State Bill Seeks to Improve Caltrain Corridor
State Senator Jerry Hill introduced legislation on Friday that would lock in high-speed rail funds for the electrification of Caltrain. In addition, the bill seeks to close loopholes to ensure the Peninsula rail corridor remains a two-track system.
Those are elements of a deal Hill brokered last year with the High-Speed Rail Authority. He says he wants to make the deal legally binding.
"We have a High-Speed Rail Authority now that I have a lot of confidence in," says Hill. "I like the board members. I think they’re interested in the community and preserving the quality of life that we have -- but that may change in five or ten years. We may get different board members and I want to make sure that the safeguards are in place today for the future, in case there is a change."
Local officials say the electrification of Caltrain is crucial to its future. The system is currently running at capacity using diesel engines.
Electrification would allow the commuter line to safely add more trains and stop at more stations without slowing service.