Monday, April 26, 2010

Caltrain: Electrification will reduce debt load

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Caltrain, already eying electrification of its rail service, says such a move also will help reduce its debt load, now expected to be $47 million in 2011.

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Caltrain CEO Mike Scanlon says replacing the existing fleet of diesel trains with an electric fleet would permit Caltrain to both expand service during rush hours, and also collect 49% more revenue while keeping expenses level.  

Retaining the diesel fleet will cost Caltrain $61 million by 2019, Caltrain officials say. Though electrification would cost $1.3 billion in capital, part of the construction could be paid for in part by the California High Speed Rail Authority, as part of the Golden State’s $43 billion high speed rail project.

Caltrain transports about 40,000 people between San Francisco and San Jose each weekday.