Infobox Public transit

imagesize = 200px
locale = North San Diego County, California, United States
transit_type = Light rail
began_operation = March 9, 2008 [cite news | url=http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20080310-9999-1m10sprint.html | title=Passenger train sprints into service | work=San Diego Union-Tribune | first=Michael | last=Burge | date=2008-03-10 | accessdate=2008-03-10]
system_length = convert|22|mi|km|abbr=on
lines =
stations = 15
ridership = 7,836 daily [cite news | url=http://www.northcountytimes.com/articles/2008/03/21/news/top_stories/21_27_403_20_08.txt | title=Sprinter ridership nudges toward 8,000 passengers | work=North County Times | first=Paul | last=Sisson | date=2008-03-20 | accessdate=2008-04-08]
marks = SDNR
track_gauge = 4 ft 8½ in (1435 mm) (standard gauge)
Owner = North County Transit District
operator = Veolia Transportation

The SPRINTER is a light rail line operating between Oceanside and Escondido, California, United States. The service uses the pre-existing convert|22|mi|km Escondido Branch trackage of the San Diego Northern Railroad. Station platforms were constructed for the line’s fifteen stations [http://www.gonctd.com/sprinter_stations.htm] serving the cities of Oceanside (western terminus), Vista, San Marcos, and Escondido (eastern terminus). The line provides service to Palomar College and California State University, San Marcos.

The Sprinter is operated by the North County Transit District of Oceanside, the area's public transit agency. The agency also operates the San Diego Coaster and Breeze Bus. Sprinter service is operated with Desiro-class diesel multiple units (DMU) manufactured by Siemens in Germany, where they are widely used by main-line regional railways. Twelve married pairs of Siemens VT642 Desiro DMUs were delivered to the Escondido Transit Center in August 2006. The vehicles were in acceptance testing in California during the early part of 2007. At Oceanside Transit Center, the Sprinter connects to three commuter rail lines (the COASTER, the Metrolink Orange County Line, and the Metrolink Inland Empire-Orange County Line) and Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner regional rail line.


The Sprinter is the first passenger train service of any kind along the Escondido Branch since the Santa Fe Railroad discontinued passenger service in 1946. The Escondido station is the only extant station from that era of service. The construction cost amounted to $477 million, significantly more than an early estimate of $60 million, made in 1993.fact|date=March 2008

Construction on the SPRINTER track, stations, and facilities was scheduled for completion in December 2007. The Sprinter was scheduled to be previewed on December 28, 2007, with full runs beginning on January 13, 2008. [http://www.gonctd.com/sprinter_schedules.htm] However, the line was delayed until January 27 due to safety concerns.cite news | url=http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20080118-9999-1mc18nctd.html | title=Sprinter could start on Jan. 27 | work=San Diego Union-Tribune | first=Michael | last=Burge | date=2008-01-18 | accessdate=2008-03-10] Many have doubted the reliability of the safety gates at level crossings. The reliability of the safety gates was associated with poor rail conditions and the extremely lightweight Desiro-class diesel multiple units. The DMU has historically been known for its inability to be detected by road crossing electronics, when new rail is being used, although this problem is limited to North America, where trains are built heavierthan anywhere else in the world. It does not exist in Europe, where the Sprinter'sweight is normal, and not in Japan, where the Sprinter would be overweight. These concerns are therefore typical for a technology optimization problem.After months of use, rail conditions generally improve through grooving of the rail. On January 25, it was announced that the Sprinter's opening was postponed again, this time to March 9. [cite news | url=http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20080125-1903-bn25sprint.html | title=Sprinter won't ride the rails until March 9 | work=San Diego Union-Tribune | first=Michael | last=Burge | date=2008-01-25 | accessdate=2008-03-10] The delays were caused by multiple issues. The California Public Utilities Commission did not certify the rail line until March 7, 2008, just 2 days before service began. It was also reported by North County Times that part of the problem involved the platforms at Escondido Avenue Station. Due to its shared right-of-way with freight trains serving businesses in Escondido, the Sprinter platforms had to be set back from the tracks a sufficient distance to provide enough room for employees riding on the sides of freight cars. This is the result of workplace safety rules, which are uniqueto the US West Coast, and were originally intended for unloading docks at a time, whena revival of the passenger train was considered impossible.

While the DMUs aren't much narrower than freight cars, the space for employeeshanging at the sides of cars considerably increases the free space required, and gangways were designed into the station that fold up after end of service to allow the BNSF trains plus employees at their sides to pass through. At the eastbound side of the Escondido Avenue platform, the tracks curve so sharply that a gap exists between the outside edges of the gangway and the side of the DMU. The California Public Utilities Commission has stated that such a gap is unsafe, and as a result, the Eastbound platform at Escondido Avenue is not used at this time. Until an appropriate fix has been completed, NCTD shuttles passengers needing to disembark there from the station prior to Escondido Ave. On Friday, September 12, 2008, the station was completed and on Monday, September 15, 2008, the station became operational.

