Peninsula Rail 2000 No. 2000-1 February 2000
In our next issue of SOT-
-ABC's of MTC
-Dumbarton Rail Part 2
See Measure A/B, p. 2
Caltrain Electrification
Side-Tracked By Another
The electrification of Caltrain has been del-
egated to yet another study--this time known as
the Caltrain Electrification Program Preliminary
Engineering, a potential bureaucratic twilight
zone. At the January meeting of the Caltrain Joint
Powers Board (JPB), staff presented the first quar-
terly progress report on electrification. It included
an introduction of the principal consultants in-
volved in the study and work items to be com-
In his introductory remarks, the lead electri-
fication consultant, Michael Lewis of Parsons
Transportation, affirmed what PR2000 and
Caltrain supporters have been telling the JPB for
over a decade: electrification will increase speeds,
reduce run times, reduce operating costs and
should be completed simultaneously with the
track and signal rehabilitation. Because the 1998
Rapid Rail Study generated by SamTrans staff
ignored and marginalized the benefits of electri-
The proposed Dumbarton commuter rail
service would connect Fremont, Newark, Union
City and other East Bay cities to the Peninsula
via the Dumbarton rail bridge. The rail bridge
is located just south of where Highway 84 crosses
the Bay. The rail line connects to the Caltrain
mainline just south of Woodside Road in Red-
wood City. Proposed commuter trains would
connect to Caltrain, and connect directly to
Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) and
Amtrak’s Capitol trains in Fremont. Dumbarton
rail service would provide an alternative for
East Bay residents who commute to jobs on the
Peninsula and northern Silicon Valley, who now
face miserable traffic congestion.
Commuter Rail Not Fremont’s Priority
Even though more of the commuters who
stand to benefit live in Fremont than in any
other city, the City of Fremont gives a cool re-
ception to Dumbarton rail and expanded Capi-
tol and ACE rail service. Why is this? The Fre-
mont City Council and staff view these propos-
als as competition for their top three transporta-
tion funding priorities.
Fremont Shortchanges Dumbarton Commuter Rail Proposal
(Part 1 of 2 in a series)
William G. Wullenjohn Sr.
See Dumbarton, p. 3
Victory for Caltrain Riders
Victory for Caltrain Riders
Victory for Caltrain Riders
Victory for Caltrain Riders
Victory for Caltrain Riders
SAN JOSE (January 25, 2000)—Responding
to a flood of letters from Caltrain riders, the Santa
Clara County Board of Supervisors called on tran-
sit planners to increase Caltrain service from 68
trains to 86 trains per weekday by the year 2006.
This increase had been promised to voters four
years ago by the Measure A/B transportation
sales tax campaign.
The 11th hour deal brokered by the Super-
visors with the Santa Clara Valley Transporta-
tion Authority (VTA) called for “good faith ef-
forts” to add trains, including possibly 10 more
trains in the next VTA budget cycle. Failure on
the part of VTA to meet this condition would
result in some of the Measure A/B money be-
ing withheld by the Supervisors. However, the
details of this agreement were left to be ironed
out. County Supervisors Jim Beall and Joe
Simitian in particular spoke out strongly for more
service. Supervisor Simitian rebuked VTA plan-
ning director Jim Pierson for wincing at the de-
cision, saying, “I know you don’t like this, Jim,
and I’m sorry, but we’ve got to uphold our prom-
ises to the voters.”
The political victory was welcomed by Pen-
insula Rail 2000, a grassroots Caltrain riders’
organization. Members scrutinizing the VTA
plan launched a flyer campaign, and as a result,
a few hundred irate Caltrain riders and con-
cerned residents contacted the VTA Board, the
Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and
the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board urg-
ing them to reject VTA’s go-slow approach to
increasing Caltrain service.
“If this means that fewer cyclists get
bumped, then all this effort will have been worth
it,” said Margaret Okuzumi, a Peninsula Rail
2000 activist, referring to cyclists who are rou-
tinely refused boarding on Caltrain when the
bike cars are full. “But I’m waiting to see it in
writing. I’m disappointed that the Supes didn’t
Santa Clara County Supervisors Say
More Trains by 2006
In early 1999, the Fremont City Council es-
tablished these priorities as: 1) BART to San Jose,
2) I-680 carpool lane, and 3) a freeway connector
near Warm Springs to link I-880 and I-680. De-
spite recent developments, these projects remain
the Council’s top priorities. Even with the proven
success of ACE which began operating between
Stockton and San Jose via Fremont in October of
1998, the Fremont City Council has not altered
its priorities to include the proposed commuter
rail service from Fremont to the Peninsula across
the Dumbarton rail bridge or expanded ACE ser-
vice.ACE and Dumbarton rail proponents sur-
mise that with a BART extension to San Jose
estimated to cost at least $4 billion, Fremont
doesn’t want any funds, however small, spent
on new rail projects other than this BART exten-
sion. Given that such an extension could take
well over a decade to design, fund, and con-
struct, Fremont’s vision for near-term transpor-
tation improvements appears sorely lacking.
Fremont’s position on the Dumbarton rail
proposal contrasts with the community’s strong