Caltrain 'Modernization' Kicks Off With $40 Million From State HSR Bonds

In a ceremony that featured local politicians and environmentalists, Caltrain accepts $39.8 million to install Positive Train Control, a funding milestone in the commuter rail's modernization.

The funds were released by the California Transportation Commission as "part of the California High Speed Rail Authority's 'early investment' program that will fund improvements for commuter rail connectivity in Southern California and the Peninsula through Proposition 1A (high speed rail) bond proceeds", writes the Daily Journal's Bill Silverfarb.

PTC, technically called Communications Based Overlay Signal System with Positive Train Control (CBOSS PTC) is a prerequisite for electrification of the 50-mile San Jose to San Francisco line that will serve both Caltrain and, eventually, the troubled California High Speed Rail project.

Does Caltrain modernization create a conflict for anti-high speed rail Peninsula cities?

One of the dignitaries present was Burlingame Mayor Jerry Deal who "publicly opposed the state's high-speed rail project". However, "he told the Daily Journal (Sept. 27) that modernizing Caltrain is a necessity."

"We've got to get more cars off the road. Modernization will allow for more trains per hour and the hubs will expand," said Deal, who also sits on the JPB board.

"He anticipates a boom in transit-oriented development once the system is modernized."

Electrification can not come soon enough for the popular commuter rail line. Silverfarb reported on Oct. 3 that it has increased ridership for 25 consecutive months, setting an all-time record in June for over 50,000 daily riders.

Thanks to Ann Schneider

Full Story: Modernization dream now reality

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