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Author Topic: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....  (Read 105 times)

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Offline Jeff

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I ran across this study at WSU quite by accident and was sort of dumbfounded by it...this fairly in-depth and quite early investigation of a light-rail line for Dayton's south suburbs.   This would have happened just after the intial push for I-675 was nixed.  This proposed Dayton line would have been a very early light-rail initiative...the first new North American line went in service in Edmonton in 1978 and the first US line went in service in San Diego in 1980 or 1981. 


I guess this was a window to do somehting other that freeways and highways for Dayton...the 1970s was en era of a lot of "new thinking", especially due to the energy crisis and the burgeoning environmental movement of the time.  The interesting thing about this proposal is that it seemed to generate a lot of political support, too.

The study was a joint venture between Peat-Marwick (the accounting/buisness consulting firm) and an engineering firm Klauder  and Associates.  It is quite thorough, including things like staffing, operating costs, ridership estimates, and so forth.  The study also looked at this light rail line as part of a bigger picture, as it estimted feeder bus routes as well as rail transit.

From an online site here is a summary/highlights of the report:

Highlights of the Klauder Report
On October 10, 1973, Louis T. Klauder & Associates issued a feasibility study of light rail transit in the southeast corridor of Dayton, Ohio.
     The report described a system utilizing light railway technology in a 95% exclusive right-of-way system connecting downtown Dayton with communities extending southeast to Centerville, about 12 miles, via a currently underutilized freight branch of the Penn Central Railroad.
     Except for short stretches, the line would be double-tracked, and would be signalled only where required-at curves, and at control points of single track sections.
     Most street operation would be in downtown Dayton, where speeds would be restricted to 25 mph or less. Elsewhere, full 60 mph speeds would be attained in practice. The average speed for a through trip from Dayton to Centerville would be 35 mph, allowing for dwell time of 15 seconds at each station, Higher average speeds, exceeding 40 mph could be obtained through the use of express or skip-stop scheduling.
     Service frequency would be every 10 minutes during peak periods, 20 minutes off-peak, the standard assumed in the Peat-Marwick-Mitchell ridership study. The generated ridership projected by the latter study, however, indicates the necessity of shorter headways, typically 7 minutes peak, 13 minutes off-peak.
     Service would be provided at all times except early morning hours when freight service could continue to be provided for industrial customers.
     
     Among the major conclusions reported by the Klauder study are the following (all costs in 1973 dollars):
     * The DART plan would provide high speed, high quality service "fully competitive with automotive travel on existing and planned highways" in the corridor,
     * The system would attract 20,000 daily riders the first year, up to 48,000 by the year 2000.
     * Revenues, based on "modest" fares, would cover costs of operation and maintenance with a "comfortable margin." "In fact, rail service revenues in excess of costs would be large enough to provide attractive bus feeder service to outlying rail stations."
     * Total capital cost, including all fixed facilities and vehicles, would average $2- to $3-million per mile, depending on length.
     * The estimated annual benefits to riders and the public at large would be almost double the equivalent annual cost of the initial investment.
     * Construction can proceed in stages. Branching and/or expansion of the original line can be easily accomplished.
     * Growth of ridership could entail additional cost of approximately $1.6-million per mile between now and the year 2000. "Quantifiable future benefits would exceed this additional cost by a substantial margin."


I notice their headways are by far better than modern-day RTA bus headways in the south suburbs..the study made a point that frequency of service was key in attracting and retaining ridership.

The proposal was to possibly stage construction with the first leg running to Stroop Road, and the final leg to Centerville.  They also proposed having more frequent service, at first, from Stroop as the area beyond was still undedeveloped when the study was done...Stroop would have been a turnaround point.

An interesting feature was that this line would have been shared with Penn Central, as the PC still had limited freight service over it .  The PC would have had to schedule night/early morning freight service while the line was not operating.

Here is a map of the proposed configuration and preliminary set of stations

 


..and the market area, or patronage area.  It looks like that in the early 70s the area between Far Hills and Wilmington Pike was still pretty open...



