April 28, 2011

FRA awards Caltrans $100M for Amtrak upgrades

The Federal Railroad Administration awarded the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) $100 million to purchase new equipment on Amtrak California trains that service the San Joaquin and Pacific Surfliner rail corridors.

“California has seen a 60 percent increase in ridership in the last decade on the San Joaquin and Pacific Surfliner corridors,” said Caltrans Director Cindy McKim. “This grant will allow us to meet the growing needs of rail passengers in California and continue providing an alternate choice for travel in the state.”

This award allows Caltrans to add to its current fleet and address future growth in Amtrak California rail travel. The new bi-level equipment includes 27 new cars — nine will replace single-level equipment used on the Pacific Surfliner, and 18 will allow for growth on both the San Joaquin and Pacific Surfliner corridors.

The grant was funded through federal fiscal year 2010 appropriations provided for high-speed and intercity passenger rail. This particular project is the first to be authorized under the Next Generation design standards in the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA), which were developed to primarily promote the creation of a pool of standardized equipment for Amtrak and the states to use in various state-sponsored rail corridors.

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