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May 9, 2016

California rail operator Caltrain gets additional funding for modernisation programme

California commuter rail operator Caltrain has received an additional $211m investment following a seven-party agreement adopted by the agency's board of directors.

California commuter rail operator Caltrain has received an additional $211m investment following a seven-party agreement adopted by the agency’s board of directors.

It is reported the need for additional funds was identified in 2014 when the budget was updated from 2008 cost estimates. Funding partners agreed to increase the amount for project contingency.

Approval helps prepare the board to consider awarding contracts, which will equip the rail corridor with electrification infrastructure and replace most of the system’s diesel trains.

The Caltrain electrification project will electrify the system between San Francisco and the Tamien Station in San Jose, replacing Caltrain’s diesel-based system with high-performance electric multiple units (EMUs).

"The Caltrain Modernisation Programme is a key link in a high-speed rail network that will transform the way we think about transportation in California."

In addition, it will help reduce diesel emissions in the corridor by up to 96% by 2040, allowing the agency to provide a greater number of services, increase ridership, and present a faster service between San Francisco and San Jose.

Caltrain executive director Jim Hartnett said: "Our region, along with our federal and state partners, has demonstrated a deep commitment to this project.

"The Caltrain Modernization Programme is the most transformative project this corridor has ever undertaken.

"It offers unique economic, environmental and mobility benefits to the region and it is a key link in a high-speed rail network that will transform the way we think about transportation in California."

Caltrain plans to award contracts in July this year and introduce electrified service in 2020.

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