A cross-section of the line.  The study incorporated an access road that was proposed to double as a bike path...





A station configuration.  This was before the era of "Transit Oriented Devleopment", so the emphasis was on park and ride, "kiss and ride" (drop-off lane), and feeder bus transfers.  the study did say there would be shelters at the platforms, though.



The type of equipment that was recommened was the new cars ordered by the SF Muni and the Boston streetcar line...which would have been these Boeing-Vertol cars...maximum four car trains.  These cars proved to be dogs on the Muni.



And then there was these fold-out layouts drawn on aeriel photos, showing elevations and track schematics and suggested station locations....

Starting at the end of the line, way out on Spring Valley Road (and working north)



Approximate location today, about where the lawn in the foreground reaches the woods..the treeline would have been the line of the railroad..looking east on Spring Valley



Centerville Station




Looking towards what would have been the station area, looking south....



The park and ride lot was proposed to go across the street....



Looking north on the line, which would have went between the two buildings here....



Alex-Bell Road station, showing the alignment of the proposed interstate



Vicinity of the station site, looking west on Alex Bell...the station would have been on or halfway up that hill



The Whipp and Rahn Road stations...note that Rahn Road was still under construction in the areil




Vicinity of the station location on Whipp Road.  This was all undedeveloped at the time this line was proposed, and could have been one of those TODs....



The ROW is now a trail of sorts..."The Iron Horse Trail"...





Vicinity of the station on Rahn Road.







The Stroop station.  This was a junction point where the Penn Central frieght line Y-ed off and went to the Clement Yard (and DELCO on Woodman Drive).  This would have also been the start of possibly more frequent service into/from the city during rush hours. 




Stroop Road today, at the station site





The LR line would have followed this row of powerlines south...



Dorothy Lane station.....the vicinity of the ROW is becoming more urbanized.



Shroyer Station, very close to that little Shroyer/Patterson buisness district near Patterson Park, at the edge of Oakwood.



Somewhat questionable stations, Irving (why?) and UD (at the student ghetto side of campus?)



I skipped the NCR station...which would not have made sense by the late-1970s as NCR had shut down most operations here by then

The line then follows the Miami River, with a yard/shop facility proposed on the riverfront.



...then the least thought-out part of the plan...the downtown section.  First, a station to nowhere, Union Station.  I dont know when Amtrak had stopped serving Dayton, but this would have been maybe better located as a Sinclair College station.



Finally, arriving downtown down the center of Main Street.  I really am not sure how this would have worked..no loops, just a dead-end at First.



The study did provide a cross section....but what about the trolly buses?



A bit of a close-up.  I can't imagine rush hour train movements here.  It would have been a scheduling issu.  Perhaps it would have made more sense to do a one track loop on Jefferson, 1st, Ludlow, and Fifth....but im not an transportation engineer, so I don't know...




And, from an online archive at The Third Rail, some of the history and politics that led to the nixing of this scheme...a good case study of whats been called "the bureaucratic veto", even though there appeared to be bipartisan political support (inlcuding the GOP mayor of Kettterin, later state senator, Chuck Horn)

In the face of mounting criticism, Urban Mass Transit Administrator Robert E. Patricelli released a light rail transit policy statement December 16 [1975]. The statement came at the end of months of aggressive support for light rail from legislators of both political parties and all shades of the political spectrum. At the same time that UMTA issued its long-awaited statement, it stunned light rail advocates by slapping down the only advanced application for a light rail system before it-that of the city of Dayton, Ohio.

In a curt paragraph in the same news release that announced the light rail policy statement, UMTA said that it had sent a letter to Dayton's Miami Valley Regional Transit Authority notifying them that their proposal for a light rail system, called DART (Dayton Area Rail Transit) was "being removed from the active file because of certain deficiencies which had to be overcome before the proposal could be placed in competition with applications from other cities."

Specifically, UMTA claimed a "lack of assurance of a local financial share, and the lack of a review of transit alternatives involving bus operations on existing streets and freeways." UMTA said that its action was taken "without prejudice" to any "corrected" plan which Dayton might submit in the future.

