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May 27, 2023

Caltrain gains federal funds to complete electrification

Project will modernize public train system by fall 2024

Caltrain will use $43 million in federal funds to complete its fleet electrification project by fall 2024, officials announced Dec. 23.

Officials expect President Joe Biden to sign off on the recently passed $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, which will fund military and government agencies until next September. 

The electrification project is the first of its kind in North America, adding more modernized trains with new safety equipment and digital trip information for passengers. 

Electrification also helps Caltrain reach regional and state goals to lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. 

“It is with great pride that the Democratic Congress has passed an omnibus appropriations package that delivers for San Franciscans and working families across our nation,” U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “As a proud Representative of San Francisco, it was my privilege to help ensure that this legislation invests in quieter neighborhoods, cleaner air and faster commutes for the Bay Area. With $33 million in new funding for Caltrain’s electrification, this legislative package marks a key step toward a fully electrified rail corridor across our region.”

Caltrain Executive Director Michelle Bouchard said the electrification of Caltrain is one of the biggest milestones in its 160-year history.

“We are one step closer thanks to our supporters who truly know what this means in terms of addressing climate change and providing the modernized transportation service that our communities deserve,” Bouchard said in a statement.

Ten million dollars of the federal funding was secured by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) as a community project, and $33 million came from the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant program for pre-existing projects with grants.

“I am proud to have secured funding to support Caltrain’s Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project that will help complete California’s first electrified commuter rail system,” said Padilla. “With this investment, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, eliminating pollution caused by the aging diesel engines, and helping Caltrain meet its goal of tripling capacity by 2040.”

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