Town Square

Post a New Topic

Sen. Jerry Hill pitches bill to ensure funding for Caltrain electrification

Original post made on Feb 22, 2013

As Caltrain prepares to embark on its long-stalled voyage toward electrification, Sen. Jerry Hill on Friday unveiled a bill that would bring to the project the funding it needs while, at the same time, ease local anxieties about the controversial high-speed rail line.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 22, 2013, 11:58 AM

Comments (1)

Like this comment
Posted by Martin Engel
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Feb 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm

The much acclaimed "blended" system of combining both Caltrain and "high-speed rail" on the existing two tracks of the Caltrain corridor is attributed to former Senator Simitian, Congresswoman Eshoo and Assemblyman Gordon.

State Senator Hill now offers legislation that assures funding for electrification and the "blended" two track configuration.
All this is clever, but not clever enough.

1. The anticipated funds will come from legislatively mandated high-speed rail money. It can't be used for non-high-speed rail expenditures like electrifying Caltrain. Nonetheless, it will happen anyway.

2. In order for high-speed rail to meet the legislatively required travel time of 2:40 between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Caltrain corridor would need to include an additional dedicated two tracks (thereby four tracks) to permit the required higher speeds for the high-speed trains. Sharing tracks with Caltrain won't cut it.

3. "Blended" is a sleight-of-hand. It appeases all us Peninsula trouble makers who are happy to have Caltrain electrified and willing to settle for two tracks to be used by both the Caltrain and high-speed trains. That situation -- two tracks -- will exist only as long as there is no more funding for the higher speed second pair of tracks for HSR.

4. The four-tracks plan is not going to go away, regardless of Senator Hill's legislation. The four tracks elevated have always been both the CHSRA and Caltrain intention for as much of the corridor as possible. Initially the plans called for a wall high enough for car traffic to go through at grade level beneath the four tracks. A more economical solution, especially in our mid-Peninsula neck of the woods is the four-track viaduct and that 'solution' remains among the CHSRA intentions.

5. We have been observers of the Governor, Legislature and CHSRA playing fast and loose with legislation for over a decade.
That's not going to stop. We cry "FOUL" and they ignore us. Why? Because they can.

6. No one should doubt that the elevated four-track viaduct concept is not going to go away -- EVER! All that's necessary is enough funding. And when it comes to funding, state or federal, never say never!

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

What Are Your Gifts that Must Be Shared?
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,335 views


Readers' Choice ballot is here

It’s time to decide what local business is worthy of the title “Almanac Readers' Choice” — and you get to decide! Cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 29th. Stay tuned for the results in the July 19th issue of The Almanac.