Study: Caltrain's survival may hinge on electrification

April 23, 2010 6:49:13 AM PDT
A new report suggests that Caltrain needs to trade in its fleet of diesel trains and link its future to high speed rail in order to survive.

The forecast claims that if Caltrain can share tracks with the high speed rail system it can expand commute time service, collect about 50 percent more money and keep expenses roughly flat. If it sticks with diesel trains, Caltrain could lose $61 million by 2019.

Caltrain electrification would cost about $1.3 billion and it would be a possibility by 2015. The California High Speed Rail Authority would have to provide about 40 percent of that money.

Caltrain hauls about 40,000 passengers every weekday. With huge cuts expected, weekend, nighttime and midday service may be cut as soon as this fall.