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Preparations for Sacramento's New Intermodal Facility Prove Fatal

Sacramento's downtown train station recently relocated its tracks to accommodate new transit oriented development - but the long, winding walk from depot to platform has presented problems for passengers, including a fatal heart attack on day one.
August 21, 2012, 10am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Tony Bizjak explains why what used to be a simple walk across one or two train tracks and one light rail track from depot and bus docks to Amtrak Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin and long-distance trains to Chicago and Seattle is now a five-minute, winding walk including a new tunnel with ramps.

"The city and Union Pacific say they built the new tracks, tunnels and platforms to reduce freight and passenger train congestion and to open space for development in the largely empty railyard." This first phase of construction of a federally-funded Intermodal facility, and associated mixed-use development, is being called the "Path to Progress" [PDF].

Some infirm passengers said the five-minute walk up and down ramps to the trains was too long. Other passengers complained that the temporary winding path through a construction zone was confusing. Some commuters missed their trains. And one man collapsed of an apparent heart attack" (and died).

Passengers clearly were not happy with the diagonal walk through the vacant railyard (slated for development) and then descending into the tunnel and walking up to the platform.

"This remodel seems to make the process harder with no tangible benefit," said Commuter Zak Frieders, who missed his train the first day when his light-rail train arrived too late.

"It seems like it is all tied up with the politics of the railyard development."

Thanks to David McCoard

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, August 19, 2012 in The Sacramento Bee - Transportation
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