At last week’s Local Policy Maker Working Group, Caltrain shared information about what it will take to extend its platforms to handle longer trains. As rush hour trains get more and more crowded, the added capacity will be needed to to carry more riders.
Out of 27 stations from San Francisco to Tamien, nine could handle longer trains, six could handle longer trains with relatively easy modifications, and 12 could handle longer trains with more extensive modifications. For example, 4th and King and Diridon are plenty long already, while the Mountain View station would need to move pedestrian crossing gates.
Currently Caltrain runs 5 car trains; it has an offer in to Metrolink to buy some used railcars to add a sixth car. The sixth car could be handled with minor modifications to a couple of stations; handling up to 8 cars would take more work.
Caltrain estimates that the cost of a platform extension would be $1-$2 million on average. The cost of moving to level boarding was not included. It’s not clear why not, since it would seem logical to modify platforms once.
Also, it would seem logical to start by modifying the stations with baby bullet stops first, since that is where the capacity is needed. Since the baby bullet stations are used by major employers have major transit oriented developments, and/or transportation management associations, there might be opportunities for public/private partnerships to help fund the extensions. (top 10 stations are in italics). Caltrain’s presentation is likely to get posted on this page.
|Stations needing platform modifications for 8 car trains|
|No extension needed||Extensions needed||Substantial modifications|
|4th and King||Belmont||22nd Street|
|Millbrae||San Mateo||College Park|
|Palo Alto||Santa Clara (SB)||Hayward Park|
|Santa Clara (NB)||Menlo Park|
|South San Francisco|