Global infrastructure group Balfour Beatty has won a $697m contract from Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board to electrify the 52 mile Caltrain rail corridor between San Francisco and San Jose in the US.

The contract is a part of Caltrain Peninsula corridor electrification project and Balfour Beatty Infrastructure will design and build a 25kV AC overhead catenary system to serve as the power source for the new high-speed trains.

Scheduled to begin in the next few months, the project will also see the building of two traction power substations, one switching substation, and seven paralleling substations.

In addition, Balfour Beatty will replace the current signal systems and earth existing facilities to help electrify the contracted part of the corridor.

"The project will require more than 300 workers, including 50 apprentices during the peak construction phase."

Expected to be complete by 2020, the project will require more than 300 people, including 50 apprentices during the peak construction phase.

Balfour Beatty's group chief executive Leo Quinn said: “Our extensive experience in managing complex rail projects leaves us well qualified to deliver this significant scheme. 

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“Caltrain builds on the back of the recent successful delivery of our part in the multi-billion dollar Eagle P3 Commuter Rail network in Denver, Colorado.”

Currently, 92 daily trains are serving more than 65,000 commuters daily in the Caltrain route. The proposed electrification aims to launch cleaner, high-performance electric vehicles to Caltrain’s fleet.

Currently, the line operates through 17 US cities across San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. Since 2007, Balfour Beatty Infrastructure has completed three contracts along the Caltrain corridor, a Signal System Rehabilitation Project, a Burlingame track reconstruction and grade crossing construction project, and the North Terminal Operations Improvement Project.

Image: A diesel Caltrain locomotive which currently operates on the San Francisco to Santa Clara rail route. Photo: courtesy of Balfour Beatty.