On Friday, April 13, I received the following email from Caltrain authorities.
Over the next six weeks, there will be a temporary increase in overnight activity along the Caltrain corridor. Caltrain’s new contract-operator, TASI, will be “qualifying” several Federal Railroad Administration-certified engineers, for revenue service operations.
Experienced, FRA-certified engineers go through a qualification process to familiarize themselves with the Caltrain Right-of-Way and operations. Caltrain’s corridor contains physical and geographic characteristics that are unique to our system. With more than 40 at-grade crossings between San Francisco and San Jose, it’s critical that our engineers are familiar with operating conditions before they begin running passenger service.
Unfortunately, communities located near the corridor will notice an increase in horn noise and gate down time during the overnight hours as the training runs operate through their area. These trains will be operated largely overnight to avoid impacting regular service. Overnight operations will take place Monday through Thursday between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Practice runs will operate during the weekend but they also will not carry passengers. Passengers at stations should be aware that trains may arrive off schedule. They will not be able to pick up riders.
TASI was awarded the Caltrain operator contract in 2011 during a competitively bid process. Over the past year, TASI, Caltrain staff and the previous operator, Amtrak, have worked closely to minimize impacts to our passengers and communities during this transition. We’re pleased that the majority of our engineers will be staying on with TASI. By expediting the training and qualification for the additional engineers joining our service, we anticipate a safe and seamless cutover between operators, when TASI takes over in-service operations on May 26th.
We apologize for the temporary inconvenience. We expect all overnight training activities to be completed by May 24th. Should any questions or issues arise, please feel free to direct them to me. Residents may call the Caltrain Comment Line at (650) 508-7726, staff will respond within 24 hours.