Caltrain Announces Exciting New Electrification Service Schedule and Amenities for Riders


Media Contact: Tasha Bartholomew, 650.339.5257

Editor’s Note:  Electric Train Photos available here.

Caltrain Announces Exciting New Electrification Service Schedule and Amenities for Riders 

Caltrain today unveiled its new plan for electrified service, which includes faster transit times, more frequent service including during weekends, increased amenities like on-board Wi-Fi and electrical outlets at every seat.

The service improvements are possible because Caltrain is replacing all the aging diesel trains between San Francisco and San Jose with world class electric trains that provide better service performance and quality than the diesel ones. The new service schedule is slated to begin with the completion of the Electrification Project in fall 2024.

"With electrified Caltrain service now less than a year away, it is exciting to see a new schedule in place that will allow riders to get to their destinations quicker and more often,” said Caltrain Board Chair Jeff Gee. “While there is still a lot of work ahead of us, the vision of greener, quieter and more efficient trains will soon be a reality."

The finalized service plan reflects community input on the proposed service plan announced in October and survey responses from Caltrain’s customer survey and general population study. Survey respondents’ top priorities were faster and more frequent service, with an emphasis placed on improved weekend service. The new service plan now includes more frequent weekend service, with trains running every 30 minutes, compared to hourly today. As ridership and revenue continue to grow, Caltrain will have the capacity for even more regular service as a result of Electrification, with the capability to run up to six trains per hour during the peak.

Faster Service

  • Weekday peak period service will feature four trains per hour running in each direction, including an express train running between San Jose and San Francisco in under an hour.
  • Local service times will be reduced from 100 minutes down to 75 minutes. 
  • Travel time from Southern Santa Clara County (Gilroy/Morgan Hill) to San Francisco will be cut by nearly 30 minutes.

Ride More, Wait Less  

  • Overall, there will be a 20% uptick in train service at stations.  
  • At equity priority stations, there will be 26% more train service. 
  • During weekends there will be service every 30 minutes (compared to every hour today).

First Class Experience for Everyone:  

  • Free Wi-Fi will be accessible on every train. 
  • An overall smoother and quieter experience while on board. 
  • Each seat will host outlets for riders to stay plugged in. 
  • Trip information will be displayed digitally onboard each train. 
  • Each train will be equipped with spacious and accessible bathrooms that even include a baby changing table. 

Cleaner, greener service:  

  • Greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 250,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of taking 55,000 cars off the road each year. 
  • Making the switch to electrified service will improve local air quality. 
  • Trains will be quieter, which will be noticeable both onboard and off. 
  • 100% emission free from San Francisco to San Jose, and future plans for a zero emission corridor to Gilroy with a hybrid battery train.

 “The new service plan is a huge step forward not only for those of us who regularly ride Caltrain, but also for incentivizing more people in the region to choose Caltrain over driving. I’m thrilled that Caltrain has prioritized the voices of riders, who have consistently said that we want faster service and more frequent trains, which is exactly what the new service plan is delivering,” said Brian Shaw, Caltrain Citizen Advisory Committee Chair.

“Caltrain is taking commuting to the next level with this incredible raft of improvements, improvements that will have riders flocking to the system,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “We’re extremely proud of our advocacy and support over many years to secure the funding and approvals that are making these changes possible and giving our region the world-class commuter rail service it deserves.”

“Caltrain’s new service plan could not come at a better time for our region’s economic recovery. Workers are returning to the office, the economy is recovering, and our public transit agencies are essential to our region’s economic health. Faster and more frequent trains mean easier commutes for employees, and the new on-board amenities like Wi-Fi and electrical outlets will provide another major benefit over driving,” said Rosanne Foust, CEO of San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA)

 “Caltrain electrification is a cornerstone of the transportation infrastructure of the future for our region. These new service upgrades will more deeply integrate sustainability into the next era of innovation for Silicon Valley businesses while promoting greater access and equity for the community as a whole,” said Ahmad Thomas, CEO of Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG).  “As we mark this important milestone, SVLG is proud to be a longtime leader and advocate for Caltrain.”

“Palo Alto TMA is proud to partner with Caltrain to support a greener and more relaxing commute for Palo Alto's essential workers. These service sector workers are the backbone of our local economy and will benefit from the Pass Forward Program. We are excited that our community will soon be able to enjoy faster service and Wi-Fi through the new electrified service coming in 2024” said Justine Burt, Executive Director, Palo Alto Transportation Management Association.

“ is proud to be partnering with Caltrain to provide access to train service for income-qualified commuters in San Mateo County through the Pass Forward program. We are excited that these commuters will be able to benefit from the enhanced schedules and on-board amenities that will come with the new electrified service,” said Executive Director, John Ford

“With electrified Caltrain, riders will get more convenient service and better connections, making it easier to get to work and to more places at more times,” said Adina Levin, Executive Director of Friends of Caltrain. “We are thrilled to see this big investment deliver improvements to people’s lives and communities on the corridor, and get our region closer to a world-class public transportation system.”

Caltrain’s new service plan comes as ridership is growing following the pandemic and riders continue to report high satisfaction with their experience. Since last year, Caltrain’s average weekday ridership has increased by 14%. Weekend ridership is also expected to rise in 2024 because in 2023, there were over 20 weekend closures resulting from construction for the Electrification Project. The 2023 customer service survey revealed that nearly 80% of riders have a positive view of Caltrain. Additionally, nearly 60% of people from a general population survey that included non-riders, report preferring to take Caltrain over driving if it’s a feasible option. 




About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with commute service to Gilroy. Serving the region since 1863, Caltrain is the oldest continually operating rail system west of the Mississippi. Looking to the future, Caltrain is set to electrify the corridor by 2024, which will reduce diesel emissions and add more service to more stations while advancing the agency’s equity goals.  

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