Caltrain Holds Second Public Tour for New Electric Trains

The new state-of-the-art vehicles will be put into service in Fall 2024 

Caltrain is holding its second public tour of the agency’s new electric train cars today. The new train cars will serve as the centerpiece of the transformative Caltrain Electrification Project

With over 4,400 RSVPs as of the morning of the event, this tour has attracted similarly large crowds to the first event held in San Jose on July 29. Attendees enjoyed food trucks, a live DJ and more as they awaited their opportunity to see the future of Caltrain for themselves. Tours begin at 10 a.m. after a brief program featuring State Senator Scott Weiner, State Assemblymember Phil Ting, State Assemblymember Diane Papan, San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board Vice Chair Supervisor Myrna Melgar, San Francisco Board of Supervisor Matt Dorsey, FTA Regional Administrator Ray Tellis, Caltrain Executive Director Michelle Bouchard and Caltrain Board of Directors Chair Jeff Gee as emcee.  

The new high-performance trains will offer a better experience for Caltrain riders.  The new vehicles offer enhanced amenities, including new digital onboard displays, power outlets at each forward-facing seat, a new seat color palette selected by the public, energy-efficient lighting, coat hooks, security cameras, and expanded storage under the cantilevered seats. They will also generate less noise than their diesel equivalent, making the trip more enjoyable both for riders and residents that live near Caltrain tracks. 

“Caltrain electrification means shorter commutes, cleaner air and good-paying jobs in the Bay Area and beyond,” U.S. Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi said.  “It has been my privilege to help secure federal funding in the Congress to support Caltrain’s electrification.  This weekend’s tour gives San Franciscans a chance to experience the future of this state-of-the-art service – and I join so many across the Bay Area looking forward to its historic launch next year.” 

“Electrifying our public transportation systems is one of the best steps we can take to fight climate change. Caltrain has led the nation in that effort, showing that we can shift to a cleaner system while creating good-paying jobs and providing a quieter, more efficient service for riders,” said U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein

“The Caltrain Electrification Project embodies our commitment to expand clean transportation to improve the health of our communities while creating good-paying jobs,” said U.S. Senator Alex Padilla. “I’m proud to have secured federal funding to bring this to the finish line so that commuters and visitors up and down the peninsula can enjoy faster, more frequent train service.” 

“As San Francisco’s downtown continues to recover, with new businesses signing leases and workers returning to the office, it’s critical that our public transit continues to meet the needs of our region. Caltrain’s Electrification Project will be a major step forward, providing faster, more reliable service for people traveling between San Francisco and the peninsula,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “I want to thank all our regional, state, and federal partners who have worked tirelessly to get us where we are today, and I’m excited to celebrate the completion of the project with everyone a year from now.” 

“Passenger rail service began on the Peninsula corridor in 1863, and today, it’s exciting to see the American-built cars. Electrification modernizes this 150-year-old railroad, improving local air quality, offering faster service, and improving traffic flow in one of the most congested corridors in the country. This is the world-class, modern, and climate-friendly electric transit system that our innovative region deserves, and I’m very proud to have led the effort in Congress to electrify Caltrain,” said U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo

“Congratulations to Caltrain as it gets closer and closer to completing its historic electrification project,” said U.S. Representative Kevin Mullin. “Once completed, riders will experience enhanced safety features, better service, and more amenities, while the region will experience improved air quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions. As a steadfast supporter of public transit and Caltrain during my Assembly tenure, I look forward continuing my support at the federal level and am excited for the new system to go live in 2024.” 

"Congratulations to Caltrain on the addition of electric trains cars that will help reduce emissions, improve the efficiency of our public transportation in the Bay Area, and help us reach our climate goals,” said U.S. Representative Ro Khanna

“It is great to celebrate another Caltrain milestone that will improve daily life for so many people in the Bay Area,” said Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, Chair of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation and Ranking Member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. “By increasing and improving passenger service along the rail corridor, the electrification of Caltrain helps decrease congestion on local highways. That, along with the savings from no longer using nonrenewable diesel fuel, will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help combat climate change.” 

