Caltrain gets Palo Alto, Calif., ready for electric conversion

Written by RT&S Staff
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Crews have been pruning trees in Palo Alto, Calif. It must be time to electrify the Caltrain line that runs through the area.

On top of the pruning, foundations are being installed for the 200 poles along the Caltrain track in Palo Alto. Caltrain has been transforming a 51-mile stretch so it can run off electricity since 2017. The line runs from San Francisco to San Jose, and the new phase of work will take place in San Francisco and Santa Clara County.

The entire project calls for 3,000 poles to support aerial wires that will charge the system. The poles will be between 30 and 50 ft high and will be spaced approximately 180 ft apart.

Pole and wire installation will begin in February and last until late 2020, and with the move to electricity Caltrain says service will bump up from five to six trains per hour in each direction during peak travel times.

Work will take place day and night, and sometimes there will be 24-hour activity on the weekends. Crews will be using noise-buffering blankets and will try to keep lights pointed away from residential homes.

Palo Alto residents want Caltrain and city officials to work on grade-separation solutions while the electrification process is taking place. The city of Palo Alto plans on choosing which type of grade separation it will go with by this spring. However, construction of the grade separations is not expected to be complete until 2030.

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Source: Palo Alto Online

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