Caltrain Electrification and Positive Train Control

Visualization of Caltrain electrification

Electrification and signal system upgrade of the peninsula rail corridor are nec­essary investments to support the blended Caltrain and high-speed rail system

In the short-term, electrifica­tion will bring faster, more frequent commuter service to our region in a quieter and more environmentally friendly way. For the long-term, these projects prepare the corridor to integrate high-speed rail service, which will provide a one-seat ride from downtown San Francisco to Los Angeles.

In April 2012, the Transportation Authority Board authorized the Executive Director to execute a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and six other stakeholders to establish a funding framework for a high-speed rail early investment strategy for a blended system in the Peninsula Corridor. The MOU commits each of the three Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (PCJPB) members (San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties) to a local contribution of $60 million for the Initial Investment Strategy for the Peninsula Corridor, comprising the Caltrain Electrification and Advance Signal System projects, which has a total cost of $1.456 billion.

Find out more from the Caltrain Modernization Program web page. Learn more about high-speed rail at the California High-speed Rail Transportation Authority web site.

Caltrain Communications-Based Overlay Signal System
Positive Train Control Project (CBOSS PTC)

The project to implement an Advance Signal System is also known as the Communications-Based Overlay Signal System Positive Train Control (CBOSS PTC) Project. CBOSS tracks train locations and prevents unsafe train movements through the use of equipment on-board the locomotives and in the field. Rail corridor will be increased, by allowing trains of different types to safely operate together using the same network of tracks. The project will upgrade the peninsula corridor to meet the requirements of the federal Railroad Safety Improvement Act, in time for the Act’s 2015 deadline.

The CBOSS PTC project is being delivered under a design/build contract. Full installation and certification will be completed by May 2016, at an estimated cost of $231 million. See Caltrain’s project page.

Caltrain Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project

The electrification infrastructure project includes the installation of traction power facilities, poles and an overhead contact system, and the purchase of elec­tric rolling stock, known as electric multiple units (EMUs), to replace the current diesel trains. The project will extend for 52 miles from San Francisco to San Jose. Caltrain electrification and use of EMUs will result in faster and more frequent service, reduction of air pollutant emissions, and reduction of noise and vibration.

Caltrain has engaged a consultant to update the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Environmental Impact Report completed in 2009, when the project was put on hold due to lack of funding. On the federal environmental clearance side, the Federal Transit Administration issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in 2009. The PCJPB expects to complete the environmental work in mid-2014. Under a design-build contract for electrification, PCJPB anticipates completing the Early Investment Program by 2019. See Caltrain’s project page.