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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Caltrain pins electrification hopes on California HSR


As the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) seeks public comment on its revised Draft Environmental Impact Report, Caltrain is urging the agency to retain the current route between the Central Valley and San Francisco.

By doing so, Caltrain would benefit by receiving funding to electrify its system, over which high-speed rail trains eventually would operate. The commuter-rail agency has been working in partnership with CHSRA to launch electrification efforts.

Meanwhile, Caltrain is struggling with a $30 million FY2011 budget deficit and considering cutting mid-day, night and weekend service. In order for the agency to be sustainable over the long term, Caltrain needs to electrify and modernize the system, which will lower operating costs, increase ridership and “establish a more sustainable financial model for a robust commute-rail system that will accommodate future job and population growth in the region,” according to a prepared statement.

“Without high-speed rail, the survival of Caltrain is dubious at best,” said Caltrain Board Member Omar Ahmad.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/9/2010