The work is expected to improve the tracks, add safety features and prepare the route to accommodate future high-speed rail service. This blended-system approach minimizes impacts on surrounding communities and saves money. The JPB approved the MOU on March 7, 2013.
The MOU helps implement the $1.45-billion Caltrain Modernization Program, which invests $705 million in funds from Proposition 1A that was signed into law last summer. With this investment, Caltrain will upgrade existing rail lines and improve train performance through electrification of the Caltrain corridor, install advanced signal systems and purchase new electrified rail vehicles. The Caltrain Modernization Program will provide more services to more people at more stations, while also reducing the system's greenhouse gas emissions by more than 90 percent and cutting Caltrain's operating costs in half. Caltrain is preparing to electrify the corridor by 2019.
"This MOU represents a new partnership reflecting a vision for high-speed rail integrated with a regional and statewide rail system that is critical to the future of the state of California," said board member Jim Hartnett. "High-speed rail is designed to bring the regions of California together, while providing all-important benefits at the local level. The partnership between Caltrain and high-speed rail will improve rail traffic for one of the most important economic and innovative regions in our country."