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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Caltrain kicks off environmental review of electrification project


Caltrain is launching an environmental review of its electrification project with a series of public meetings this month and in March on the review's scope.

The meetings are a "vital step" in meeting the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act, which calls for input from neighboring agencies, organizations and individuals on the scoping of corridor electrification impacts, said Caltrain officials in a prepared statement.

"Caltrain already has engaged in extensive outreach on the modernization and electrification program, meeting with community groups and elected officials for the past several months," they said. "This new round of outreach is the first step in the formal process of preparing and obtaining state environmental review and approval of the project."

In 2012, the California High Speed Rail Authority recommended funding corridor electrification as one of its early investment projects. That money,when combined with other federal, regional and local funds, will total $1.5 billion and enable Caltrain to electrify the peninsula corridor from San Francisco to Tamien Station in San Jose.

Elements of electrification and modernization include installation of a CBOSS/PTC signal system; installation of the electrification system of power sources and overhead wires; and the purchase of electric rail vehicles.

Caltrain's electrification environmental report does not include high-speed rail service, which requires a separate environmental review. Caltrain is slated to begin electrified service by 2019.