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New California law paves way for Caltrain electrification funding

Rendering of Caltrain's new electric multiple units
Photo – San Francisco County Transportation Authority


California Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed a law that clears the way for Caltrain's electrification program to receive Prop 1A funding committed in the 2012 budget.

The law clarifies that the San Francisco-area commuter railroad's electrification project is "suitable and ready" for investment and that the investment in the system is consistent with its current business plan, Caltrain officials said in a press release.

Approved by California voters in 2008, Prop 1A will provide the bond funding for the state's high-speed rail project, which includes the "bookend projects" that the system will connect to in the north and south.

Caltrain's modernization project calls for electrifying the system between San Francisco and the Tamien Station in San Jose, Calif., as well as replacing diesel-hauled trains with electric multiple units. The first phase of the electrification work is expected to start in 2017.

In August, Caltrain signed contracts with Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. and Stadler U.S. Inc. for the project. Balfour Beatty will design and construct electrification infrastructure, while Stadler will provide 16, six-car double-decker electric trains.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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