Friday, February 01, 2013

Caltrain launches electrification environmental review

California's Caltrain is kicking off environmental review of the electrification project with a series of public meetings to seek input on the scope of the review.

This is the first in a series of feedback opportunities corridor stakeholders will have to comment on the project.

Caltrain already has engaged in extensive outreach on the modernization and electrification program, meeting with community groups and elected officials for the past several months. This new round of outreach is the first step in the formal process of preparing and obtaining state environmental review and approval of the project.

Last year, the California High Speed-Rail Authority recommended funding corridor electrification as one of its "early investment" projects.

That money, when combined with other federal, regional and local funds, totals $1.5 billion and will allow Caltrain to electrify the Peninsula corridor from San Francisco to the Tamien Station in San Jose.

The environmental impact report for Caltrain electrification and modernization does not include high-speed rail (HSR), which will be subject to a separate environmental review.

Modernization and electrification of Caltrain is anticipated to allow increased service to more stations while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent.

Caltrain will begin operating electrified service by 2019, but this will not include HSR, which is not expected to reach the Peninsula until 2026, at the earliest.

To kick off the environmental clearance process, Caltrain staff will be holding its first public scoping meeting Feb. 27 at the Caltrain offices. For times and other dates go here. (link to dates here).

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