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Hill urges support for Caltrain electrification plan

Original post made on Mar 13, 2012

Local lawmakers and transit officials are calling on the public to get behind a proposal that would allocate $1.5 billion in public funds to convert Caltrain to an electrically powered commuter system by the year 2019.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 5:10 PM

Comments (10)

Posted by Andrew, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm

While I support electrification (and HSR), that's great that Caltrain could have more trains for 70,000+ people. However, even today they claim they can't afford to run more than 1 train an hour during most of the day.

If Caltrain is electrified, will there at least be a commitment to a certain minimum frequency of service that makes it a viable commuting option for more people?


Posted by Jason, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 13, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Caltrain is an unfortunate byproduct of a lack of BART. Rather than upgrading Caltrain wouldn't it be better to extend BART?


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2012 at 9:58 pm

I had a chance to ride alot of trains like the one we are needing to replace Caltrain. The train is a 19th century throwback, slow. If we could build something lighter, quiet and efficent people will ride. I hoping one day BART will go around the Bay


Posted by Christopher Parkinson, a resident of Willowgate
on Mar 14, 2012 at 9:42 am

Electrifying CalTrain is more frequency. They are talking about up to 8 minute frequency. It is also more speed. CalTrain will not do anything for safety, they are doing this with MTC money and will rely on commitments from CAHSRA. They are planting the seed with no EIR to get HSR going down those tracks and all "at grade".

These democrats are selling the Bay Area short. Instead of the rational project of BART where they have a high mind of safety, CalTrain has been given the green light to advance high speed trains with "blended tracks" mixing heavy commercial trains with high speed electric trains including the HSR. It is a political scandal that includes Anna Eshoo, Senator Simitian, ABAG board, the MTC board, and the Air Quality board.

Is this what we want? I say there is a need in Bakersfield to Palmdale. Instead the CAHSRA has huckstered California into a dance with the devil in pushing CAHSRA with "at grade" dividing our cities, creating havoc for anyone living near the tracks and for what? Does this really have to do with ridership? No this has to do with supporting ABAG's projections of migration into the state. If the state builds the CAHSRA (here through electrified CalTrain) they think people by the millions will come to California to live and work. This is about ABAG's power to fulfill for the first time their projects or at least try to. The CAHSRA will be expensive to ride. We must put a stop to all of this and allow BART to fulfill its destiny.


Posted by K Dinsmore, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm

"It takes me longer to get from San Mateo to San Jose than it takes me to get from San Mateo to Sacramento," Hill said.

Yeah, right. Such BS statements used to push snake oil products. I'm willing to bet actual money on this if Mr. Hill wants to take me up on it.

NO HSR, NO Caltrain, rip it out, use the line space for BART extensions. HSR is ill concieved and and huge budget lie, once unions get involved the costs will be astronomical and the time will be 10x. Waste of time, money and terrible for everyone for a product that adds no value.

It's already a huge pain in the behind to cross the tracks in Mt. View at Moffet and Rengstorff. They get backed up and the light cycles are stupid. Add more trains and HSR and you'll never cross those roads. All the cars waiting all the time will negate any 'green' savings.

This is all designed to make a few people more wealthy at the cost of everyone else.


Posted by D.Broeder of Los Altos, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm

No HSR on the Peninsula !! Just continue BART from Milbrae to San Jose, elevated or under at all road crossing, like we should have 30 years ago. (3 tracks 2 for BART one for freight?).
Then run BART to Sacramento from Concord,Stockton from Dublin .Then if you want to ride HSR you can take BART to Stockton or San Jose
if HSR comes there.


Posted by Alex M., a resident of Willowgate
on Mar 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm

The annoying noise made by CalTrain isn't from not being electric. It's the horns, and those horns are required for trains that cross through pedestrian and automotive rights-of-way. I don't see this changing if the trains were converted to pure electric.

The CalTrain engines are already electric, in that the wheels use electric drive motors powered by onboard diesel electric generators. Making them pure electric like BART or VTA LightRail would quiet the engines but as I said, the dominant noise that carries long distances comes from the horns.


Posted by Doug Pearson, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 14, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I want Caltrain to be electrified and I want no at grade crossings. (There are several in Mountain View.) If course, that will cost a LOT of money, so it may never be done.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of another community
on Mar 14, 2012 at 9:46 pm

There are exactly two grade crossings in Mountain View. They are not particularly hard to get rid of, regardless of what runs on the rails--Caltrain, HSR, BART, or whatever.


Posted by Christopher Parkinson, a resident of Willowgate
on Mar 16, 2012 at 9:57 am

Christopher Parkinson is a registered user.

Anonymous, The Rengstorff grade separation is about 70 million and can involve lowering Rengstorff and Central Expressway. Castro Street is another issue. The Stevens Creek keeps CalTrain or the HSR from lowering into a trench. BART however does not have the height requirements and a 5% grade might be doable for lowering into a trench. Pushing Castro underground is also about 70 million. The money is HSR related thus no gas tax money can be used. I am sure if you wrote a check to the City they would be able to do your simple fixes. Then it comes to width and that is a touchy subject and CalTrain wants 4 rails throughout the City.

You can make the check out to the City of Mountain View and take it to the City Clerks office.


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