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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Santa Clara VTA receives $8 million for double-track project


The Metropolitan Transportation Commission on Wednesday allocated $8 million in federal funding for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority's (VTA) plan to build a second light-rail track between the Mountain View and Whisman stations.

The $63 million project will help address a choke point on the light-rail system by doubling capacity for more timely connections, and add train storage capacity to support large event crowds, VTA officials said in a press release.

The agency's board in August approved the project's final environmental document and awarded the contract for the first phase, which calls for adding 1,400 feet of track to the west of State Route 85. In addition, a new storage track will be built. Construction is expected to begin by Oct. 31 and be completed by July 2015.

In order to accommodate the second set of VTA tracks, Caltrain tracks will need to be re-aligned between the existing Evelyn Station and State Route 237. The second phase will extend the second set of light-rail tracks by 3,000 feet from State Route 85 to Whisman Station, which will require the permanent closure and removal of the Evelyn station that's situated between the Caltrain tracks and current single VTA track.

The second phase contract is expected to be awarded in December, with work slated to be completed in November 2015.