Caltrain to pilot battery-electric train

Caltrain, a commuter rail line serving the San Francisco Peninsula and Santa Clara Valley, is in the process of electrifying its system to enable electric trains to operate from San Jose to San Francisco.

Now the transit agency has received funding to pilot a dual electric/battery-powered train.

The California Transportation Commission approved funding for one battery-equipped electric train to help with the transition to fully electrified service and expand zero-emission service to non-electrified tracks.

The funds will allow Caltrain to operate zero-emission trains on both the electrified sections of the corridor and the stretch between Tamien Station in San Jose and Gilroy, which does not yet have overhead electric lines. The new train will charge while running on overhead power in the electrified service areas, then use battery charge to travel through non-electrified areas.

The funding also covers the cost of testing at the Transportation Test Center in Colorado and upgrades to the San Jose Central Maintenance Facility and Gilroy layover and station area to facilitate charging and maintenance.

“Silicon Valley has a reputation for innovations, and our transportation sector is no different,” San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan said. “This project will pave the way for Caltrain to retire their diesel fleet and operate a fully zero-emission service.”

Source: The Almanac

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