Monday, December 21, 2020

Catenary in Palo Alto

It's still very odd for me to see catenary over Caltrain tracks, even though the first of the new Stadler-built EMUs are scheduled to arrive in 2021. 

The catenary physical design seems a bit strange, if not haphazard. The H-profile masts with arms and catenary holders look like they were built using whatever they happened to have available in the yard. I know that is not true, but it certainly doesn't look like a brand-new system. E.g. the mast in the lead photo of this post has two completely different mounting systems for the catenary wires.

Maybe it's this weird only around the Palo Alto station, I'll have to check elsewhere. I'm sure there are good reasons for this. Maybe there are space constraints, too much space, or other considerations, ... In either case I'd love to learn more about the reasoning for this design. 

Nevertheless, I'm thrilled electrification is happening and I'm very much looking forward to using the new EMUs in passenger service in 2022.

Update Jan/02/2001:

I found a video from "The Four Foot" that shows the state of electrification in the corridor, and also mentions the various catenary styles in use. It appears that the Palo Alto segment has indeed a different style than the rest of the line.

No comments: