Caltrain completes three major milestones of Electrification Project
Caltrain has completed the installation of every pole for the Overhead Contact System (OCS), which provides power to the electric trains, upgraded the signal system that allow electric trains to operate along the Caltrain corridor and successfully tested the new electric trains at maximum track speed of 79 mph. These three major milestones bring the Caltrain Electrification Project closer to passenger service in fall 2024.
Caltrain and contractor Balfour Beatty have installed 2,569 pre-engineered poles and upgraded the existing signal system that will allow the electric trains to operate in an electrified corridor along the nearly 160-year-old right-of-way, which has continued to be active railroad during this process. The OCS will be tested along the full corridor from San Francisco to San Jose later this year.
Additionally, Caltrain and the vehicle manufacturer Stadler, have successfully run tests using the OCS and the upgraded signal system with the new electric trains operating at maximum track speed to ensure that all the individual systems are working together as intended. Cameras were placed atop the trains to ensure that the interface between the pantograph on the train and the OCS was fully integrated and operating as designed and constructed.
The South San Francisco Traction Power Facility went live in August, making it possible to fully power the entire Caltrain electrified corridor once the testing and OCS is complete this fall. Trains are being tested on the southern end of the corridor and will be expanding to more parts of the system in the months to come.
The 51-mile Caltrain Electrification Project will be the first 25KV OCS system on the west coast and will provide power to the new state-of-the-art-electric trains. Service will become both more frequent and more comfortable as electric trains replace the 30-year-old diesel fleet. The infrastructure that is being installed will be compatible with future high-speed rail on the corridor.