CALTRAIN/HSR BLENDED SYSTEM
In 2004, Caltrain entered into an agreement with the California High Speed Rail Authority to work cooperatively to plan a shared corridor between San Francisco and San Jose. In 2009, following voter approval of $9 billion to plan and construct the state’s high-speed rail system, the agencies entered into another agreement (2009 Agreement, 2009 Amendment) to work in partnership to advance specific improvements and identify design alternatives that support both high-speed rail and modernized Caltrain service.
Much has changed since that time.
The original plans for high-speed rail on the Peninsula called for a fully grade separated multi-track system between San Francisco and San Jose. After hearing concerns from policymakers and communities on the Peninsula, high-speed rail is being planned as part of a blended system allowing Caltrain and high-speed rail trains to primarily share Caltrain’s existing tracks on a system that remains substantially within the existing Caltrain corridor.
With this approach, the blended system minimizes impacts on surrounding communities, reduces project cost and expedites implementation.
In 2012, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the California High Speed Rail Authority, Caltrain and six other San Francisco Bay Area funding partners established an agreement to support the blended system and to invest early in the Caltrain Modernization Program.
This early investment will fund the delivery of modernized, electrified Caltrain service by 2019. Additional system upgrades will be required to support a blended system that is shared by Caltrain and high-speed rail by 2029.
Additional system upgrades include high-speed rail stations and the rail extension from the Caltrain 4th and King station to the new Transbay Transit Center (transbaycenter.org) in downtown San Francisco. It may also include passing tracks that allow high-speed rail trains to bypass the Caltrain trains; grade crossing upgrades, including potential grade separations; a storage and maintenance facility and other system upgrades.
Caltrain is currently facilitating a planning process to define the blended system.