To help frame and understand successful implementation of the project, the team compiled a group of relevant case study projects that recalibrate infrastructure to serve as precedents. Of these projects, three were selected for their relevance and similarity of the conditions present at the Albina and Brooklyn yards respectively. These three include:
1) Reno ReTRAC, Reno Nevada- Watch a UP Container Train pass through the Reno Trench at 60mph here!
2) Alameda Corridor- East (ACE), San Gabriel, California. Click here to see the final design and the Project Benefits.
3) Sioux Falls Relocation Project, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Reno ReTRAC, Reno Nevada:
1). The ReTRAC depressed rail corridor is Reno’s selected solution to it’s downtown rail problems. The final design resulted in a full-depth trench with length in excess of 2.2 miles that depressed a double track mainline 33 feet below grade by 54 feet in width, accommodating two mainline tracks a service road. 11 at-grade crossings were removed and replaced by street-level bridges spanning the trench, minimizing emergency vehicle delay, vehicular delay, impacts from pedestrian conflicts, whistle warning noise, and air quality conflicts.
Project Purpose and Drivers: The city felt that the effects of the increased volume would further exacerbate existing problems in the area with traffic, mobility, train noise, safety, and depressed tax revenue.
Benefits to Reno ReTRAC:
The speed of rail operations through downtown Reno was increased from 20 mph when it was at-grade to 60 mph through the trench. The train allowed Union Pacific to improve freight capacity by increasing train lengths to 8,000 feet with double-stacked containers. Greater train frequency is now also possible facilitating Nevada’s warehousing industry.
2). The San Gabriel Trench was a 2.2 mile grade separation project that resulted in a 30-foot deep, 65-foot wide trench through the City of San Gabriel with bridges constructed at Ramona Street, Mission Road, Del Mar Avenue and San Gabriel Boulevard, allowing vehicles and pedestrians to pass over the tracks.
Benefits to San Gabriel Commuters and Motorists
The project reduces emissions and improves safety by eliminating an estimated 1,744 vehicle-hours of delay for nearly 90,000 motorists traveling each day on the four grade-separated streets. Ten collisions had been recorded at the four crossings including two fatalities and three injuries over a 10-year period. By 2025, rail traffic is projected to increase from 18 trains per day to 61 trains per day if a second track is installed. In addition to eliminating locomotive horn and crossing bell noise, the project allows emergency responders to respond more quickly to calls on both sides of the tracks. The project directly employed 1,2111 workers, including 133 San Gabriel Valley residents.