Caltrain representatives were joined by federal, state, regional, local officials, and community members to celebrate the first public viewing of the agency’s new electric train cars. The new train cars will serve as the centerpiece of the Caltrain Electrification Project.
Caltrain said the trains will offer a better service to Caltrain riders and will generate much less noise than their diesel equivalent. The new vehicles also offer amenities, including new digital onboard displays, power outlets at each forward-facing seat, a new seat color palette selected by the public, energy-efficient lighting, coat hooks, security cameras, and expanded storage under the cantilevered seats.
“The arrival of these new electric trains marks an exciting step toward providing greener, easier transportation options for Californians,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Caltrain’s electrification initiative will mean quieter neighborhoods, cleaner air and faster commutes for working families. It has been my privilege to fight alongside the entire Bay Area delegation to secure the federal resources Caltrain needs to realize its vision of a fully electrified rail corridor from San Francisco to San Jose.”
Additionally, each trainset will have seven cars, as opposed to the current five or six. The new trains also accelerate and decelerate faster than their diesel alternatives, which must be pulled by a locomotive. This will allow Caltrain to expand its service levels beyond the current 104 trains every weekday, according to the company.
These trains will go into service in 2024, and until then will be tested to ensure they and the infrastructure they will rely upon, are in good working order.
According to the news release, the trains were built by Stadler US at their facility in Salt Lake City. After they were assembled, they were sent to a test facility in Pueblo, Colo. where they were tested at high speeds under numerous conditions as required by the Federal Railroad Administration. The trains were tested for braking, propulsion, ride quality, noise and vibration, door operation, Positive Train Control, and Electromagnetic Interference over the course of eight months.
“The electrification of Caltrain is one of the most important milestones in Caltrain’s history,” said Steve Heminger, Caltrain board chair. “Being able to step onto the new trains for the first time makes me even more excited for the start of electrified service in 2024.”
The Caltrain Electrification project will electrify the corridor from the San Francisco Station at 4th and King Streets to approximately the Tamien Station in San Jose, replacing diesel-hauled trains with electric trains, according to Caltrain.