Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Transportation & Infrastructure
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Published on February 29, 2024
Caltrain Cancels Select Train Services Mar 9-10 for Electrification Work, Offers Bus ReplacementsSource: aqua scissors, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Caltrain is putting the brakes on certain train services during the weekend of March 9-10 to speed up their major Electrification Project. Early morning and late-night trains will not run, affecting routes from San Francisco to Mountain View, as detailed in an announcement by the transit agency on February 28.

Trains typically full of weekend warriors and early risers, specifically the first four northbound trains, #221, 225, 229, 233, and the first three southbound trains, #224, 228, 232, will be substituted with bus service. Meanwhile, riders looking to catch the last northbound #281 or the southbound #284 will have to make other plans, as these services are canceled. Caltrain suggests seeking alternate modes of travel for anyone planning to use these trains, as reported on their website.

The bus service to replace the trains will only stop at selected stations, namely San Francisco, Millbrae, Hillsdale, Redwood City, Palo Alto, and Mountain View. Bearing limited capacity for extra baggage and bicycles, commuters must turn to bike parking at stations or lug fewer items. Each bus route will be accompanied by ADA accessible vans for those who need them.

These changes will greet riders as part of Caltrain's efforts to shift from diesel engines to a cleaner electric fleet, highlighting the project's significance in an age of improved technology and sustainability. The transition promises faster service, increased frequency, particularly over weekends, and improved passenger amenities such as wi-fi, power outlets, and enhanced storage areas aboard the trains. According to the Caltrain announcement, this massive infrastructural overhaul is set to double the weekend train frequency and heighten weekday rush hour operations—jumping from 66 to 79 stations per hour.

Moreover, the Electrification Project aligns with California's ambitious environmental targets. It will lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, which, alongside reducing congestion, advances equity across the communities it serves. This electrified service also tracks the future High Speed Rail network for the Caltrain corridor. Caltrain has rolled out new fare promotions in parallel to the transition, providing discounts for families, youth, groups, and hybrid workers to encourage a broader ridership.