Caltrain Retires Diesel Trains Ahead of Electrified Service Launch

Caltrain has retired 32 diesel passenger cars ahead of the launch of its new electric fleet.

Caltrain’s new electric trains will replace the retired diesel units, which are nearly 40 years old. These old units have now been shipped to Sonoma, California to be stored in Petaluma with Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) until a buyer is found.

A 40-year-old Caltrain diesel train
A 40-year-old Caltrain diesel train

Eight of the eventual 23 electric trainsets are already on Caltrain’s property, while additional electric trainsets continue to make their way to Caltrain’s Central Equipment Maintenance and Operations Facility (CEMOF).

Caltrain is thus relocating older vehicles to ensure there is enough room for the new equipment, alongside standard operations. The retired gallery cars were not in active service, so this will not affect Caltrain’s current service.

The old passenger cars were built in San Francisco by Nippon Sharyo and first started operations on the Caltrain corridor in 1985. The rest of the Nippon Sharyo passenger cars will also be retired at the start of electrified service in autumn 2024.

Caltrain’s Electrification Project will enable the delivery of faster and more frequent service, including doubled frequency on weekends.

The passenger experience will also be improved, as the new trains will offer Wi-Fi, power outlets at every seat, onboard displays with digital trip information and increased storage capacities.

In addition, electrification will help meet regional and state climate action goals by lowering greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality, and relieving traffic congestion.

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