Caltrain Runs Eight Trains Simultaneously on Newly Completed Corridor

Few steps remain before the fleet of the future enters service

Upon the substantial completion of all major construction for Caltrain Electrification, the agency conducted a successful test of eight trains running simultaneously on the corridor. This marks the final corridor wide test before the launch of electrified service in September, as well as the last weekend service change for the Electrification project. 

For the past eight years, construction has gone on day and night, including locating underground utilities, testing soil conditions, inspecting signal and communication equipment and pruning and removing trees. The project team installed over 2,500 pre-engineered poles and strung over 2.6 million feet of wire to support the Overhead Contact System (OCS) which provides power to the fleet of new, high-performing electric trains. 

“This weekend’s test has proven that Caltrain is going to be ready to show our riders and the region a new and improved Caltrain,” said Caltrain Executive Director Michelle Bouchard. “I thank our riders for their patience as we completed this necessary construction, and I look forward to September when we can enjoy the benefits of a faster, greener and quieter Caltrain.” 

Caltrain plans on launching its electric service on September 21, which will feature a San Francisco to San Jose trip in under an hour, peak hour trains every 15-20 minutes at 16 stations and trains every half hour during mid-day, evenings and weekends. 

Additionally, 10 traction power facilities, which will provide, distribute and regulate electricity to the OCS and electric trains, were installed between the San Francisco and San Jose. 

After the successful substantial completion of Electrification infrastructure through out 51-mile corridor between San Francisco and San Jose, Caltrain, Stadler and design-build contractor Balfour Beatty could safely conduct the eight-train power contingency test to stress the electrical power system and simulate real time September full EMU service schedule. The successful completion ensures that eight EMU trainsets can properly perform under various power configurations. 

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.  This year marks the 160th anniversary of San Francisco-San Jose rail service. 


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