Caltrain modernization program

The Caltrain modernization program includes efforts to electrify and upgrade the performance, operating efficiency, capacity, safety and reliability of Caltrain's commuter rail service. Caltrain anticipates the Program will be operational by 2019.

The Caltrain Modernization Program includes the electrification of the existing Caltrain corridor between San Francisco and San Jose; the installation of a Communications Based Overlay Signal System Positive Train Control, which is an advanced signal system that includes federally-mandated safety improvements; and the replacement of Caltrain’s diesel trains with high-performance electric trains called Electric Multiple Units.

Current status


Caltrain Electrification construction is currently underway. In March 2018, crews began working on tree pruning/removal and utility relocations. In Menlo Park, crews began installation of foundations for the overhead electrical poles November 2018 and in December 2018 installation of the poles will begin.

Caltrain is hosting a Community Meeting on December 5, 2018, to provide the community with the opportunity to learn more about the project, including scope and schedule of upcoming construction activities. The meeting will be held at the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center, Cypress Room, 600 Alma Street, from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Upon completion of electrification, Caltrain will initially replace approximately 75 percent of the diesel fleet with new electric trains called Electric Multiple Units (EMUs), which would operate between San Francisco and San Jose. Full replacement of the fleet with EMUs would occur at a future time when funding is identified and the remaining diesel trains reach the end of their service life.

Implementation and testing of Positive Train Control (PTC) began in late 2014 and is planned to be operable by the end of 2019. PTC is an advanced signal system that equips the corridor with federally-mandated safety technology, improving efficiency and performance for all trains utilizing the corridor and allowing the corridor to accommodate future increases in ridership demand while being interoperable with other rail systems that use the same corridor.

Find more information on Caltrain's program and the Electrification DEIR on Caltrain's website.