Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI), in Pueblo, Colo., hosted representatives from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Caltrain and Stadler US on Nov. 5.
Attendees were able to ride on Caltrain’s state-of-the-art catenary electric trains, which are in the final stages of testing at TTCI, and to discuss the potential significance of the project to California and the nation’s transportation infrastructure at large. Caltrain and Stadler followed the test ride with a presentation and discussion on the technology of the project, benefits of its local manufacturing and implications for the industry.
Caltrain’s new trainsets will serve as the foundation for the first modern, electrified railroad in California and are made possible by significant investment from the federal government. Additional trainsets are now being assembled in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the Stadler US manufacturing plant. Stadler explains these new trainsets and their associated infrastructure in California represent a keystone in the state’s transit and sustainability future. This project is a critical component of California’s future high-speed rail system as the two systems will share a corridor. Furthermore, the associated electrification lays the foundation for Caltrain’s revolutionary 2040 Service Vision that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 110 metric tons every day, and support tripling ridership to 180,000 passengers every weekday—the equivalent of adding 5.5 new freeway lanes worth of capacity to US 101.
“These new electric trains will bring a new standard of excellence to the Caltrain corridor,” said Caltrain Acting Executive Director Michelle Bouchard. “Cleaner, greener, quieter, more comfortable, and more efficient, these trains will deliver an across-the-board improved riding experience with features such as Wi-Fi, improved passenger information displays, additional storage, and power sources at every seat, benefiting the communities we serve for decades to come.”