Posted by Martin Engel, a resident of the Menlo Park: Park Forest neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm
Here's their argument. Every year, Caltrain has projected a "fiscal emergency." They say that they are running out of funds and can't cover their operating expenses. Indeed, in some years, like last year, they declare that they are approaching bankruptcy.
Nonetheless, year after year, they somehow manage to bail themselves out.
Now we hear (actually we've been hearing about it for over a decade) that the solution to all their financial problems are an electrified rail-line. Although the trains won't go any faster, they will start and stop faster. Fasten your seatbelts, Caltrain customers!!
And that will increase the run-time from SF to SJ by ten minutes. And that, in turn will bring all those potential transit riders, now using their cars, to ride the train.
They tell us that the costs for electrification will be around $1.5 billion. Rest assured that this will not be the final cost. It will at least double. And what have we, the taxpayers, bought for all this money besides that whizzy electric train for Christmas? Not much.
And, none of this is the real issue, which is that electrification is the Trojan Horse for bringing HSR to the Caltrain corridor. Blended system? Sure, for the time being.
This is all too sneaky for words. Can you for a minute believe that HSR will be satisfied with sharing the current two tracks, with no grade separations, and without four tracks to make passing possible? HSR is not stopping at every Caltrain station; without four tracks, HSR is not possible; it will be simply a second Caltrain commuter train.
Once electrified, the demand for full grade separations will be relentless. The four track solution will be -- wait for it -- elevated viaducts, which solve the grade crossing problem.
Isn't that what all the cities have opposed?
We are being scammed and most of us don't even know it yet.