California Department of Transport announced that it will award USD 2.5 million to Caltrain from the new State Rail Assistance Grant programme created by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1). Caltrain expects to receive close to another USD 4 million from this new programme next year.
The programme is just one of several programmes expected to result in additional investment in the Caltrain system.
Caltrain has also applied for USD 630 million from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) to maximize the potential of the Caltrain electrification project to expand capacity on the system’s overcrowded trains. For the next year, Caltrain is expected to receive an additional USD 5 million in State Transit Assistance.
Of the USD 2.5 million awarded, USD 500,000 will go to fund Caltrain’s bike parking management plan, USD 1 million will be used to maintain and rehabilitate the system’s rail cars and USD 1 million will add new crossover tracks near the middle of the corridor to enhance operational and schedule flexibility.
If the TIRCP grant request is successful, the investment will maximize the benefits of the Caltrain electrification project by expediting the full conversion of the Caltrain fleet to electric trains and will make Wi-Fi available to riders, a long-requested customer amenity that will also facilitate more efficient train operations and communications.
Funding currently available to support Caltrain Electrification ensures that 75 percent of Caltrain’s fleet will consist of new high-performance electric trains when the service launches in 2022, but the other 25 percent would continue to be diesel trains.
If Caltrain’s full grant request is received, the investment would cover the cost of fully converting the system’s fleet to eight-car electric trains, an improvement that would increase Caltrain’s seated capacity by at least 21 percent, depending on train configurations.
The grant request would also extend station platforms to accommodate the longer eight-car trains.