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Caltrain Electrification EIR

2/4/2013

Environmental Impact Report Notice
Caltrain has issued a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Caltrain Electrification Project.  (See copy of notice below.)

The project would electrify the Caltrain System from the San Francisco Caltrain Station at 4th and King Streets to approximately 2 miles South of the Tamien Caltrain Station in San Jose. 

It would also include converting today's Diesel-Powered trains to Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains and increase service from 5 to 6 Caltrain trains per peak hour per direction by the year 2019.


Key Benefits
According to Caltrain, key benefits of the proposed Electrification Project include:

  1. Improving Train Performance, Increasing Ridership and Increasing Service
  2. Increasing Revenue and Reducing Costs
  3. Reducing Noise from Today's Diesel-Powered Trains
  4. Improving Regional Air Quality and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  5. Providing a High Speed Rail Compatible Electrical Infrastructure


Using Existing Right of Way & Tracks

Caltrain anticipates being able to construct the system using the existing rail line right of way and tracks. 

In San Carlos and the balance of the system there would be an Overhead Catenary System (OCS) installed consisting of a frame and overhead wires to power the new electrified trains (see artist rendering above). 

The current system design does not envision Power Substations or Switching Stations being located in San Carlos.


High Speed Rail & Blended Operations
The EIR will also mention, but not clear, the potential of Blended Electrified Caltrain and High Speed Rail Service as a foreseeable future project which could commence as early as the year 2026 or 2029.  (A separate EIR for Blended Services will be prepared in the future for these services, if funded.) 

Blended Operations could involve 2 High Speed Rail trains per peak hour per direction (no need for passing tracks) or 3 or 4 such trains per peak hour per direction (with passing tracks). 


Potential Passing Track Impacts on San Carlos
Three of the five passing track options involve the length of the San Carlos and have been part of the City's comments on the proposed Caltrain/High Speed Rail Blended Operations since they were first proposed in 2011. 


Invitation to Provide Input
Caltrain is inviting property owners, residents, public agencies, and all interested parties to provide input on the scope and content of the EIR.  Written responses and comments on the EIR scope are due by March 18, 2013.  A copy of the EIR preparation notice is attached. 


4 Public Meetings on EIR Scoping
The first of the four public meetings on the EIR Scoping process will be held at Caltrain Headquarters, located at 1250 San Carlos Avenue in San Carlos on February 27th from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

( Caltrain Electrification Notice of Preparation - PDF, 577kb )