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Rail News: Passenger Rail

FRA waiver paves way for Caltrain electrification


Last week, Caltrain received a waiver from the Federal Railroad Administration to operate standard trains and lighter-rail equipment on the same tracks.

The waiver will enable Caltrain to transition from its current diesel equipment to a fully electrified system, modernizing Peninsula commuter-rail service, Caltrain officials said in a prepared statement. Caltrain now can begin replacing its diesel-fueled rolling stock with electrified locomotives and passenger cars, which is expected to take years to complete and require the simultaneous operation of both types of equipment.

There are advantages to switching to electrified rolling stock, which are cleaner and less expensive to operate, Caltrain officials said. In addition, because electric trains can start and stop more quickly, they will enable Caltrain to stop at more stations, officials said.

The service is expected to attract more riders and reduce traffic congestion in the region.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/2/2010