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Caltrain's board late last week approved $1.25 billion in contracts to begin work on the Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project, which is aimed at addressing the San Francisco-area commuter railroad's growing ridership.
The project calls for electrifying the Caltrain corridor from San Francisco's 4th and King Station to the Tamien Station in San Jose, Calif., and replacing diesel-hauled trains with electric multiple units. In addition to increasing capacity, the project lays the foundation for the eventual operation of high-speed rail service that will connect the San Francisco Bay area to the rest of California, Caltrain officials said in a press release.The contract for design and construction of the corridor's electrification infrastructure was awarded to Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc., while the contract for the manufacture of high-performance electric trains was awarded to Stadler U.S. Inc.The contracts were approved with a "limited" notice to proceed; a full notice to proceed will be issued after Caltrain finalizes a full funding agreement with the Federal Transit Administration, which is expected to occur later this year. Funding for the project comes from local, regional, state and federal sources."The award of these contracts marks an important milestone in Caltrain's 150-year history," said Jim Hartnett, Caltrain's executive director. "The Caltrain Modernization Program is the most transformative project this corridor has ever undertaken."Caltrain expects to open the new electrified service to passengers in winter 2020.