San Francisco to San José
The San Francisco to San José project section is part of the first phase of the California high-speed rail system connecting the communities from San Francisco and Silicon Valley to the rest of the state. The project section will travel between stations at 4th and King in San Francisco, Millbrae-SFO (near the San Francisco International Airport), and San José (Diridon Station).
The San Francisco to San José project section differs from others because state legislation defined the alignment. Per the requirements of Senate Bill (SB) 1029 and regional multi-agency agreements, high-speed rail service along the San Francisco to San José corridor will be a blended service with Caltrain and high-speed rail service sharing tracks.
Working together, Caltrain and the Authority are in the process of electrifying the corridor, which will allow for both operators to share tracks in a blended system. The service will ultimately run to the Salesforce Transit Center once it is connected to the existing rail corridor, replacing Caltrain’s 4th and King Station as the northern terminus for high-speed rail trains.
The Authority Board of Directors certified the Final EIR/EIS in August 2022, selecting a preferred alignment that builds on the Caltrain electrification project and incorporates the infrastructure necessary to run high-speed rail service in the corridor.
The alignment includes high-speed rail stations in San Francisco, Millbrae, and San Jose; construction of a light maintenance facility (LMF) on the east side of the Caltrain corridor in Brisbane; and improvements for safety and speed to allow for operations at a maximum speed of 110mph.
On August 18, 2022, the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (Authority) Board of Directors certified the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) and approved the San Francisco to San José project section.
The Board’s action completes the environmental clearance for high-speed rail in Northern California and extends environmental clearance to over 420 miles of the project’s 500-mile Phase 1 alignment from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim.
The Final EIR/EIS can be found on the Authority’s website: View the project section environmental documents.
Throughout the process, Authority staff will continue to engage stakeholders and communities along the corridor.
High-Speed Rail Stations
High-speed rail stations are planned for three locations in the San Francisco to San José Project Section: 4th and King Street in San Francisco — until the connection to Salesforce Transit Center is made; in Millbrae, which also serves San Francisco International Airport; and San José Diridon Station.
For more information about planned high-speed rail stations, please visit the station communities web pages:
Blended System on an Electrified Caltrain Corridor
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.
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 José.
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 José.
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 José 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, 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 $714 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.
Get the latest information on the Caltrain Modernization Program.
Local Policy Maker Group
The LPMG group 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. In compliance with COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, meetings may occur as online and/or teleconference meetings.
For more information on upcoming meetings, including meeting agenda, materials, and updated LPMG member list, visit: www.caltrain.com/projectsplans/CaltrainModernization/Local_Policy_Maker_Group.html
Northern California Light Maintenance Facility
The California High-Speed Rail system has three planned train maintenance facilities that would support high-speed rail operations. In Northern California, a Light Maintenance Facility (LMF) is planned in the City of Brisbane; the LMF would serve as a location where trains are cleaned, serviced, and stored and as a service point for any trains in need of emergency repair services. The facility will be designed, constructed, and operated with LEED® Gold Certification – it will be energy-efficient and environmentally sensitive.
The Authority evaluated several potential LMF sites in Northern California. In 2019, the Authority Board of Directors identified the East Brisbane LMF (Alternative A) as the preferred location.
Public Involvement & Community Outreach
The Authority encourages public engagement to advance California high-speed rail in Northern California so that the final project reflects the needs and vision of our community as a whole.
We conduct outreach events including Open Houses, Community Working Groups, and attending regional events throughout Northern California to inform and gather input from local communities, policymakers, and stakeholders. Stakeholders include environmental justice groups, community organizations, city/county staff, neighborhood groups, and California residents.
For more detailed information, factsheets, and visualizations of project elements please visit MeetHSRNorcal.org.
Please visit the Events page for a listing of upcoming events and outreach opportunities in your area.
- San Mateo & South Peninsula Community Working Groups Webinar – 6/22
- Millbrae Community Meeting Webinar – 8/11
- Draft EIR/EIS Open House Q&A Webinar on MeetHSRNorcal.org – 08/05
- Draft EIR/EIS Public Hearing – 08/19
- Draft EIR/EIS Open House Q&A Webinars on MeetHSRNorcal.org – 07/20, 07/30
- Spring Community Working Group Meetings
- San Mateo – 03/16
- San Francisco – 03/17
- South Peninsula – Canceled
- Preferred Alternative Open Houses:
- Preferred Alternative San Francisco to San José Community Working Group Meetings:
Due to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, meeting materials prior to July 2019 can be requested through a Public Records Act request.
On August 18, 2022, the Authority Board of Directors certified the Final EIR/EIS for the San Francisco to San José project section. The Final EIR/EIS can be found on the Authority’s website: View the project section environmental documents.
Documents & Reports
Project Section documents & reports:
- San Francisco to San José Project Section Final Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement
- San Francisco to San José Project Section Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement
- San Francisco to San José Project Section Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement
- San Francisco to San José Project Section Scoping – 2016
- San Francisco to San José Project Section Supplemental Alternatives Analysis
- San Francisco to San José Project Section Alternative Analysis
- San Francisco to San José Project Section Scoping
- San Francisco to San José Project Section Notice of Intent/Notice of Preparation
Statewide documents & reports:
The following documents are available for review upon request. The Authority encourages written requests submitted via our Public Records Portal.
Newsletters & Factsheets
The Authority releases quarterly regional newsletters to keep stakeholders and the public up to date on the high-speed rail program.
To sign up for the newsletter, complete the form on the Contact Us page and select “Northern California” from the dropdown menu.
Visit the Factsheets page to learn more about the statewide California High-Speed Rail program. To learn more about the San Francisco to San José Project Section, please see the following factsheets.
PROJECT SECTION ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTS
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