Caltrain Completes Major Milestones Towards Network Electrification

Caltrain has successfully completed three major milestones to advance its electrification project.

This includes the installation of every pole for the Overhead Contact System (OCS) that will provide power to the electric trains.

In addition, it has upgraded the signalling system that will allow the electric trains to operate along the Caltrain corridor and has successfully tested the new electric trains at the maximum track speed of 79 miles per hour.

These three milestones bring the Caltrain Electrification Project closer to commencing passenger service in autumn 2024.

Caltrain is expected to start electrified service in the autumn of 2024
Caltrain is currently testing its electric trains on the southern end of the corridor

The installation of 2,569 pre-engineered poles and the upgrade to the network’s signal system was completed with Caltrain’s contractor, Balfour Beatty. The signalling work included upgrading every grade crossing on the electrified corridor.

Meanwhile, the steel poles were each safely lifted into place and mounted on a concrete foundation. With the final OCS pole installed, crews can now install the remainder of the wire.

Caltrain and Stadler have also successfully completed testing of the electric trains using the OCS and the upgraded signalling system to ensure the components work together as intended. During the tests, cameras were placed on top of the trains to confirm that the interface between the train’s pantograph and the OCS was fully integrated.

Caltrain’s Executive Director Michelle Bouchard said:

“These three milestones are a big step forward for the Caltrain Electrification Project and we’re now even closer to completing this transformative project.”

In addition to these most recent milestones, the  South San Francisco Traction Power Facility went live in August, making it possible to power the entire Caltrain electrified corridor once the OCS is complete.

This 51-mile Caltrain Electrification Project will see the first 25KV OCS system operate on the West Coast to provide more sustainable rail transportation in California.

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