Caltrain to Celebrate Completion of the Palo Alto Improvement Project

Caltrain to Celebrate Completion of the Palo Alto Improvement Project

Construction at both Palo Alto Caltrain stations is complete and it’s now time to celebrate. The public is invited to join officials from Caltrain, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and the City of Palo Alto at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26 for a brief ceremony at the California Avenue Caltrain Station.

For local train buffs, a replica of the historic Golden Spike will be on display at the event provided by Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center. The Golden Spike was the last ceremonial spike driven by Leland Stanford to join the rails of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869.

The year-long, $35 million construction project improves track capacity and rail safety at both train stations, as well as brings the stations up to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Construction at California Avenue eliminated the “hold-out” rule at the station. Because of the station’s configuration, only one train could be in the station at a time, which meant other trains had to “hold out,” or wait outside the station when another train was in or passing through the station. The center-boarding platform was replaced with outside boarding platforms on either side of the tracks and a fence between the train tracks. Pedestrians now use an underpass to cross between the platforms.

At the main Palo Alto station on University Avenue, crews modified the northern-most underpass to meet ADA standards and replaced the existing platforms with new, longer platforms.

Palo Alto is the second busiest station on the Caltrain line, after the San Francisco station, serving nearly 3,700 people each weekday. The California Avenue station serves more than 900 riders.

Money for this project came from a variety of funding sources, including $17.3 million from the Federal Transit Administration, $1.4 million from the state and $14.7 million in Santa Clara County Measure B funds from VTA.

02/20/2009 - crd
Media Contact: Tasha Bartholomew, 650.508.7927