Procurement of trains dependent on approval of federal funding
While Caltrain awaits approval of a federal grant that would fully fund the Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project, work to design the next generation of the system’s trains continues. Today, the rail agency announced the launch of a website that will allow the public to provide input on the look and feel of the new trains.
Approval of the federal grant would allow Caltrain to replace the current diesel locomotive fleet with high-performance trains that will increase the system’s overall capacity and will provide faster, more frequent, and more reliable service to communities between San Francisco and San Jose.
“The evolution and modernization of the Caltrain system is long overdue,” said Caltrain Executive Director Jim Hartnett. “We’re looking forward to hearing feedback that will help inform what that evolution looks like, and we are excited to share more information about how much better the Caltrain rider experience will be.”
Users of the website will be able to learn about some of the new electric train features, including electrical outlets at every seat, better location and destination information, increased system-wide capacity and the configuration of passenger and bike cars. The new website will also allow the public to provide feedback on many design options over the next several months. And next year, after feedback on the design is complete, the site will feature a 360-degree virtual tour of the new trains.
To view the new website, visit www.calmodtrains.com
The Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project hinges on execution of a $647 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Core Capacity program that will be matched with more than $1.3 billion in secured local, regional, and state commitments. In February, FTA announced that execution of the grant would be delayed until the President makes decisions about the availability of funds in the Trump Administration's upcoming budget proposal to Congress this spring.
Since then, Caltrain announced it has negotiated an extension of the deadline with contractors to begin construction of the project while the agency awaits a decision from the FTA. The contractors agreed to extend the deadline for four months, from March 1 to June 30. The extension is needed to preserve the Electrification Project's contracts during this time. Construction is slated to begin this summer and would create over 9,600 jobs throughout the country.
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 60,000 average weekday riders. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad will celebrate 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 by 2019, reducing diesel emissions by 84 percent and adding more service to more stations.
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