Friday, April 07, 2006

Here to L.A. in 2 Hours? Not so Fast

"Here to L.A. in 2 Hours? Not so Fast" by Marty Cheek, © Gilroy Dispatch, Gilroy, CA, April 7, 2006. (News Article)

"Maybe two decades from now, passengers heading to Los Angeles on sleek bullet trains traveling at 200 mph will enjoy the rural panorama of Pacheco Pass. ... spanning the nation, a transcontinental railroad needed to ... pass somewhere over the Diablo range. ... Several routes were proposed and surveyed. These included Pacheco Pass and a direct line over the Altamont Pass to Oakland. In July 1853, a survey crew from the Benicia Arsenal explored Niles Canyon as a potential route. (The canyon was named after Addison C. Niles, a former railroad attorney who became a prominent state judge.) Engineers believed the narrow and relatively flat ravine would make a more efficient crossing than the arduous grades of Pacheco Pass and the Altamont Pass. Steam locomotives would use less fuel through Niles Canyon. And with brake technology still evolving back then, Niles was also considered a safer route. ... " [More]

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