In the meanwhile UMTA announced its intention to "assist in the deployment of modern light rail transit in a city or cities where proper conditions for this type of service are found to exist." The federal agency did not go into detail as to the nature of the "proper conditions" it sought.

Reaction in the Dayton area was swift and strong.

"A cruel setback" was the way the Dayton Journal Herald described UMTA's action in a Dec. 17 editorial. ". . . UMTA's reasoning is an insult to this area's intelligence."
The Journal Herald editorial went on to quote Tom Norwalk, an Oakwood, Ohio resident and an originator of the DART concept: "What we're seeing here is a lot of hypocrisy from the federal government. It is a real tragedy."
The feeling that the federal government had sought a subterfuge to reject the DART plan was also reflected in a Dayton Daily News editorial the same day.
"The points cited by the feds ... were obviously excuses. That leaves the reason a mystery," said the News. "Clearly, UMTA was looking for excuses to reject the application."
Addressing itself to UMTA's rejec!ion statement the News said that: 'Alternatives including more freeways, special bus lanes and a buses-only corridor over the abandoned rail line [proposed for use by the DART project] have been studied to death."
"As Kettering [Ohio] Mayor Charles Horn, who has worked hard for this plan, says, local planners have no choice but to jump through the hoops that the feds have put up."

 On Dec. 23, the Journal Herald commented further in its "Forum" opinion column: "We're frankly impatient with the whole federal grants process. It breeds an us-them attitude at both ends, with local officials and federal bureaucrats seeming to forget that its all 'our' money, the public's money, that is being handed out by the federal government.
 "UMTA was created to promote urban mass transit. Light rail, it seems to us, is most definitely going to be one of the principal modes of urban mass transportation in years to come. It is far cheaper to build than subways, it is cheaper to operate than buses. it will attract patrons who would never ride buses. And it is cleaner than automobiles or buses."

DART's Background

Unlike many other proposals brought before UMTA in recent years, the DART proposal was conceived, drafted and promoted by a voluntary group of local residents, rather than by a formal transit agency....
....The automobile came to Dayton as it has come to all American cities large and small, and with it the all-too-familiar problems that have been endemic to the American Dream Machine. But, unlike people in many another city, groups of Daytonians have refused to accept the inevitability of the march of the car culture.

The opportunity to create an alternative transportation future presented itself in April 1970, when Dayton was one of eleven U.S. cities selected by the U.S. DOT for participation in the Urban Corridor Demonstration Program. The program focused on a southeast corridor radiating from downtown Dayton to the communities of Kettering, Oakwood, Washington Township and Centerville. In October 1971, the Montgomery County Planning Commission submitted a plan for the corridor advocating an exclusive busway as a partial response to the area's needs.

 A report from the consulting firm of Vogt, Sage and Pflum, issued July 1, 1972, examined the feasibility of the proposed busway and projected a ridership estimate (10,000 to 15,000 passengers per day at its most optimistic) so modest that the consultants inferred that the cost of the busway could be justified only if carpools were allowed to use its right-of-way during peak periods, thereby substantially negating the busway's usefulness as transit at the times when it would be needed most.

Even as the proposed busway was in its talking stages, a trio of Dayton area residents, none of them professionally (or financially) involved in rail transit, were preparing a counter-proposal to bring modern rail transit to the southeast corridor.
The efforts of the three, Stephen S. King, Thomas S. Norwalk and James B. Rhinehart, culminated in the preparation of a remarkable 219-page report, "DART-The Coming Way to Go." Far from the vague, often unbalanced work of the typical ad-hoc committee, the DART report set out ideas and concrete proposals that quickly gained wide attention and support.

New Feasibility Study Ordered

The issuance of the DART report succeeded in delaying further implementation of the busway plan. The MontgomeryGreene County Transportation Coordinating Committee applied for Federal approval of a feasibility study of the light rail proposal on December 28, 1971. Approval was granted and the Philadelphia consulting firm of Louis T. Klauder & Associates was chosen to produce the study, with the Washington-based firm of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. acting as sub-consultants with the responsibility of projecting ridership figures.

