In 1863, a railroad named San Francisco and San Jose Railroad, the first railroad in California was built on the Peninsula. It later became part of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Not many trains run on this line today but it still carries thousands of commuters up and down the Bay Area. These trains are known as the Caltrain, governed by the Joint Powers Board and currently operated by Amtrak.

Caltrain San Francisco Terminal
The Caltrain started operations by its current name in 1987, 10 years after the beginning of Caltrans subsidised commuter train service provided by the Southern Pacific Railroad. The Caltrain runs all-day service 7 days a week with reduced frequency on weekends. With a top speed of 79 mph, the Caltrain takes an hour and half to run from end to end (up to 32 stops) where as the limited stop trains dubbed the Baby Bullet takes just under an hour (4 or 5 stops).

Equipment used on the Caltrain include several variants of rebuilt EMD F40PH-2 locomotives, MPI MP36PH-3C locomotives, gallery type bi-level coaches, and Bombardier BiLevel Coaches (coaches first designed for the Government of Ontario Transit). Proof-of-payment system is used on the Caltrain and bicycle racks are provided on board of trains.

Caltrain with newer equipment; click here and here for interior
The current San Francisco Station sits just outside of downtown at 4th Street and King Street. Electrification and a downtown extension are scheduled to begin work in 2012. The Caltrain will eventually terminate at the intermodal transit terminal currently under construction which is also the potential future High Speed Rail terminal, the Transbay Transit Center.


Popular posts from this blog

Briefly on the AAR Coupler Part 2

JNR Class C62

Ferrovie dello Stato ETR 200