Caltrain electrification project lauded by Sierra Club

S.F. Examiner File PhotoFull speed ahead: Caltrain approved an electrification plan this year

Perhaps not surprisingly, Caltrain’s $1.5 billion plan to transition away from diesel vehicles in favor of electrified tracks has garnered kudos from the Sierra Club.

In spring, local, regional and state transportation agencies jointly approved the electrification plan, which will allow Caltrain to run quicker, more efficient service between San Francisco and San Jose while also cutting down on air and noise pollution. Most crucially, the electrification of Caltrain will allow the state’s high-speed rail network to be integrated into the Peninsula.

With its emphasis on responsible, long-term transit planning, the Caltrain electrification effort caught the eye of the Sierra Club. The venerable environmental organization touted the plan as one of the 25 best transportation projects in 2012.

“Electrification will cut the railroad’s operating costs in half by avoiding the purchase of 4.5 million gallons of diesel fuel a year and replacing it with far cheaper and cleaner electricity,” said Gladwyn d’Souza, a member of the Sierra Club’s local chapter. “It is exactly the kind of infrastructure we need as part of a 21st century transportation system that increases our transportation choices and increases our housing options by enabling transit-oriented development.”

Peninsula Assemblyman Jerry Hill, who was instrumental in getting the financing package approved for the electrification project, said the Sierra Club honor was exciting.

“They realized that this will make for a quieter, cleaner and smoother system,” said Hill, who will join the state Senate next year. “It will really benefit everyone.”

The Sierra Club looked at projects from across the nation in determining the best and worst planning proposals this year. A plan to widen freeway lanes in San Diego County was named one of the 25 worst projects.
Caltrain’s project is scheduled to be completed by 2019.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsCaltrainLocalSan FranciscoTransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Anti-eviction demonstrators rally outside San Francisco Superior Court. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Report: Unpaid rent due to COVID-19 could be up to $32.7M per month

A new city report that attempts to quantify how much rent has… Continue reading

Music venues around The City have largely been unable to reopen due to ongoing pandemic health orders. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF to cut $2.5M in fees to help 300 nightlife venues

San Francisco will cut $2.5 million in fees for hundreds of entertainment… Continue reading

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett departs the U.S. Capitol on October 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump nominated Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after Ginsburg’s death. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)
GOP senators confirm Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court in partisan vote

By Jennifer Haberkorn Los Angeles Times The Senate on Monday confirmed Judge… Continue reading

Curator Tim Burgard looks over a section of the galleries comprising “The de Young Open,” a huge, varied collection of work by Bay Area artists. (Photo courtesy Gary Sexton/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
Bay Area artists jam-pack vivid ‘de Young Open’

Huge exhibition — with works for sale — showcases diversity, supports community

SF Board of Education vice president Gabriela Lopez and commissioner Alison Collins listen at a news conference condemning recent racist and social media attacks targeted at them and the two student representatives on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Online attacks on school board members denounced by city officials

City officials on Monday condemned the targeting of school board members, both… Continue reading

Most Read