On March 11 2008, just two days after the first passengers were carried, a westbound Sprinter train struck a man who was laying on the tracks under a State Route 78 bridge in San Marcos. It was not immediately clear if the the man was aware of the approach of the train. However, the man, who was covered by a sleeping bag at the time he was struck, spoke of suicide while in the emergency room. [cite news | first=Michael | last=Burge | title= New Sprinter train hits man lying on tracks; legs severed | url=http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20080312-9999-1m12sprint.html | publisher=San Diego Union-Tribune | date=2008-03-12 | accessdate=2008-04-09]


The SPRINTER has encountered some dissatisfaction in northern San Diego County. For example, business owners in Oceanside have attributed flooding to SPRINTER, since its construction raised railroad beds and narrowed creeks. The flooding occurred in November 2007 and January 2008. [cite news | url=http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20080109-9999-1m9flood.html | title=Businesses flooded along Sprinter rail line | work=San Diego Union-Tribune | first=Lola | last=Sherman | date=2008-01-09 | accessdate=2008-03-10]

Some have also criticized the limited schedule, especially since the last westbound trains for Oceanside depart Cal State San Marcos and Palomar College before 8pm. [cite news | url=http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2008/01/16/opinion/commentary/21_30_191_15_08.txt | title=Sprinter already a disappointment | work=North County Times | first=Neill | last=Kovrig | date=2008-01-15 | accessdate=2008-03-10]

Ridership numbers first climbed after opening to great fanfare. According to a North County Times article, the Sprinter's ridership numbers reached just under 8,000 people per day, as of March 20th. [cite news | url=http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2008/03/21/news/top_stories/21_27_403_20_08.txt | title=Sprinter ridership nudges toward 8,000 passengers | first=Paul | last=Sisson | date=2008-03-20 | accessdate=2008-06-09 | work=North County Times]

Since then the numbers have trended downwards to the "mid 6,000s range" by May, 2008. [ [http://www.utu.org/print_news.cfm?ArticleID=42481 UTU: News ] ]

SANDAG's 2007 study predicted that the Sprinter would reduce road trips by 5,000 a day (a round trip by car would be two road trips). It also predicted over 11,000 riders (trips) per day by the end of the first year. [http://www.sandag.org/enewsletter/archives/november2007/feature_7.html]

As of July, 2008, the Sprinter is about 40% short of SANDAG's predicted 11,000 ridership figure, and is reducing about 1,600 road trips a day -- less than a third what was predicted.


ee also

* San Diego Public Transportation
* Press Article from San Diego Union Tribune [http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20071229-9999-1mi29sprint.html]

External links

* [http://www.gonctd.com/sprinter_intro.htm Official site]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • sprinter — [ sprinte ] v. intr. <conjug. : 1> • 1898; de sprint ♦ Anglic. Sport Accélérer et soutenir l allure la plus rapide possible, notamment en fin de course. Fam. Courir, pédaler à toute vitesse (hors de toute compétition) (cf. Piquer un sprint) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Sprinter — can refer to: * a person who participates in sprint races * a cycling sprinter * Sprinter (computer) * an open wheeled sprint car * Sprinter, the branding given by British Rail to its class 150 Diesel Multiple Units * Stads Gewestelijk Materieel… …   Wikipedia

  • sprinter — SPRÍNTER, Ă, sprinteri, e, s.m. şi f. Atlet specializat în alergări pe distanţe scurte sau înzestrat cu capacitatea de a sprinta în finalul unei curse mai lungi. – Din fr., engl. sprinter. Trimis de LauraGellner, 04.01.2009. Sursa: DEX 98 … …   Dicționar Român

  • Sprinter — Sprinter, derivado de sprint, puede referirse a: Una persona que participa en carreras de velocidad. Sprinter (tienda), una cadena de tiendas de deporte de mediana superficie. Esprínter, un ciclista especializado en la velocidad punta. Sprinter,… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sprinter — Sprint er ( [ e]r), n. One who sprints; one who runs in sprint races; as, a champion sprinter. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sprinter — / sprintə/, it. / sprinter/ s. ingl. [der. di sprint ], usato in ital. al masch. e al femm. (sport.) [in corse podistiche e ciclistiche, corridore specializzato in gare su pista o di breve percorso] ▶◀ velocista …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • sprinter — /ˈsprinter, ingl. ˈsprɪntə(r)/ [vc. ingl., propriamente «velocista», da sprint] s. m. e f. inv. (sport) velocista, scattista …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • sprinter — (plural sprinters; del inglés; pronunciamos esprínter ) sustantivo masculino,f. 1. Área: deporte Deportista especializado en sprints: Esta corredora es la mejor sprinter europea …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • sprinter — s. m. Corredor de velocidade em pequenas distâncias ou capaz de pontas finais de uma longa corrida. (Correr rápido ou veloz será a forma aconselhável.)   ‣ Etimologia: palavra inglesa …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • sprinter — sprȉnter m DEFINICIJA sport natjecatelj specijaliziran za utrke u sprintu (1) ETIMOLOGIJA vidi sprint …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • sprinter — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 8}}rz. mos I, Mc. sprintererze; lm M. sprintererzy, sport. {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}} sportowiec specjalizujący się w sprintach; krótkodystansowiec <ang.> {{/stl 7}} …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

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