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Published on April 19, 2024
Caltrain Nears Launch of Electric Passenger Services After Successful San Francisco-San Jose TestsSource: Caltrain

Caltrain has electrified its progress toward the future of Bay Area transit this past weekend, finishing a crucial round of integrated tests on the tracks between San Francisco and San Jose. According to a report by Caltrain, the tests checked the electric trains and related infrastructure in the stretch up to Millbrae, ensuring the grounding, bonding, and overhead system were up to snuff.

The successful tests mean Caltrain is moving full steam toward launching electric passenger services this fall. But before that happens, Caltrain's 23 new electric trainsets have quite the trek ahead—logging 1,000 miles each on the tracks, as Caltrain's Executive Director Michelle Bouchard conveyed.

Bouchard was optimistic as she announced the weekend's accomplishments: "Completion of the integrated testing between San Francisco and Millbrae means that the full corridor is ready for us to enter the final phase of testing the new electric trains," she said. Fans of efficiency and the environment can circle September 2024 on their calendars – that's when Caltrain promises faster, more frequent service and the birth of a greener Bay Area commute.

But before the electrified dream becomes reality, some riders have a temporary hitch in the giddy-up. With additional work planned for April 20-21, early birds and night owls riding between San Francisco and Mountain View might need to tap into their Plan Bs, especially Giants fans aiming for home games at Oracle Park.

The new electric models are less noisy than the diesel dinosaurs they replace. Caltrain advises everyone to keep their eyes peeled and their ears open when crossing tracks. When the gates rise, that's your green light — not a moment sooner. Well-lit trains with Wi-Fi and power outlets await on the other side, Caltrain promises, upgrading the passenger experience to something comparably modern.