“Caltrain plays a major role in connecting our Bay Area communities by playing a major part in our Bay Area commute,” said U.S. Representative Jimmy Panetta.  “Now, with the federal government’s significant investment in our nation’s infrastructure, Caltrain can continue to reduce its carbon output with its electrification project.  By deploying cleaner, quieter, and more efficient trains, Caltrain will remain a part of our communities, and a part of the Bay Area’s efforts to tackle climate change."

“The new all electric trains mark an incredibly exciting milestone for Caltrain,” said State Senator Scott Weiner. “I congratulate Caltrain on taking a bold step toward meeting its climate goals while continuing to foster regional connectivity with reliable service.” 

“The Caltrain Electrification project is a historic undertaking. This project puts us on the cutting edge of modernizing public transit with climate-friendly transformations. By converting such a significant corridor to an electric system, Caltrain is not only pivoting away from diesel fuel, but also demonstrating to the nation that this type of change is possible” said State Senator Aisha Wahab

“Caltrain electrification serves as an important tool to combat climate change, by providing cleaner and greener transportation options for residents and visitors alike,” said State Senator John Laird. “We must do all we can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while still providing efficient and enjoyable public transit. Caltrain’s new high-performance electric trains do just that, and I am excited for the public to see these improvements.”   

“Caltrain's Electrification Project will help California reach its climate goals while cutting down on freeway traffic and noise,” said State Senator Dave Cortese. “I was proud to support the 2023 Budget Act that prevented major transit service cuts and gave agencies the flexibility to invest in operations or capital projects. Caltrain is unveiling beautiful new electric trains that will help clean our air and move us all in the right direction.” 

“I am so proud of Caltrain’s first fully electrified train, and I am excited to see future benefits of smoother operations and reduced emissions of our transportation system,” said State Senator Josh Becker. “This step is critical in improving and integrating our regional transportation systems and achieving our climate goals.”

“It's clear clean and efficient transportation infrastructure is a top priority for the Bay Area and the rest of the state. The $750 million in state funds for Caltrain Electrification and $165 million for 37 Electric Rail Cars that I helped secure underscores California’s commitment to modernizing our rail system, while reducing our carbon footprint for generations to come. Great things are accomplished when state, regional, and local partnerships thrive,” said State Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting

“Throughout my time in office I have been a strong supporter of Caltrain’s Electrification Project because of what it will mean for the city of San Francisco and the larger Bay Area,” said State Assemblymember Matt Haney. “The future of our region and our economy depends on our public transit, and electrification will not only help us meet our ambitious climate goals, but also provide faster and better service that people can rely on.”   

“The electrification of Caltrain is a momentous achievement for California’s transit system,” said State Assemblymember Alex Lee. “I’m extremely excited for the electric fleet to begin service in 2024. With faster and greener trains, the fleet will benefit residents of my district while meeting California’s climate goals. I’m proud to see that the Caltrain Electrification project is bringing California’s first electrified commuter rail to reality, helping pave the way for more sustainable and equitable communities.” 

“From steam to diesel to electric – we are now witnessing the third act of Caltrain,” said State Assemblymember Diane Papan. “Caltrain is now ready to meet the needs of riders and the region now and for future generations.” 

“The Caltrain Electrification project means that Peninsula residents will breathe cleaner air and have both quieter communities and more frequent and reliable transit service,” said State Assemblymember Marc Berman. “Today, I’m pleased to celebrate a project that’s delivering infrastructure, clean energy and good jobs right through the heart of my district.” 

“My colleagues and I fought hard to secure the necessary resources in the state budget to electrify Caltrain,” said State Assemblymember Evan Low. “It is exciting the public gets to tour our new electric trains which will play a vital role in reducing roadway congestion and providing fast, reliable and clean transportation in the Silicon Valley and greater Bay Area, as well as help protect our surrounding environment and improve the public’s health.” 

“San Francisco has committed to ambitious carbon reduction goals in our climate action plan, and electrified Cal Train will play a vital role in making progress on those goals” said San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey. “As we get denser, the need for high quality transportation will only grow, and Caltrain will be a huge part of creating complete, sustainable, and accessible communities.” 

