With the completion of the San Francisco to San Jose rail line in 1864, the transformation of the Peninsula was set in motion, marked by an ability to serve a restless population that wanted to travel great distances quickly and effectively.
The introduction of rail service shortened an eight-hour steamboat and stagecoach trip to just a three-and-a half hour train ride and cut travel costs from $30 to $3. The railway spurred growth on the Peninsula and in Silicon Valley, fostering the development of what has become one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economic engines.
Today, the rail system continues to power the region’s economy by connecting Peninsula residents with major employment centers, schools, shopping and other important services.
Over the past decade, Caltrain has made important service improvements that have led to extraordinary ridership gains. Today the system serves a record-breaking 54,000 riders on an average weekday. With commute hour trains operating near and beyond capacity, Caltrain must modernize to add capacity, sustain continued ridership growth and continue to meet the growing financial, social and environmental needs of the communities it serves.
The Caltrain Modernization Program will realize the next generation of the railroad by transforming the existing diesel service into an electrified system that provides cleaner, quieter, much-improved service to more riders.