UMTA Stalling Attacked

The DART plan picked up political as well as planning support. Senator Robert Taft (R-Ohio) openly promoted the light rail proposal in Congress and at the Department of Transportation, stirring up dust in the process of gaining momentum. When UMTA action failed to match its outward sympathy for light rail transit, Mr. Taft pushed harder, culminating in his speech, "Institutional Receptiveness to New Concepts in Transportation," which he delivered at the First National Light Rail Conference on June 25, 1975, in which he accused UMTA of having "no light rail policy" [TR, 1/57].
Despite continually growing support for light rail and DART in the succeeding months, UMTA continued to delay Dayton's application, all the while protesting that the application had "not been delayed," that it was going through normal procedures."

On October 31 a letter was delivered to Transportation Secretary Coleman:
"We, the undersigned Members of Congress, are writing to you to urge that, as a matter of national transportation policy, you direct the Urban Mass Transit Administration to support Light Rail transit."
Further citing the advantages of light rail, the letter concluded that "the rapidly growing interest in the advantages of Light Rail, in Light Rail's ability to provide not only large but also medium-sized cities with rail transit at low comparative cost, requires increased support for Light Rail by our national transportation authorities....
"We believe it is in the interest of the nation to move decisively to implement the Light Rail mode of urban transit. We urge you, as Secretary of Transportation, to act to do so."
The letter bore the signatures of Senators Taft, Metcalf, Buckley, Randolph, Cranston, Glenn and Kennedy, as well as that of Ohio Representative Clarence Brown.

Growing Frustration on DART

Despite the continually increasing support for light rail in Congress, Daytonians must have sensed the impending frustration of their own efforts. Even as light rail picked up the support of both conservatives and liberals on Capitol Hill, the Dayton Daily News expressed Dayton's growing frustration in a November 11 article: "The Dayton area's application seems to be suffering in UMTA from unfashionability. In the developing mass transit bureaucracy, light rail isn't powered by the special-interest constituencies that propel highway, bus line and subway proposals.
 "What a shame—what a farce—if the feds disallow a proposition that the locals are clamoring for, in favor, sometime later, of one [the busway] for which a general dislike already has been demonstrated in practice."
 So it was on December 16 that the combined efforts of energetic citizens and energetic legislators finally resulted in a break in UMTA's silence on light rail with the issuance of a policy statement. It was also the day when Daytonians received the long-awaited answer to their own rail transit hopes.

The answer was no.






So, would this have worked? Was the UMTA right, that this was not a viable scheme? 







 


« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 05:59:35 PM by ColDayMan »

Offline PigBoy

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2006, 09:53:45 PM »
I've seen that "Third Rail" page about this before... thanks for researching it!  I'd kind of forgotten about it, but I do recall being pretty surprised to learn that there had been a very real look at light rail back then.  It's not something you ever hear about.

I can't really say much about whether it would have worked or not, but it's certainly an interesting topic.

Offline KJP

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2006, 10:25:04 PM »
Has the near-disappearance of the Penn Central line made a revival of this project impossible? I guess the better question is -- how much of the P-C line has been built upon?

BTW, Amtrak stopped serving Dayton in 1979. President Carter cut Amtrak's funding in the midst of the 1970s' second energy crisis. One of the trains cut was the National Limited, which ran daily between New York City and Kansas City via Philly, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. Nearly all of the rail line is long gone between Dayton and Indy (ripped out in the early 1980s).
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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2006, 10:52:13 PM »
The "Third Rail" page is fascinating and I appreciate your compilation.
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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2006, 10:56:07 PM »
Interesting, especially the proposed path. Thanks for all the research and going out for the pics, I can actually orient myself somewhat.

