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Caltrain successfully runs eight trains simultaneously on newly electrified corridor

Posted: 12 June 2024 | | No comments yet

Caltrain has successfully tested eight trains running simultaneously on its newly electrified corridor, marking a significant milestone before the launch of full electric service in September 2024.

Caltrain successfully runs eight trains simultaneously on newly electrified corridor

Credit: Caltrains

Caltrain has announced that it has successfully tested eight trains running simultaneously on its newly electrified corridor. This significant milestone marks the final major test before the launch of electrified service in September 2024 and concludes the last weekend service change for the Caltrain Electrification project.

The Caltrain Electrification project has been underway for eight years, transforming the corridor from a diesel-powered system to an electrified one. This extensive project included locating underground utilities, testing soil conditions, inspecting signal and communication equipment and managing vegetation along the tracks. Central to the project has been the installation of over 2,500 pre-engineered poles and the stringing of more than 2.6 million feet of wire to support the Overhead Contact System (OCS). The OCS is the backbone of the new system, providing power to the high-performing electric trains.

Caltrain Executive Director Michelle Bouchard said: “I thank our riders for their patience as we completed this necessary construction, and I look forward to September when we can enjoy the benefits of a faster, greener and quieter Caltrain.”

The electrified service, set to launch on 21 September 2024, promises a more efficient and environmentally friendly commute. Highlights of the new service include a San Francisco to San Jose trip in under an hour, with peak hour trains running every 15-20 minutes at 16 stations, and trains every half hour during mid-day, evenings and weekends.

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A crucial component of the electrification project is the installation of 10 traction power facilities between San Francisco and San Jose. These facilities will provide, distribute and regulate electricity to the OCS and the new electric trains.

The recent successful test of eight trains running simultaneously has been made possible by the substantial completion of the electrification infrastructure along the 51-mile corridor. Caltrain, in collaboration with Stadler and design-build contractor Balfour Beatty, conducted the eight-train power contingency test to stress the electrical power system and simulate the full electric multiple unit (EMU) service schedule planned for September. This test confirmed that the system could handle eight EMU trainsets under various power configurations.

Caltrain’s electrification project is the first in North America in a generation to transition from diesel to electric trains, setting a precedent for modernising rail systems. This project represents a significant leap forward in providing a faster, greener and quieter train service for the Bay Area.

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