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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Caltrain signs off on electrification MOU

Yesterday, the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Authority — which oversees Caltrain’s commuter-rail service — approved a regional agreement to fully fund the electrification of the railroad.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) reached in late March between the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) and more than a half-dozen Bay Area public agencies leverages local, regional and federal funding to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in high-speed rail funds for the project.

The agreement calls for developing a “blended” high-speed rail system in the Bay Area by implementing electrification and positive train control, which would enable commuter and high-speed trains to operate on existing Caltrain tracks. For Caltrain, the electrification will help the agency provide faster, quieter, more frequent and more efficient service, resulting in more riders and revenue.

The MOU already has been approved by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and CHSRA. During the next several weeks, it will be considered by the city and county of San Francisco, San Francisco County Transportation Authority, city of San Jose, San Mateo County Transportation Authority, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and the Transbay Terminal Joint Powers Board.

The system could be electrified by 2019.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/4/2012