Offline audidave

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2006, 11:53:21 PM »
Very impressive.  I'm sure had it been built the layout would've been altered to take downtown a little more into consideration.  There would've been extensions and perhaps new lines over the years.  This could've changed Dayton quite drastically.  Dayton would've clearly got the TOD concept.  Too bad our feds suck.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2006, 03:32:42 PM »
Quote
Has the near-disappearance of the Penn Central line made a revival of this project impossible? I guess the better question is -- how much of the P-C line has been built upon?

Parts of it are still in public domain, I think as recreational trails, like that "Iron Horse Trail' I mentioned, while others have been built upon (one stretch is a childrens playground, others are backyards or parking lots), or reverted to the adjacent landowners.

The neat thing about the original concept is that it would have avoided the the NIMBY issue as there would have been an active freight railroad there already.  To aquire the ROW now would mean taking over greenspace and peoples backyards and running streetcars through neighborhoods, after a probably 20 year absence of trains of any kind.  ROW aquistion would have been easier in 1973, too, as it would mean buying it from one owner..the bankrupt P-C, rather than multiple residential, commercial, and public owners today.

At this point it would probably be as easy to aquire right of way along Far Hills Avenue (the main corridor running south) as it would be to built a line on the original P-C ROW.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

The light rail concept has been revived somewhat as part of the Aviation Heritage National Historic Site, as a heritage streetcar/interurban line. 

The first plan from the mid-1990s was pretty extensive. extending down to Stroop Road in Kettering on the old P-C Clement Yard branch, and then down to Dayton on the old DX&P, later Penn. and PC line to Xenia....ive outlined the heritage rail in red and the old 1973 LR proposal in yellow





The most recent proposal, from 2004,  is a scaled-back three phase route that would run between West Dayton and downtown, and then a second phase to UD, Miami Valley Hospital, and Carillon Park.  Presumably there would be some transit benefits to this second phase as well as being  recreational concept.






Offline Jeff

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2006, 04:51:35 PM »
Quote
There would've been extensions and perhaps new lines over the years.  This could've changed Dayton quite drastically.  Dayton would've clearly got the TOD concept. 

At first I thought this would have been too late...the Dayton Mall opened in 1969 or 70, and was already starting to be the locus of decentralized retail and office space (Mead Corporation and NCR holdings in the area), and there was a lot of decentralization already happening in Kettering by the early 1970s, with a corridor developing along Far Hills of intermittent retail and office concentrations....in a sense this line didnt "go anywhere"....



Yet, this was before I-675, and I speculate in the next graphic about a logical extension to the line (actually maybe more sense as the main line than a branch), to the developing commercial concentration at the Dayton Mall.   This extension could have really been a determinant of a new type os subrban growth.  Washington Twp could have built-out as TOD office/retail/residential around the notional stations, instead of the auto-sprawl it is today.   And the mall branch could have extended to Miamisburg, back into town via Moraine, and out towards Springboro, making it a true secondary downtown.



Of course what happened was that I-675 was built and became the driver of conventional peripheral growth, first in the mall/Centerville area, then at Fairfield Commons/WPAFB/WSU & Wilmington Pike, now at the Indian Ripple interchange...



Dayton has become so sprawly and decentralized that it is doubtful that a light rail line would work here today.





Offline KJP

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2006, 05:12:37 PM »
^ I hear people say that a lot, yet remember that many streetcar and interurban lines built in the late 1800s and early 1900s were built as "promotional lines." These were built by real estate/electric utility/transportation syndicates into the totally undeveloped countryside adjacent to existing cities.

The moral of the story is that those areas were even less dense than today's suburbs. Yet, the rural areas were built with walkable neighborhoods, just as how our modern sprawling, parking lot-ridden suburbs should be rebuilt.
____________

So is the Heritage transit line still a pending/active plan/project?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2006, 05:13:15 PM by KJP »
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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2006, 05:38:32 PM »
These are exactly the kind of local transit projects that would be good to integrate with the Ohio Hub Plan.  If people are to ride intercity, high-speed passenger trains, they are going to want easy connections to local transit, especially if it is also rail-based.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2006, 05:48:24 PM »
Quote
So is the Heritage transit line still a pending/active plan/project?

