As the Caltrain Electrification civil infrastructure is successfully headed towards completion, Caltrain Modernization (CalMod) Chief Officer John Funghi will be leaving at the end of this year. Funghi will be working until October 15, 2021 and then plans to take a well-deserved leave to the end of this year. The agency is transitioning the project to new leadership to ensure a successful outcome resulting in passenger service with high-performance electric trains by 2024.
The agency is pleased to announce the appointment of Pranaya Shrestha as the Interim Chief of the Caltrain Modernization Program. Shrestha has 30 years of rail experience, including experience with 25kV AC commuter rail and DC light rail systems, and design-build project delivery successes with federal recognition. He has finished 19 major transit projects totaling more than $9 billion, and has worked on transit projects in Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Orlando, and Seattle.
Shrestha has worked with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and has established solid working relationships that have resulted in positively delivering federally funded projects. He is currently a HNTB consultant and will be on property 100% dedicated to the $2.3 billion Electrification project.
“We would like to welcome Pranaya to Caltrain as we march towards revenue service in 2024,” said Acting Executive Director Michelle Bouchard. “Pranaya has successfully delivered projects and worked with all the major contractors that are working on the Electrification project. With his many years of experience, we believe he is the right person to lead the Electrification project.”
Much of the civil infrastructure work for the Electrification project is progressing as expected. The majority of the work remaining, with risk, relates to the signal and systems integration work. The start of electrification testing is scheduled to start before end of the year.
“Signal work and systems integration work are very complex,” Bouchard added. “Converting an operating diesel system to an electrical system is complicated and must be done right to minimize interruptions to the railroad and ensure a safe environment for the riders, public and Caltrain personnel.”
“We would like to sincerely thank John Funghi for his more than three years of service to the railroad,” said Caltrain Board Chair Dev Davis. “His leadership has allowed the project to advance construction significantly with a trajectory for electrified revenue service by 2024.”
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. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad has provided the community with more than 150 years of continuous passenger service. Planning for the next 150 years of Peninsula rail service, Caltrain is on pace to electrify the corridor, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations.
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