Orange County Branch Newsletter
Southern California Younger Members Forum
Padres Game + Mid-Coast Trolley Tech Tour
Written by Noe Martinez, ASCE LA YMF | Photos by Lenard Tran, PE, ASCE SD YMF
Many of us have ridden a light rail train at least once in our lifetime. Whether for leisure, commuting or curiosity, trains can be a very convenient mode of transportation. However, rarely do we wonder about the process required to design and build a light rail. As we admire the moving landscape outside the glass windows, the last thing on our minds is, "how did this all happen?" On Saturday, July 28th, the San Diego Young Member Forum hosted a technical tour of the Mid-Coast Transit Project, where we had the opportunity to go behind the scenes of the 11-mile trolley extension that will connect Downtown San Diego to University City.
Our technical tour started in the back parking lot of the VA San Diego Health Care System. YMF Members from Orange County, Los Angeles, and San Diego all gathered around our tour guide, Jack Boda, an engineer with more than 35 years of experience working with transportation systems in California. After the introductions, Jack provided overall information about the project and described its pre-construction process. The presentation continued as we passed the giant concrete columns holding the elevated trolley rail line. We drove to three other key locations, where Jack fed our amazement with fun facts and stories about the challenges this project had to overcome. The stories ranged from the electromagnetic interference of the trolley lines with campus equipment, to the study carried out on how the trolley could distract baseball players, while travelling in the background of the outfield. Our tour concluded at the new Transit Center, where we showed our gratitude to our tour guide.
Jack Boda explaining the construction of the elevated trolly rail line.
As we waited for the start of the Padres vs Diamondbacks baseball game, several of our attendees were inspired to park our cars at a nearby train station to ride the local rail system to the Petco Park Station. We were received at the front gate with a bobble-head figure and made our way into the stadium. The game was packed with familiar faces of YMF members. The environment was electrifying as everyone joined in the cheering. This was an overall, tremendously fun event. It was a balance of learning, exploring, and enjoying the company of amazing people.
View from our seats!