The first Caltrain electric train underwent clearance testing on the section between Santa Clara and Tamien stations to ensure that the trains meet all clearance requirements to operate safely along the corridor.
The train was outfitted with foam rubber padding to simulate the dynamic envelope of the trains to simulate the maximum clearance area of an electric trainset as it traveled along the corridor at 8 km/h, pulled by a diesel locomotive. No major problems arose over the course of testing, and further clearance testing will be conducted throughout the rest of the corridor in the near future. The next test for the new electric trains is expected to take place later this year when the trains will operate under their own power via the overhead catenary system (OCS).
Each trainset will have seven cars, as opposed to the current five or six. These trains accelerate and decelerate faster than diesel trains, as 8 motors are distributed throughout the train, while older cars must be pulled by a locomotive. The trains also generate much less noise than their diesel equivalent, making the trip more enjoyable both for riders and residents that live near Caltrain tracks. The new trains also 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.
Stadler won the contract to deliver the Caltrain electric train fleet comprising 19 seven-car vehicles as part of the modernisation programme to electrify the corridor from the San Francisco station at 4th and King Streets to approximately the Tamien station in San Jose. The new trains will replace the existing diesel fleet and will improve Caltrain’s system performance and will enable more frequent and faster train service. The project will minimise long-term environmental impact by reducing noise, improving regional air quality and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
At the beginning of 2022 Caltrain has celebrated the completion of the final foundation of the overhead catenary system along the 82 km corridor between San Francisco and San Jose.