Thursday 12/20 – Caltrain Modernization Local Policy Maker Group to review Caltrain/HSR agreement

On Thursday, December 20, the Local Policy Maker Group will have a chance to provide feedback on a new Memorandum of Understanding between Caltrain and High Speed Rail.   At the meeting, Caltrain will also share preliminary findings from the grade crossing and traffic analysis study it has been conducting in recent months

The new MOU will be updated to reflect the “blended system” where Caltrain and High Speed Rail will share tracks primarily within the current Caltrain right of way.   Following last week’s meeting at the Menlo Park Public Library to discuss the MOU, Friends of Caltrain has written a letter to the Caltrain Board, HSR Board, and Policy Maker Group with comments.

Key issues are:

* Caltrain should be the lead agency for environmental review on the Caltrain corridor.  With Marian Lee’s leadership, Caltrain has done a good job at rebuilding trust on the corridor. It would be greatly preferable for the environmental work to be done by Caltrain.

* The old, inactive project-level Environmental Impact Report that the High Speed Rail Authority was working on prior to the blended system, which described a 4-track system, should be decommissioned

* Caltrain and High Speed Rail should list the things they need to work on to define how the blended system will work, including platform heights to maximize system capacity, and other business and operational terms.

Here is the agenda for the public meeting.  If you are interested in Caltrain modernization, the blended system, and the affects on your city, and don’t have a holiday party or vacation plan, come if you can. The meeting is at 6pm at Caltrain/SamTrans HQ in San Carlos, 1250 San Carlos Ave in San Carlos (near the train station).