On April 22nd, the local NBC station presented a nice report on the status of the new SMART DMU system that is in its testing phase, running trains between Santa Rosa and San Rafael, with operations scheduled to start near the end of this year.
It looks like they have their work cut out for them from a safety perspective. There hasn’t been a train there since the fifties and it appears that the local drivers don’t know how to deal with the new “traffic hazard”.
“as the train approached, cars nudged past the safety lines and some even stopped perilously on the tracks as the train slowly approached.”
Here in San Jose, we are working on “rail to trail” conversions. It appears the SMART system may be dealing with transitioning from “trail to rail”. According to a comment in the video, there are many who are used to using the rail road tracks as a trail. They need to learn to NOT walk on it.
The merchants at Railroad Square, which as I noted hasn’t had a Railroad since the fifties, is really looking forward to the line opening. They’ve even relocated the Sunday market to the square to take advantage of the new opportunities it will create.
For more information check out the Sonoma – Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) website.