The US Federal Transit Administration is set to approve full funding grant of $647m for Caltrain's Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project (PCEP) following several months of delay.
The $1.98bn PCEP is a major component of the Caltrain Modernisation programme, and would electrify the Caltrain Corridor from San Francisco’s 4th and King Caltrain Station to the Tamien Caltrain Station.
This agreement represents the final commitment to procure the necessary funding to start construction of the project.
Caltrain general manager and CEO Jim Hartnett said: “We are very thankful to US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and the Trump Administration for recognising the value that Caltrain Electrification will create for the Bay Area and the nation by easing congestion in one of the country’s most economically productive regions and creating almost 10,000 American jobs in the process.”
“Our private sector partners led by the San Mateo County Economic Development Association, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Bay Area Council have led the effort to expertly convey how critical this project is to our region’s ability to remain economically competitive.”
The PCEP intends to replace old diesel locomotives with high-performance electric trains, which will operate between San Jose and San Francisco.
The new trains are set to double passenger capacity to 110,000 daily trips and cut emissions by 97%, thereby preventing 24,000t of carbon dioxide emissions.
US Senator Dianne Feinstein said: “For the past three months we’ve waited to hear the status of the grant, while Caltrain was forced to spend roughly $15m to hold its contractors in place.
"With this agreement, the project can finally begin.”
The Transportation Department withheld the $647m grant in February and called for a review by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, reported Reuters.