Excitement Building for Electrified Rail in California


Caltrain is launching electrified service this September, and the excitement is palpable. The full corridor from San Francisco to San Jose is now energized 160 years after the first steam passenger train made that eight-hour journey during Lincoln’s first term. After crowds of thousands turned out for a series of public tours of the new fleet, it is clear that the public is almost as excited for the future of Caltrain as we are.

“The electrification of Caltrain will transform the experience for our riders and connect communities with the fast, clean, efficient transportation network they deserve,” said Caltrain Executive Director Michelle Bouchard. “Completion of the infrastructure and the ability to test our world-class electric trains the whole length of the corridor is a momentous step in the Caltrain electrification project. As we approach the launch of electrified service in fall 2024, we want to thank the thousands of men and women who helped Caltrain reach these historic milestones.”

Caltrain’s historic electrification project is the first undertaking in North America in a generation in which diesel trains and their infrastructure components are transitioned to an electrified system. Electrification means faster and more frequent service, including doubling the frequency on weekends. The passenger experience will be greatly improved, as well, with the new trains featuring Wi-Fi, power outlets at every seat, onboard displays with digital trip information, and increased storage capacities.

Electrification will also help meet ambitious regional and state climate action goals by lowering greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality, and relieving traffic congestion. Additionally, electrified service will advance equity as well as sustainability along the corridor by reducing noise and air pollution while increasing access for priority equity communities. It will also set the stage for California’s future High-Speed Rail network that will run on the Caltrain corridor.

Caltrain has been working hard since this project broke ground in 2017 to deliver a world-class rail system to the Bay Area. We cannot wait to get our first passengers on board so they can see the future of Caltrain for themselves.