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California High-Speed Rail Board Tables Proposal to Launch Bullet Trains on Caltrain Tracks

| May 5, 2011
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Some Peninsula lawmakers have been pressing the California High-Speed Rail Authority to abandon plans to build elevated tracks through the Peninsula and instead integrate the high-speed rail project into the existing Caltrain system. Today the board was to consider a “phased implementation approach,” which would upgrade Caltrain tracks to accomodate HSR trains. But a decision on that has been put on hold until the board’s next meeting on June 2.

From KQED Central Valley Bureau Chief Sasha Khokha:

California’s High Speed Rail board has tabled a proposal to launch bullet trains on Cal train tracks. Some Peninsula legislators say electrifying existing Cal train routes could shave billions of dollars off the cost of building high speed rail lines between San Jose and San Francisco.

At today’s meeting, board members said they didn’t have enough information to move forward with the idea yet…and some, like Vice Chair Lynn Schenk, voiced strong concerns.

“What I’m hearing, to be blunt, is a bail out of Cal Train,” Schenk said. “And I, for one, don’t want to see our precious high speed rail funds, use those monies, to bail out any regional transportation system.”

Critics say sharing tracks with Cal train could mean bullet trains wouldn’t have enough room to travel at maximum speeds.

More on the proposal at the San Francisco Examiner

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  • Richard Peterson

    upgrading the existing caltrain tracks with electrification and blended system is the best way to go on the Penisula corridor between San Jose and San Fransisco, beside every one doesn’t want the elevated structures and the Trench and tunnel are too pricy, so running the high speed train on the existing Caltrain tracks is the best way to go, beside theres no reason to have train traveling higher speed between San Fransisco and San Jose since there only 70 Miles apart, the 80 MPH speed would be resionable since the Baby bullet travels that speed and its the way to save Caltrain from dying but Caltrain would have to elliminate the baby bullet express and have the High speed train take over the service and Caltrain will just have to do the regular run.