars with doors in between, the train is continuous with coaches being linked by a diaphanous inter-circulation corridor. This is much like typical metro (subway) trains.


Old train taken from my terraza.

Passenger comfort improvements include, among others, video-information and special facilities for the disabled (adapted doors and access ramps, low-floor coach, etc).

There are lots of LCD screens which show the time, temperature, and length of time to the next station, or a list of next several stations and their connecting rail service. Of course they still have automated audio announcements just before reaching the next stop. And a nice WC as well. (Does BART have on-board toilets yet, and do they still have the station rest rooms locked?)


New train interior taken from CAF website.

The new trains accelerate faster and are very quiet. (One of my complaints about BART is how noisy it is, especially in the tunnels on the way to SFO.) They make commuting to la capital very enjoyable, especially from El Masnou to Badalona where the line hugs the Sea. El viaje es muy comodo.

I hope they replace more of the rolling stock on my route. Currently I think there are two of the trains being used.

Note for State-side LJers: the Sacramento LRV and Washington DC metro (subway) trains are also made by CAF.
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Comments:
From: winstonthriller
Saturday, 26 Aug 06 | 14:14 (UTC)
I haven't been on a BART train for about 3-5 years, but I'd rather piss myself that use one of those station bathrooms. The one I used looked and smelled like the portal to a nasty circle of Hell.
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Monday, 28 Aug 06 | 11:52 (UTC)
Oh, nice photos!!!!!

I haven't seen them in the C2 line (the one I use)
BTW, what do you think about the "new" Airport line, C10? I think that splitting the 4 old lines into more is silly
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Monday, 18 Sep 06 | 15:14 (UTC)

The C10 Airport line

When I first came to Barcelona two years ago, it was a direct ride from El Masnou to the El Prat Airport (BCN) on line C1. There was a train every half-hour and the ride took 45 minutes. But those times are gone.

Last December, things changed due to the work for the AVE (high-speed train) from Sants (the principal train station in Barcelona) to Lleida, the current terminus. Namely, they had to tear up part of the old C1 line near El Prat. That resulted in having to change trains twice in order to get to BCN, which I didn't like.

Now with C10, I will change once at Sants. Not as convenient as before, but better than two changes. I can understand why they routed from the Franca station through Paseo de Gracia and on to Sants for the C10 line. The current route through Arc de Triomf and Plaça Catalunya already has four Cercanias lines and is probably at capacity with current switching technology.

At times my C1 train has to wait between El Clot Aragò and Arc de Triomf because of the traffic.

Carles
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Tuesday, 19 Sep 06 | 09:30 (UTC)

Re: The C10 Airport line

You are quite a reasonable person :)

However, there is a line missing: C10 south. Why do I have to take two trains to get to the airport? Why isn't there a line that goes from the south to the airport?

Anyway... Renfe is renfe and they'll always be
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Tuesday, 19 Sep 06 | 10:16 (UTC)

BCN mass transit

I think that mass transit to BCN will be a mess until the AVE, L9 of TMB, and the new south terminal are completed. Any guess when that will be?

I think the current C10 is just a "quick fix".

I can remember living in the SF Bay Area and for 30 years they kept changing SFO. It finally seems finished. Now they have a BART connection, but the price is "jacked up". And they wonder why ridership is not up to projections.

Carlos
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Tuesday, 19 Sep 06 | 10:26 (UTC)

Renfe is renfe and they'll always be...

Oops! How could I miss commenting on that?

The Cercanias (Rodalies) of Renfe here in Barcelona are supposed to become part of FGC due to one of the provisions in the new Estatuto de autonomía de Catalunya. We'll have to wait and see what kind of changes will be made. I am sure it will take some time.

Carles
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Tuesday, 19 Sep 06 | 13:09 (UTC)

Re: BCN mass transit

I couldn't find any prevision on the end of the works, but so far I recall:

-AVE arrival: mid-2007
-Complete L9: 2010
-South Terminal: 2008

:(
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[User Picture]From: beartech420
Monday, 18 Sep 06 | 02:07 (UTC)
boy the europeans really have their act together when it comes to rails. i'm familar with Amtrak, boston T and philly commuter rail and transit, and only rode DC, Montreal transit once.
it's sad America really need to get it's ass in gear with it's rail system.
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Monday, 18 Sep 06 | 15:00 (UTC)
I don't have much hope for the short-term in the States. They still have a "love affair" with personal vehicles. Despite the rhetoric about "oil addiction" they haven't even tried to improve the gas consumption. And it will take billions to build a meaningful rail system. But that time will come.

By the way, I added you as a friend.

Chuck

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