"We congratulate Caltrain on the arrival of the new electric train sets, and are proud to provide over $40 million toward delivery of the full Caltrain Electrification Project," said Transportation Authority Board Chair and San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman (District 8). "This project will help the Bay Area meet our climate and equitable access goals and also bring us one step closer to the future of fast, clean and reliable train service to downtown San Francisco via the Salesforce Transit Center and Portal rail extension project. These exciting investments will serve our Bay Area community for generations to come." 

"With electrified Caltrain service about a year away, it is exciting to preview our new trains with our riders,” said Caltrain Board Chair Jeff Gee.  “While there is still a lot of work ahead of us, the vision of a greener, quieter and more efficient trains will soon be a reality."  

“I am pleased to join Caltrain riders in touring the new electric trains that will soon be reducing Caltrain’s emissions and carbon footprint, while increasing service for those riders,” said Ray Tellis, Regional Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration. “FTA has enjoyed a strong partnership with Caltrain and remains committed in supporting this noteworthy electrification project through to completion.” 

“The future of Caltrain is just around the corner, and Muni riders in the area will benefit from the improvements,” said San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Chair Amanda Eaken. “Converting to electric power will make a major impact towards reducing Caltrain's air pollution and carbon footprint. These world class trains will make commuting by public transportation an easier choice and we’re excited for San Franciscans to have more attractive options to get around sustainably.” 

“The unveiling of Caltrain’s fleet of the future marks yet another important milestone in the electrification and modernization of this critical transit system connecting one of the world’s most vital economic corridors,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO, Bay Area Council. “The Bay Area Council is proud to have been an early and strong proponent for investing in Caltrain and we applaud the tremendous work Caltrain and so many have done to move this project forward.” 

"Electrified Caltrain is good for riders, the environment, and the economy,” said Rosanne Foust, President & CEO, San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA). “I know the public will be excited to see the vehicles that are transforming this essential commuter rail system.”  

"I'm very excited to see the debut of Caltrain's new electric trains. These electric trains will provide a cleaner, quieter, and more modern and reliable experience for riders throughout the region,” said Ahmad Thomas, CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “A thriving public transit system is essential for advancing the business competitiveness of the region, and for fostering a future for Silicon Valley that is both more sustainable and equitable.” 

“The green economy and our recovery as a region  have everything to do with creating sustainable transit and connecting people to good jobs," said Secretary-Treasurer of the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council Rudy Gonzalez. "The human and built infrastructure are incredible assets to the Bay Area and we are proud to be in partnership with Caltrain.”

Electrification will also help meet ambitious regional and state climate action goals by lowering greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality and relieving traffic congestion. Additionally, electrified service will advance equity along the corridor by reducing noise and air pollution while increasing access for equity priority communities. It will also set the framework for California’s future High Speed Rail network. 

Each trainset will have seven cars, as opposed to the current five to six. The new trains also accelerate and decelerate faster than their diesel alternatives, allowing more frequent stops in the same amount of time.  

These new trains will go into service in 2024, and is currently undergoing testing to ensure it, and the infrastructure it will rely upon, is in good working order. 

The trains were built by Stadler US at their facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. After they were assembled, they were sent to a test facility in Pueblo, Colo. where they were tested at high speeds under numerous conditions as required by the Federal Railroad Administration. The trains were tested for braking, propulsion, ride quality, noise and vibration, door operation, Positive Train Control and Electromagnetic Interference over the course of eight months.  

The Caltrain Electrification Project will electrify the corridor from the San Francisco Station at 4th and King Streets to approximately the Tamien Station in San Jose, allowing diesel-hauled trains to be replaced by electric trains. 

Caltrain’s historic electrification project is the first undertaking in North America in a generation in which diesel trains and their infrastructure components are transitioned to an electrified system.  

Today’s tour was sponsored by the RSE Corporation, Gannett Fleming and AECOM. 


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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Media Contact: Dan Lieberman, 650.622.2492