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Caltrain loses bid for exemption from state environmental law on electrification project

Original post made on Jul 4, 2015

Caltrain must comply with the state's environmental quality act in electrifying its rail system between San Francisco and San Jose, according to a ruling July 2 by the federal Surface Transportation Board.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 3, 2015, 8:40 PM

Comments (7)

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 4, 2015 at 9:51 am

High speed rail, if ever completed, will be a terrorist target. One little attack - even upon the track - and no one (other than paid train employees) will ever ride again.

Posted by Kraut
a resident of another community
on Jul 4, 2015 at 10:02 am


Sure buddy. There have been no terrorist attacks on the Acela on the east coast and high speed rail has been running for millions of miles around the world for decades. Much safer to take a high speed train than to get in your car and drive down the road or fly in an airplane.

Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2015 at 11:21 am

Kraut is right.

The Japanese and Europeans have been running HSR for a while pretty successfully.

The famed Tokaido Shinkansen (Tokyo-Osaka line, approx. 320 miles) currently carries approximately 150 million passengers per year. The cumulative ridership since the line was founded is approximately 5.6 billion riders.

During the initial year of service, the trains carried 22 million passengers and ran at 130 mph.

In 1964. Over fifty years ago.

Do you know that Caltrain's current annual ridership is? About 56,000. That's right, in one day, *one* Japanese bullet train line carries more passengers than Caltrain does in seven years.

HSR is not some distant futuristic vision. It has been around for over five decades.

Posted by Geek
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 6, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Geek is a registered user.

Gary, the article is about the electrification project. Even if high speed rail project is doomed, it still would be nice to get rid of the noisy and polluting diesel locomotives.

Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 6, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

Why do we let the NIMBY crowd cause such negative influence and taxpayer burden? The railroad has been there since 1863 for Pete's sake! Would instlalling catenary and few substations really cause that much impact? I think not. This project is a no-brainer. What it will bring is cleaner, quieter, and more efficient trains. Listen up Atherton! The trains were here first. There not going anywhere but straight through your town, like they have for 150 years! You'll beg someday for them to stop there again.

Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jul 6, 2015 at 3:16 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

The same article deserves the same comments, so here it is:

Everyone who think NEW HYBRID TRAIN ENGINES, needs a reality check: We have hybrid engines already and have had them since 1949. The real problem is getting enough power cells that are safe and easy to handle MEGAWATTS of power!
I worked on energy storage batteries; we do not have the technology to make such systems safe, easy to handle and provide the power necessary to make even a one-way trip on Caltrain.


BART and RTD DENVER did a similar thing; raise the right of way on elevated pedestals or stayed on existing trackage right of way that had BERLIN WALL sound barriers already in place. That works and creates far less noise than Caltrain does now.

So pull out Caltrain, and build a BART system LIKE THE ONE I AND MANY OTHERS PAID FOR!

When SP pulled out of the passenger business, that was the best logical time to finish the BART LOOP like many cities have now for automobile traffic.

" You can pay me now or pay me later " was how that commercial went. Time to grit your teeth, get rid of the VTA and Caltrain and do rapid transit the way people wanted it in the first place. That is what RTD is doing right now.

Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 6, 2015 at 6:56 pm

We need to find a way for the Cal Train Electrification project to not be a Trojan Horse for the terrible High Speed Rain Project.

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