San Francisco to San Jose Project Section

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Fact Sheets


2016 Scoping Report
Scoping Process
Public Scoping Meetings – May 2016


Blended System on an Electrified Caltrain Corridor

High-Speed Rail service along the San Francisco to San Jose corridor will be a blended system which will support modernized Caltrain service and high-speed rail service primarily on shared track largely within the existing Caltrain corridor. This approach minimizes impacts on surrounding communities, reduces project cost, improves safety and expedites implementation.

The Authority is continuing the planning and environmental process to further define the blended system. System improvements that will be defined during the planning and environmental review process include passing tracks, that can be used by high-speed rail to pass Caltrain trains that need to stop more frequently, system upgrades to support higher train performance and speed, system safety improvements, including grade crossings, and stations.

Community open house meetings are being held in September and October of 2015 followed by continued community and stakeholder engagement throughout the planning and environmental review process.

Environmental clearance is anticipated by the end of 2017.

Blended System Background

The blended system concept has been envisioned for many years.

In 2004, the Authority and Caltrain entered into an agreement to work cooperatively to plan a shared corridor between San Francisco and San Jose.

After voters approved Proposition 1A, the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century, the agencies entered into another agreement (2009 agreement, 2009 amendment) to work in partnership to identify design alternatives that would support both high-speed rail and modernized Caltrain service. These original plans called for a fully-grade separated four-track system between San Francisco and San Jose. Read more...

Much has changed since then and after listening to concerns from policymakers and communities on the Peninsula, high-speed rail is now being planned as part of a blended system allowing Caltrain and high-speed rail trains to primarily share Caltrain's existing tracks on a system that remains substantially within the existing Caltrain corridor.

The Authority's 2012 Business Plan called for blended service along the corridor saying:

"The proposed blended system for the San Francisco Peninsula is primarily a two-track system that will be shared by Caltrain, high-speed rail service, and current rail tenants. Initial investigations show that blended operations as currently envisioned for the corridor are cost-effective solutions on both a capital and operating basis."

In 2012, Caltrain released several studies concluding that blended high-speed rail and Caltrain operations are feasible with some changes and upgrades to the existing system.

The same year, the Legislature passed Senate Bill SB 1029, defining the blended system saying:

"Any funds appropriated...for projects in the San Francisco to San Jose corridor, consistent with the blended system strategy identified in the April 2012 California High-Speed Rail Program Revised 2012 Business Plan, shall not be used to expand the blended system to a four-track system."

In 2012, with local, regional and state agreement on the blended system/service concept, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Authority, Caltrain and six other San Francisco Bay Area funding partners established a regional funding memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support the blended system which stated:

"A blended system will remain substantially within the existing Caltrain right-of-way and will accommodate future high-speed rail and modernized Caltrain service along the Peninsula corridor by primarily utilizing the existing track configuration on the Peninsula."

"This MOU is specific to project investments that upgrade existing rail services and prepare for a future high-speed train project that is limited to infrastructure necessary to support a blended system, which will primarily be a two-track system shared by both Caltrain and high-speed rail..."

In 2013, the Authority and Caltrain signed a new agreement in 2013, replacing the agreements signed in 2004 and 2009. The 2013 agreement commits the two agencies' to advancing a Blended System for the peninsula corridor and outlines the general path for advancing the Caltrain Modernization Program and the blended system.

In 2016, the Authority signed a funding agreement and supplement to the 2012 Nine-Party MOU that outlines the Authority’s commitment to provide Caltrain with an additional $113 million to support the Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project (PCEP), bringing the Authority’s total contribution to $600 million. Seven of the original nine parties to the 2012 Nine-Party MOU, including the Authority, identified additional funding to reach the estimated cost of the PCEP, identified as $1.972 billion by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (PCJPB) in 2016.

For the latest information on the Caltrain Modernization Program, click here.

Local Policy Maker Group

The Local Policy Maker Group (LPMG) meets every month on the fourth Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Edward J. Bacciocco Auditorium located on the second floor at SamTrans Administrative Offices, 1250 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos. The office is located two blocks west of the San Carlos Caltrain Station.

The LPMG group is comprised of officials from cities and counties along the Caltrian corridor. The group meets monthly to provide feedback and receive updates on the Caltrain Business Plan, Caltrain Electrification Project, and California High-Speed Rail project updates.

For more meeting agenda, materials, updated LPMG member list, visit:

Community Meetings

Community Working Group (CWG) Meetings – May 2019
Community Working Group (CWG) Meetings – March 2019
Community Working Group (CWG) Meetings – October 2018
Community Open House Meetings – April 2017
Community Working Group (CWG) Meetings – January/February 2017
Community Working Group (CWG) Meetings – October 2016
Community Working Group (CWG) Meetings – July/August 2016
Community Open Houses September – October 2015

Documents & Reports

Supplemental Alternative Analysis (SAA)
Preliminary Alternatives Analysis (AA)
2009 Scoping Process & Report
2009 Notice of Intent / Notice of Preparation
Public Outreach Materials

Public Outreach Materials Archives

Technical Material and Memorandum