Transportation headlines, Monday, April 2

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

All the details on the proposed Orange Line-Red Line link in NoHo (Curbed LA)

Check out the schematic of the proposed tunnel under Lankershim Boulevard that would connect the subway’s mezzanine level and the Orange Line street level platforms in North Hollywood. Metro is applying for a federal grant to pay for most of the cost; if it comes through, the project could be done by 2014.

California set to release $68.4-billion high-speed rail plan to appease critics (San Francisco Chronicle)

Nice possible scoop. The Chronicle reported over the weekend that the latest business plan by the California High-Speed Rail Authority will drop the price of the project from $98 billion to about $68 billion. How? Excerpt:

While the updated strategy still calls for construction to start in the Central Valley, it abandons plans to build only a 130-mile stretch from Chowchilla (Madera County) to Bakersfield. Instead, it extends the initial line north to Merced and south across the Tehachapi Mountains to Palmdale and the San Fernando Valley, probably Burbank, and calls for it to carry high-speed trains along the 300-mile stretch. It relies heavily on what officials have called a “blended approach” that uses existing commuter rail lines – including Caltrain – in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

That shift, authority board members said Saturday, is largely responsible for the cost savings because it eliminates the need to build separate tracks for high-speed rail through dense metropolitan areas.

We’ll see today if the Chronicle got it right. The Authority is holding a news conference this morning to explain the new business plan. I’ll post the news release and any other materials provided later today.

A good overview of the positive train control system that Metrolink is installing. The system uses GPS and digital communications to track trains to ensure they are on the proper track and abiding by signals. Metrolink officials say it could have prevented — or at least lessened the severity — of the crash in Chatsworth between a Metrolink train and freight train in 2008 that killed 25. Here’s a video that Metrolink made about PTC: