The bill to fund high speed rail includes earlier appropriation of $705 million for Caltrain electrification, plus $500 million for upgrades in the LA area.
The sooner, more certain funding for the Bay Area and LA reflects negotiation by Senators including De Saulnier, Simitian, and Loewenthal, who proposed a Plan B strategy for less investment in the Central Valley and more initial investment at the “bookends”, including extending the rail line to the Transbay Terminal. The bill doesn’t spend less money in the Central Valley or more money on Transbay, but it does invest in Caltrain sooner.
Previously, the Caltrain funding was expected to be appropriated next year, not this year. Caltrain is in the middle of a planning process for the electrification project. Construction wouldn’t start until after planning and environmental clearance is complete.