That is a very good question. The info is still on the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission website, saying that a recommendation would come in 2005 to put it in the long range transportation plan.  But here we are in 2006 and there are no updates online.


Offline Eigth and State

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2006, 04:19:05 PM »

    I was surprised to discover a light rail plan for Cincinnati from about the same era. It recommended a shared right-of-way with the C&O railroad to Cheviot and also the old CL&N to Norwood. In 1976, those railroads were still in operation, although lightly used. Combining freight with passenger vehicles on the same track would have been an operational challenge.

    Alas, when I discovered the 280 page plan in a garbage can, the lines had already been abandoned, track removed, and buildings placed on the former right-of-way!

Offline noozer

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2006, 05:11:37 PM »
Joni Mitchell said it best...."Don't it always go to show, that ya don't know what ya got till it's gone...."

Offline BuckeyeB

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2006, 11:46:34 AM »
This is one of the most interesting posts I have seen since I started looking at this site. Interesting how the powers that be had a future planned for us that forced us into our cars whether we wanted to or not. Even more interesting is how advanced Dayton was at the time...if only...**sigh** Dayton could have been on the leading edge of the light rail movement way before San Diego, but instead the light rail line was deep sixed and I-675 was built, which do doubt made downtown Dayton a ghost town.

Still, they COULD have light rail or trolleys..and they already have the overhead wire in place to do that.

Offline noozer

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2006, 11:57:54 AM »
Agreed,  And welcome BuckeyeB!

Offline BuckeyeB

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2006, 03:15:22 PM »
Does anyone have a map of where the trolleybus lines run? It seems to me that this would be a good place to begin talk about any trolley for Dayton.

Offline BuckeyeB

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2006, 03:16:16 PM »
Thanks Noozer!! Great to be here!

Offline PigBoy

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2006, 03:32:23 PM »
Does anyone have a map of where the trolleybus lines run? It seems to me that this would be a good place to begin talk about any trolley for Dayton.
There is a guy who made a map of the trolley bus routes as of 2000: http://web.presby.edu/~jtbell/transit/images/Dayton/Map.gif

Offline quickbooks

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2008, 11:22:38 AM »
I stumbled on this report in the library, and then found your post.

Note that the right of way was featured on the front page of the Dayton Daily News yesterday (Wednesday, July 23, 2008) as a proposed bike trail.

I also started looking into the Dayton Union Station. I am not from this area. It appears Dayton at one time had a beautiful train station with bell and clock tower.

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2008, 11:44:05 AM »
It's too bad more people would rather play russian roulette with a loaded machine gun than invest in rapid transit...    :wtf:

Offline Robert Pence

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2008, 11:49:53 AM »
It's good to see this post come 'round again.

The Boeing Vertol cars were indeed dogs from the get-go, and I believe they were the last gasp of LRV manufacturing by any US-based firm.

A friend in San Francisco related this story of the unveiling of those cars with the opening of the Muni Metro:

One of the bigwigs - I don't recall if he was from Boeing or from Muni - was extolling the virtues of the cars' advanced design before TV cameras and a large crowd. To demonstrate the safety features of the pneumatic doors, he extended his arm into a doorway and instructed the operator to close the doors. He was promptly hustled off to a hospital with a broken arm.

Offline OTR

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2012, 11:10:43 PM »
Very interesting post. I wonder how many cities in Ohio have studied/considered rail like this.

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2016, 08:15:15 PM »
Dayton's not allowed to have nice things :cry:. I say RTA should just string some wires and run the trolley buses single-file down the bike path that's there now!

