Caltrain is pleased to hear that the California High Speed Rail Authority recently updated business plan prioritizes investment on the northern portion of the HSR system. We will be reviewing the plan closely to understand how this update will benefit the Caltrain Modernization Program.
We have been coordinating with CHSRA for years and they have committed funding that is essential to completing the project by 2020.
The updated business plan seems to be great news and is an encouraging sign that state funds already committed to constructing electrification will be available in time for Caltrain to award contracts and start work on the project without any delay to the modernization program.
The Caltrain Modernization Program includes the electrification of the corridor between San Francisco and San Jose, the purchase of new high-performance electric rail vehicles known as electric multiple units (EMUs), and will upgrade the railroad’s signal system and implement the advanced safety technology known as Positive Train Control.
By 2040, an electrified Caltrain system will reduce Caltrain criteria pollutant emissions by up to 97 percent, more than double current weekday ridership with increased service and the downtown San Francisco extension and take more than 600,000 daily vehicle miles off the region’s roadways.
The increased ridership and improved performance from electrification are critical for Caltrain to sustain its services, to meet future demand and restore and improve service at current stations. Weekday service will be restored at Atherton and Broadway (Burlingame) stations.
Caltrain continues to work towards the goal of launching electrified service before the end of 2020.
About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with limited commute service to Gilroy. Caltrain has enjoyed five years of consecutive monthly ridership increases, surpassing more than 60,000 average weekday riders earlier this year. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad celebrated 150 years of continuous passenger service in 2014. Planning for the next 150 years of Peninsula rail service, Caltrain is on pace to electrify the corridor, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations.