Caltrain to Receive $43 Million in Federal Funding for Electrification Project

Caltrain announced today that it will receive $43M in federal funding as part of the recent omnibus spending bill, which passed Congress and is expected to be signed by President Biden. The funding will help fill the funding gap for Caltrain’s Electrification project, which is scheduled to be completed in fall 2024.

“On behalf of Caltrain, I want to thank Speaker Pelosi, Senators Feinstein and Padilla, and our entire federal delegation for their support and leadership in securing this funding,” said Caltrain Executive Director Michelle Bouchard. “The electrification of Caltrain is one of the most important milestones in Caltrain’s nearly 160 year history. We are one step closer thanks to our supporters who truly know what this means in terms of addressing climate change and providing the modernized transportation service that our communities deserve.” 

"It is with great pride that the Democratic Congress has passed an omnibus appropriations package that delivers for San Franciscans and working families across our nation," U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.  "As a proud Representative of San Francisco, it was my privilege to help ensure that this legislation invests in quieter neighborhoods, cleaner air and faster commutes for the Bay Area. With $33M in new funding for Caltrain's electrification, this legislative package marks a key step toward a fully electrified rail corridor across our region."

“The transportation sector makes up 50 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, and electrifying our public transit systems is one of the most effective ways to cut down on those emissions,” said U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. “I have long supported funding for the Caltrain Peninsula Corridor Electrification project and will continue to work to secure funds for this important effort.”

“I am proud to have secured funding to support Caltrain’s Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project that will help complete California’s first electrified commuter rail system,” said U.S. Senator Alex Padilla. “With this investment, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, eliminating pollution caused by the aging diesel engines, and helping Caltrain meet its goal of tripling capacity by 2040.”

“The Bay Area is the high-tech capital of the world, and it deserves a transportation system that reflects that,” said U.S. Rep. Anna G. Eshoo. “I’m proud to have helped secure this funding to electrify Caltrain and bring modern, electric trains to the Peninsula, symbolizing our spirit of innovation and dynamic change.”

“Whether it’s wildfire mitigation and management, library restoration, environmental and historic preservation, health care and early childhood development, public transportation improvements, or critical infrastructure updates, each of the community projects included in this year’s funding package are vital to ensuring our communities continue to grow and thrive. Government must serve the people first—these projects ensure that will be done,” U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier said. “As my time in Congress comes to an end, I’m proud that so many local initiatives—including crucial work to restore our iconic and beautiful San Francisco Bay—will now have the federal support and resources they need and deserve after years of underfunding. Ensuring our communities and hardworking families benefit from these federal resources has been my greatest priority and privilege, and I am grateful for Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro’s leadership and support of these crucial projects.”

“Tens of thousands of Bay Area commuters rely on Caltrain every day. The electrification of Caltrain will improve the lives of these workers and families by increasing passenger capacity while also, importantly, combating climate change,” said U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Chair of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation. “It’s great news when federal funding is a win-win-win; this investment helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease traffic, and will improve the experience for Caltrain’s riders.”

“The electrification of Caltrain is a great step in our fight to tackle climate change and lower greenhouse gas emissions. It will also help improve the frequency of trains for riders in Santa Clara County and reduce traffic congestion.” said U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna. “I’m glad to see this critical investment included in this year’s government funding bill.

Of the federal funding, $10M was secured by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and U.S. Senator Alex Padilla as a community project and $33M was included as part of the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program for projects with existing Full Funding Grant Agreements. 

Additional funding sources are being pursued to resolve the project’s remaining $367M funding gap, including from California’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP), which includes up to $1.3B for projects like Caltrain Electrification. Caltrain applied to the program in December and awards are expected by the end of January. Caltrain has received tremendous backing from Caltrain’s state delegation in support of the application, as well from San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara County elected officials, every city along the corridor from San Francisco to Gilroy, the JPB member agencies, and over 70 community groups representing business, labor, environmental, housing & transit advocates, health, and education. The total project cost is $2.44B and electrified passenger service is expected to start in fall 2024 if the funding can be secured.

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. The project will improve the customer experience by increasing the number of trains, modernizing service and adding new safety elements. The new trains will feature on board displays with digital trip information, increased storage capacities, baby-changing tables, WiFi and power outlets at every seat. 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 priority equity communities. It will also set the framework for California’s future High Speed Rail network that will run on the Caltrain corridor. 


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