The electrification project is supposed to increase passenger capacity, reduce travel time and cut diesel emissions on the 50-mile route from San Jose to San Francisco. Eventually, the bullet train would use the same electrical system and the same tracks, creating a rationale for the high-speed rail authority paying a large chuck of the cost.
The electrification project will cost nearly $2 billion and replace at least some of Caltrain’s diesel locomotives with electric trains that can accelerate faster, thereby reducing travel times.
The bullet train project plans to share tracks and the electrical system with Caltrain, though exactly when it would begin operating is unclear. The $64-billion project faces a more than $40-billion shortfall to build the future system from Los Angeles to San Francisco.