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Caltrain Modernization Takes Important Step Forward
The California State Legislature’s vote to approve funding for the Caltrain Modernization Project as part of the California High-speed Rail Authority’s effort marks an important milestone in bringing modern electric rail service to the Bay Area. The bill authorizes $600 million in high-speed rail funds to modernize Caltrain.
In addition to the money received through the high-speed rail program Caltrain also will receive more than $100 million in connectivity funding through Prop. 1A. Additional funds for the project will come from a combination of local, regional and federal sources.
A modern Caltrain system will provide more service, carry more riders, get more cars off the roads, reduce the operating subsidy and reduce pollution.
“There is a generational responsibility to leave behind a world that is better than the one we found. This speaks to that responsibility,” said Executive Director Mike Scanlon.
The “blended system” advanced by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Assemblyman Rich Gordon and State Senator Joe Simitian will allow Caltrain and high-speed rail to operate primarily on Caltrain’s existing tracks, minimizing the impacts on the communities through which it passes.
Electrification also will help Caltrain reduce its ongoing financial problems. Not only are electric trains less expensive to operate, but modern, electric Caltrain service will attract more riders, which will bring more revenue.
The modernization program is a comprehensive reinvention of the historic railroad that includes electrification and an advanced signal system with Positive Train Control. PTC is a federally mandated safety system that prevents train collisions.
With the additional funding for the $1.5 billion project, electric train service could be operating on the Caltrain corridor as soon as 2019.
Media Contact: Christine Dunn, 650.508.6238