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Mon May 22, 2017, 09:10 PM

Feds approve $647 million grant for Caltrain electrification project

Source: San Jose Mercury News

In a stunning reversal, the Federal Transit Administration said Monday that it will approve a $647 million grant to electrify Caltrain tracks, nearly doubling capacity on the overburdened San Jose to San Francisco commute route.

The approval comes after months of delays and worries by Caltrain officials and Bay Area leaders that the Trump administration would cancel the grant. If the funding hadn’t been approved by June 30, the $2 billion track electrification project would have lost key construction contracts.

The electrification work will mean faster and more reliable trains on a 51-mile stretch of the Caltrain corridor along the Peninsula, offering more than 110,000 rides per day, up from 60,000. The project will also create 10,000 jobs in California and around the country. The first electric trains are expected to be in service by early 2021, if not sooner, and construction on the project should start in 60 to 90 days.

“This news, quite clearly, is electrifying,” said Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino. “This is all the major holidays wrapped into one with a beautiful Caltrain bow around it.”

Read more: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/05/22/federal-fta-grant-caltrain-electrification/



This indeed is very good news not only for the Caltrain service between SF and Silicon Valley, but also for the California High Speed Rail project which will use the electrified Caltrain route through the Peninsula.

Despite the naysayers, it looks like California may finally catch up with the rest of the civilized world in moving people around in the most efficient manner.

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Reply Feds approve $647 million grant for Caltrain electrification project (Original post)
Rollo May 2017 OP
still_one May 2017 #1
Hortensis May 2017 #6
ghostsinthemachine May 2017 #2
Bernardo de La Paz May 2017 #3
Rollo May 2017 #4
PNW-Dem May 2017 #5

Response to Rollo (Original post)

Mon May 22, 2017, 09:12 PM

1. It is good news. I must say I am surprised




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Response to still_one (Reply #1)

Tue May 23, 2017, 02:56 AM

6. In an era of often literally religious-level right-wing hostility to

rail projects requiring federal funding? Me too, Still One. Chalk up a fail for Charles Koch.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Mon May 22, 2017, 09:34 PM

2. Great news, this

First and mandatory step in High Speed rail development.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Mon May 22, 2017, 10:29 PM

3. California catching up, but leaving much of US far behind. Good work Democrat Gov Jerry Brown. nt

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #3)

Mon May 22, 2017, 11:48 PM

4. Well, I don't see high speed rail links between places like Pocatello, Idaho and Butte, Montana...

But for other areas with strings of large urbanized areas, high speed rail makes sense, and not just on the crowded Northeast Corridor.

Part of the problem seems to be the stranglehold the legacy rail companies have on rights of way. They are perfectly happy to make money off freight, at grade, and freight trains do not mix well with high speed passenger rail service. HSR really requires grade separation and modern rails that aren't all worn out by slower, much heavier freight. Unlike Europe and Japan, ravaged by the heavy destruction of WWII, American rail companies saw no need to reform their rail networks for the future. The unprecedented economic boom of the 50's and 60's and ample natural resources made travel by private vehicle - a very wasteful method - an acceptable alternative to passenger rail. And of course the rise of regional and cross country airlines dried up what little rail passenger business was left.

But since then we've seen the grotesque environmental damage done by the private car, as well as the personal expense. And air travel between metro centers within a region is hampered by multiple negatives: parking, long waits at aiports, security screening, etc. A business man wanting to travel from the Bay Area to LA could take light rail to the train station at one end, and enjoy a restful train ride across the state, perhaps with a relaxes real meal along the way, and then either light rail, taxi, or a car rental at the other. Without all the fuss that goes with even short hop air travel today.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Tue May 23, 2017, 01:44 AM

5. Yes! A much needed, common sense improvement.

x

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