Why is Caltrain proposing to use EMUs instead of electric locomotives?

Caltrain is proposing to use EMUs (non-FRA compliant) instead of electric locomotives because it recognizes additional performance, flexibility, and reliability gains associated with EMUs.

It has been a part of BayRail’s vision to use European-style, non-FRA compliant EMUs. We applaud Caltrain for adopting this alternative and successfully obtained a waiver from the Federal Railroad Administration to use non-compliant EMUs on the Caltrain corridor.

EMUs benefits

  • Lower life cycle costs compared to electric locomotives and new passenger rail cars.
  • Higher train performance compared to locomotive hauled trains.
  • Increased reliability with multiple power sources per rail car.
  • Greater flexibility with the ability to shorten and lengthen trains easily throughout the day.