Diesel Caltrain locomotive © Balfour BeattyThe California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) has awarded the Caltrain electrification project one of 14 grants which are intended to reduce carbon emissions and improve California’s public transport infrastructure. The investment of $20 million will go towards delivering the electrification of the line, which will enable high speed electric trains to operate on it in future. This will not only improve the speed and frequency of services for passengers, but also, as predicted by Caltrain, reduce emissions by 97% by 2040. This is a reduction of 176,000 metric tons of CO2 a year.
The Caltrain electrification is expected to cost $1.98 Billion. Of this, $713 million will be provided through the California High Speed Rail Authority. Funding will also be garnered by way of federal, regional and member agency contributions. The project was one of two to be accepted into the engineering phase of the Federal Transit Administration Core Capacity Program. It is expected to contribute $643 million towards the project. The award was welcomed by local and business leaders.
Jim Hartnett, Caltrain’s Executive Director, said:
“The state of California has shown a decades long commitment to Peninsula rail service. First by stepping in to directly operate the service in the early 80’s and later as a partner in infrastructure investment as the service has grown under the leadership of the Joint Powers Board. I want to thank Governor Brown for his commitment to investing in public transportation infrastructure and for helping to ensure Caltrain remains a vital component of Bay Area public transportation.”
Infrastructure contractors Balfour Beatty have won a $697 million contract to carry out electrification works on the 52 mile Caltrain rail corridor between San Francisco and San Jose. It is the largest ever contract for Balfour Beatty in the United States to date. The contract was awarded by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board.
Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. will develop and construct a 25kv AC overhead catenary system which will power new high speed trains. It will also construct two traction power substations, one switching substation and seven paralleling substations. Balfour will also replace signal systems and earth existing facilities as part of the Caltrain electrification works.
The works will be carried out with minimal disruption to the 92 Caltrain trains transporting over 65,000 commuters every day.
Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive, said:
“Our extensive experience in managing complex rail projects leaves us well qualified to deliver this significant scheme. Caltrain builds on the back of the recent successful delivery of our part in the multi-billion dollar Eagle P3 Commuter Rail network in Denver, Colorado.
“We are pleased our unique capability has been recognised with this award which contributes to our strategy to increase our design-build rail market share across the US.”
The project will begin in Autumn 2016, to be completed in spring 2020. 300 employees will be employed at the peak of construction. This number will include 50 apprentices.
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