Setting the Record Straight on Caltrain and High Speed Rail

We started Peninsula Moves simply to get information out to you, knowing that you want to know more about Caltrain – past, present and future. The blog also provides the opportunity to correct misinformation before it takes on a life of its own and a recent local newspaper provided us with just such an opportunity. It’s the Palo Alto Daily Post, and we’re reluctant to draw attention to a free newspaper you probably didn’t see and which you can’t see online.

The story focuses on the city’s ongoing desire for representation on Caltrain’s Joint Powers Board. For the record, the JPB is a nine-member board, which includes three representatives appointed by each of the member agencies, San Francisco, SamTrans and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Appointments for Santa Clara County’s three seats are made by VTA’s board of directors, not Caltrain itself.

The article falsely states, “Before Caltrain upgrades or before High Speed Rail can operate in the area all railroad crossings must go under or over the road or they will be closed to traffic.” This is not true. Neither Caltrain electrification, nor the shared use of the tracks with HSR as part of the blended system, require grade separation by law as long as speeds are under 125 mph. Caltrain Electrification is only looking at speeds of up to 79 mph and High Speed Rail is only being considered for speeds up to 110 mph.

There are many questions still to be answered about the blended system. However, the Daily Post continues to reference outdated information on this issue. If you would like additional information regarding either project, please visit http://www.caltrain.com/calmod.

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