US-based commuter rail service Caltrain has successfully completed clearance trial of its first electric trainset along the corridor between Santa Clara and Tamien Stations.
This test is conducted to make sure that the trainset meets all clearance needs to run safely along the corridor.
It is equipped with foam rubber padding to simulate the dynamic envelope. This helped simulate the maximum clearance area of an electric trainset as it operated along the corridor at five miles per hour, hauled by a diesel locomotive.
Further trials will be carried out across the remaining corridor as no major problems were reported throughout testing.
Caltrain intends to conduct the next test of new electric trains later this year after they operate under its power through the Overhead Catenary System (OCS).
Each electric train set features seven cars as against the current five or six. Due to the distribution of eight motors across the train, these vehicles can accelerate and decelerate faster than diesel trains.
The new trains also provide improved amenities, including new digital onboard displays, power outlets at each forward-facing sea, and a new seat colour palette selected by the public.
Other features include energy-efficient lighting, coat hooks, security cameras, and expanded storage under the cantilevered seats.
The Caltrain Electrification project is a crucial element of the Caltrain Modernization Programme, which aims to electrify the corridor from the San Francisco Station at 4th and King Streets to around the Tamien Station in San Jose.
The project will facilitate the replacement of diesel-hauled trains with electric trains.
This year in March, Caltrain received $38.8m in additional federal grants to keep the firm’s operations running while it continues to work on electrification.