Californian commuter rail operator Caltrain has approved contracts totalling $1.25bn for the electrification of the line between San Francisco and San Jose, as well as procurement of new trains.

The contracts form part of the company's $1.9bn Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project (PCEP).

Balfour Beatty Infrastructure has been awarded a $697m contract to design and build the corridor’s electrification infrastructure, while the $551m train manufacture contract was awarded to Stadler USA.

Stadler's contract includes the supply of 96 electric multiple units (EMUs) with an option for a further 20 cars, International Railway Journal reported.

"The contracts form part of the company's $1.9bn Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project (PCEP)."

These new trains will replace the locomotive-hauled trains currently operating on the line and will initially run at maximum speeds of up to 127kmph. This would be further increased to 177kmph for blended operation with California High-Speed services.

Caltrain's executive director Jim Hartnett said: “The award of these contracts marks an important milestone in Caltrain’s 150 year history.

“The Caltrain Modernisation Programme is the most transformative project this corridor has ever undertaken. It offers  unique economic, environmental, and mobility benefits to the region and is a key link in a High-Speed Rail network, which will transform the way we think about transportation in California.”

The contracts have been approved with a limited notice to proceed. A full notice will be issued following completion of a funding agreement with the US Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which is expected to be finalised later this year.