SAN FRANCISCO — In 2022 California’s Caltrain achieved a number of milestones for its $2.44 billion electrification project from San Francisco to its Tamien Station in San Jose, Calif. It’s the largest electrification project in the U.S. since Amtrak completed electrification of its Northeast Corridor from New Haven to Boston in 2000.
Construction on the Caltrain project began in 2017. Achievements in 2022 included:
- In January, Caltrain laid the last of 3,092 foundations for the overhead catenary system to provide power to the electric fleet.
- The new electric trainsets underwent clearance testing in July and August, traveling the length of the corridor to ensure they could safely travel the route without impediment.
- In September the agency debuted its new electric rail cars in a public display.
- For the first time, the Caltrain Traction Power Substation in San Jose was energized with power from Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which will allow Caltrain to run tests at its facility and along the corridor.
- Construction crews installed and tested the new electrification signal system at 36 crossings between San Bruno and Palo Alto, Calif.
All segments are expected to be energized in 2023 with electric passenger service beginning in 2024. The San Francisco – San Jose commuter service was owned and operated by Southern Pacific until 1991. SP considered electrifying the line in the 1920s but dropped the idea as highways eroded passenger traffic.