Signal Optimization Project

Uncovered signals


Railroads use signals, which look like traffic lights, to communicate critical information to the train engineer. Signals tell engineers when it is safe to proceed, the speed that train can travel, and the position of the switches on the tracks up ahead.

In June 2009, Caltrain started construction of the first phase of the Signal Optimization Project to add additional signals to the rail line.  In December 2012, Caltrain started construction of the second phase of the Signal Optimization Project to place into service additional signals in the cities of San Mateo and Redwood City.  In addition, the project will adjust the timings at some of the crossings in those same two cities.

The work is scheduled to be completed in May 2013.

Construction Updates

To implement this project and assure the signals are functioning properly in San Mateo, Caltrain must test the signal system prior to placing them into service. This will be done over two weekends this month.
During this time period, Caltrain will operate extra trains to test the signals between Trousdale Drive in Burlingame and the Belmont Caltrain Station. Per Ferderal Railroad Administration regulations, engineers will be required to sound the train horns as they approach the crossings.

On the first weekend, the additional horn noise from the extra trains is scheduled to run from 5 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on March 16 & 17 mostly between 9th Avenue and the Hayward Park Caltrain Station in San Mateo. On the second weekend, the extra trains will operate from 3 a.m. to 11 a.m. on March 24, mostly between the Hayward Park and Hillsdale Caltrain stations.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


Lead Agency: Caltrain

Contractors: Transit Constructors LP

Project Limits: San Mateo to Menlo Park

Construction Cost: $549,000

Began Construction: December 2012

Completed Construction: May 2013

3/11/13 - tcb