I'm actually kind of glad that the downtown loop didn't really get off the ground. I can see what they wanted to do, but I think a routing from the Wright Brothers museum on 3rd through downtown and then jogging south on Wayne would be better than a circulator. That said, downtown has wide enough (and empty enough) streets to either street-run trains or to just give them their own lane.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 08:19:32 PM by BigDipper 80 »

Offline old slumcat

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2016, 08:00:49 PM »
I was around at the time, I remember this well.  The DART light rail plan was around until 1982-1983 when ODOT basically said 'we're building I675 which will cut your rail line in half...come up with local money to match the federal commitment for building a 675 overpass...(or maybe it was just the $$$ to buy the rail row?)...or your rail project is essentially dead'.  Guess what happend next (or more to the point what didn't happen).  Now, a couple of significant tangent things were happening at the time ('82-83). MVRPC was working on a light rail alternatives analysis looking at three corridors, South, Northwest-Salem Mall area, and Northeast to Beavercreek, Fairborn, WSU and WPAFB.  OK, this should be a no-brainer, guess where the mathematical modeling said the real demand was...oh! And the Federal commitment?  WPAFB won hands down but local-politically it just wasn't going to happen.  Now the other thing going on at the time...really important... WW Owen, RTA board member and former City Transit owner, he HATED the DART plan because discussion had just started about upgrade/rehab to the regions trolleybus system.  He still had political clout at the time. The LAST thing he wanted was something to distract attention from, or usurp funding from, the trolleybus upgrade. (Which IMO has served us well over the last 30+years)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2016, 08:46:03 PM by slumcat »

Online GCrites80s

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2016, 07:24:54 AM »
^W.W.? How old was he?

Offline old slumcat

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2016, 11:23:36 AM »
He passed away sometime around 1990, around the age of 90.

Offline clvlndr

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2016, 11:34:30 AM »
Very interesting thread.  I had no idea Dayton was seriously considering Light Rail.

This just another sad reminder of What Could have Been... Here in Ohio, we have many, many more failed rail transit projects than we have those that came into fruition.  Somebody could open a substantial museum of failed transit projects in this State.

Offline old slumcat

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2016, 11:11:20 PM »
Does anyone have a map of where the trolleybus lines run? It seems to me that this would be a good place to begin talk about any trolley for Dayton.

www.daytontrolleys.net  theres a map there.  Active wire as shown on the map means the wire is charged and maintained, but over the next few years the trolleybus rolling stock fleet is shrinking due to age, so any route shown as active wire may be operated with diesels on any given day.  New trolleybuses coming within the next 2-5 years, which should restore the full map with about 30-40 active units in the fleet.  For the time being the consensus seems to be that any Federal infrastructure grant monies will be spent on modernizing and upgrading the trolleybus infrastructure, not streetcar or light rail. 
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 11:30:50 PM by slumcat »

Offline cranston

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2016, 11:49:25 PM »
He passed away sometime around 1990, around the age of 90.

And he is off to the right in this photo.

http://www.trolleybuses.net/day/htm/usa_h_day_mh_520_wyomingjaywb_ag.htm

Offline cranston

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Re: Dayton's Lost Light Rail Line...set the wayback machine to 1973....
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2016, 11:59:54 PM »
Does anyone have a map of where the trolleybus lines run? It seems to me that this would be a good place to begin talk about any trolley for Dayton.

www.daytontrolleys.net  theres a map there.  Active wire as shown on the map means the wire is charged and maintained, but over the next few years the trolleybus rolling stock fleet is shrinking due to age, so any route shown as active wire may be operated with diesels on any given day.  New trolleybuses coming within the next 2-5 years, which should restore the full map with about 30-40 active units in the fleet.  For the time being the consensus seems to be that any Federal infrastructure grant monies will be spent on modernizing and upgrading the trolleybus infrastructure, not streetcar or light rail.

The 9800 series trolleys are at end of their 18 year life.  As Slumcat says, the plan is to replace them with dual mode (can operate on wire, or 15+ miles off wire) trolleys. 

There is simply not enough ridership to get anywhere close to being able to support a streetcar even on the heaviest of the RTA lines (7 or 8, which on occasional trips have standing passengers), especially with the price to park in downtown about $3 a day, and plenty of on-street parking available on all streets all day long.  There are plenty of bike lanes, and more coming.