Caltrain applauds the California High Speed Rail Authority on the release of their Draft 2018 Business Plan. Thanks in part to committed partnership and significant investment from the Authority, Caltrain has been able to proceed with efforts to electrify the Caltrain corridor between San Francisco and San Jose, and has secured the investment needed to replace 75 percent of the system’s diesel fleet with high-performance electric trains.
The Draft 2018 Business Plan proposes new strategies that would expand electrification of the Caltrain corridor south of San Jose to Gilroy, ensuring that all communities currently served by Caltrain will benefit from the advantages offered by electric trains, including increased service frequency, reduced travel times, enhanced reliability, and improved air quality. This new approach, which is part of the phased implementation of a Silicon Valley to Central Valley Line, is a continuation and an enhancement of the Authority’s longstanding commitment to eventually connect the State with high-speed rail service in a way that also offers immediate improvements to existing regional rail services, including Caltrain.
The approach also focuses on the implementation of early interim high-speed rail service between San Francisco and Gilroy as early as 2027. The addition of high speed rail service to the Caltrain corridor has great potential for maximizing the benefits of corridor electrification, and providing communities along the corridor with new mobility options that will be a valuable part of our efforts as a region to address growing traffic congestion and maintain our economic competitiveness.
“We are very excited about the extension of electrified rail service to Gilroy,” said Jeannie Bruins, who is Chair of the Caltrain Board of Directors and a Los Altos City Councilmember. “Cities along the Caltrain line south of San Jose are growing rapidly and this will be a tremendous step toward providing them with the transportation infrastructure they need to accommodate that growth.”
Caltrain is currently leading efforts to develop the Caltrain Business Plan, which includes an in-depth technical analysis of the issues and considerations related to the expansion of services within the corridor, including the addition of high-speed rail. Caltrain looks forward to continued involvement form the Authority and our local and regional stakeholders to complete the Caltrain Business Plan, and to better define strategies for enhanced connections between communities on the corridor and for the eventual connection of our region to the rest of the State.
Caltrain also looks forward to working with the Authority and our partners in San Francisco to ensure that Caltrain and high-speed rail service are extended to Downtown San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center as soon as possible. The extension of high-quality rail service to the Transbay Transit Center holds dramatic potential for the expansion of Caltrain service to new markets and will help facilitate congestion relief and enhanced mobility throughout the entire corridor.
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 enjoyed more than five years of consecutive monthly ridership increases, surpassing more than 65,000 average weekday riders. 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 system, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations.
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