News & Reviews News Wire Caltrain to receive $367 million from state, completing funding for electrification project

Caltrain to receive $367 million from state, completing funding for electrification project

By Trains Staff | February 1, 2023

Money will cover remaining shortfall, allowing completion of electrification in 2024

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Red and white bilevel commuter train cars round curve
Two Caltrain electric multiple-unit trainsets are delivered from manufacturer Stadler. Caltrain announced it has received state funding allowing it to complete its electrification project. Caltrain

SAN CARLOS, Calif. — Caltrain will receive $367 million in state funding to complete electrification of its San Francisco-San Jose main line, the commuter rail operator announced Tuesday.

The funds will come from the state’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program, and prevents diversion of operation funding that Caltrain had identified as a possible source of the funds needed to complete the project.

“The Electrification of Caltrain will be a transformational experience for our riders, with more frequent service and enhanced amenities,” Caltrain Executive Director Michelle Bouchard said in a press release. “Not only will it significantly decrease greenhouse gases emissions, it is a major advancement for transit in the Bay Area connecting communities to a transportation network they deserve. We appreciate that the state recognizes the importance of this project and we are excited to now have the funding to complete electrification in 2024.”

Along with $43 million in federal funding included in the omnibus spending bill passed late last year [see “Caltrain to receive $43 million …,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 28, 2022], the agency has now closed the $410 funding gap for the electrification project it had identified in 2021.

21 thoughts on “Caltrain to receive $367 million from state, completing funding for electrification project

  1. One possible way to get ridership back is have a month or two of no fare services.
    My thoughts are the recen experiment in Connecticut.

  2. If you do not live here, or have ever lived here…do not talk about California because you don’t know what’s going on inside the state. The news isn’t going to tell you everything and what they do tell you usually isn’t the truth anyways.

    1. Gerald, I’ve not been in California since 1995. I flew from MKE to Sacramento, then by rail to Richmond and BART to Concord. While in the East Bay I both rode trains and watched trains.

      I saw the last of the Santa Fe, either just before or just after the BNSF merger, on a very long walk Concord to Martinez and back. It was 110 F degrees but I didn’t feel the heat, it was so dry and beautiful. I’ve never had a reason to go back but I loved it while there.

      All told that was the fourth of my four visits to the state. The first two by Amtrak, the last two by air.

  3. Hey friends, two questions on the electrification of everything, from cars to home heating:

    (1) What is the %age line loss of electricity from point of generation to point of use.

    Answer: Not sure, but I’ve heard the number 50%. Maybe a bit lower with more up to date power systems.

    (2) What happens to all, repeat all, repeat all, of the line loss?

    Answer: It becomes heat into the environment.

    1. There are nearby power generating facilities, and by nearby I mean within less than a 100 miles/50 miles, granted those facilities use natural gas, but we’re better off burning natural gas(aka methane) and releasing it as CO2 than letting the methane itself go into the atmosphere since methane traps more heat than CO2 does by at the minimum double.

    2. From what I can remember Charles, line loss on high voltage (ie 500KVj transmission systems is around 2% and low voltage (residential) 4%

    3. You could be correct Charles, it’s been a long time since I was in school. I seem to remember / mile so yeh that tends to lead to drop vs loss.

  4. Californication is on the path to look like Cuba in 20 years. No new cars in sight because no-one with a brain will buy an electric vehicle they cannot re-charge because the residential distribution systems have all been de-energized because the electric company is barred from trimming back trees to leave the lights on.

    1. In case you hadn’t heard. PG&E is raising the connection rates for net metering. Solar powered homes that maintain a grid connection will have to pay more now. It essentially takes away what incentive is left to be a hybrid customer.

      Either you go off grid completely or stay on, but not both.

      My take? Just more people will go off grid. Eases up on the supply side but it will reduce the number of subs.

    2. Get your facts straight, PG&E is in an aggressive tree trimming mode because they don’t want to face anymore multi-million dollar fines from the CPUC for starting fires with their downed lines.

    3. All those late model used cars, some thirty years in the future, could make CA cities become tourist destination again. For the same reasons people flock to Havana to see and ride all those 1950’s era shinny Chevys!

  5. Can’t wait to have this project finished, it’s about time.

    All the California reservoirs are filling up now thanks to all the recent rain. That’s
    good news!

  6. And don’t forget all new cars sold in California must be electric in 12 years. You just can’t charge them during the summer or any other time the California electrical grid is stressed. Not to mention what happens when electricity is shut down to prevent possible forest fires.

    1. Incorrect, only 80% of new cars sold must be all electrice, the other 20% an be hybrid, and there’s plenty of time between now and then for people to purchase new cars…and finally do the smart thing and keep them much, much longer than used to be. No reason you can’t keep a car for 20 years now, they will last with proper maintenance, and insurance goes down every year it gets older…to a certain point then you drop collision when it’s not worth the replacement value. The other option is do what people do now to buy less expensive cars…go to Oregon and Nevada, both states sell lots of cars that are built for Califonia, with California emmissions packages.

    2. This will create an underlying FMV floor in the used car market; far more than what Covid did when the automakers shut down. My 1991 Toyota pickup is worth more today than I paid for it 21 years ago; and still runs great…for the little driving I do (about 2500 miles last year).

  7. Per link below from 10/22, Caltrain’s ridership is at 30% of pre-Covid levels. Unfortunately this project’s timing coincides with the biggest shift in work and commute patterns in the last 100 years–work from home appears permanent for many workers in the Bay Area. There will be a revenue crisis at both CalTrain and BART in the near-term. With the state now also having a huge decrease in income tax revenue due to stock market and significantly reduced capital gains tax revenue, there is no state bailout money available. Expect service cuts and higher fares despite the shiny new electric equipment.

    https://www.greencaltrain.com/2022/10/caltrain-board-chair-suggests-possible-service-cuts-how-would-you-regrow-transit-ridership/

  8. That will make it 2 things California will be out of in the near term, water and electricity. Hey I can’t get anywhere, and I sure am thirsty, but at least the air I breathe is clean.

    1. You do have to wonder when you see no new transmission lines, sub stations or generating stations being built let alone all the residential systems needing replaced to power our electric future.
      Or even getting started.

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