A New Organizational Structure
The joint project, known as the Peninsula Rail Program, is structured as shown in the organizational chart at right.
The PRP director, Caltrain's Bob Doty, reports 50 - 50 to the respective chief executive officers, Mike Scanlon at Caltrain and Mehdi Morshed at CHSRA. A horizontal relationship is envisioned between Doty and Tony Daniels, the CHSRA's statewide program manager. That places Dom Spaethling, the CHSRA's regional manager, one tier below alongside the PRP discipline managers. The HNTB team that is currently doing most of the preliminary engineering and environmental work, under Tim Cobb and John Litzinger, reports to Spaethling and not to the PRP director.
The dual reporting structure, embedded deep into the hierarchy, will be challenging to manage whenever the differing needs of high-speed rail and Caltrain come into opposition, as they surely will. The 15 or so people represented by blue boxes will have their work cut out for them when the two agencies don't see eye to eye.
Five Focus Areas
Under the PRP director, the program is organized into five major functions, each of which is assigned FTE (full-time equivalent) personnel as listed below. Each functional area is further described in pp. 7-11 of the amended MOU.
- Engineering (infrastructure, rolling stock, systems) - 3 FTE
- Operations planning - 2.4 FTE
- Project controls & contracts administration - 3 FTE
- Program management / administration - 2.3 FTE
- Public participation and community involvement - 1 FTE
Clash Of The Standards?
The amended MOU includes the following statement:
Until an operator for CHSRA has been identified, PCJPB will provide engineering standards developed by and for the Peninsula corridor, which must be compatible with Caltrain and HSR.Caltrain's extensive library of engineering standards will continue to rule on the peninsula, despite a growing collection of closely held technical standards, memoranda and directive drawings produced by Parsons Brinckerhoff to ensure statewide technical compatibility and interoperability among all sections of the high-speed rail system.
Caltrain will need to evolve its standards to attempt a complicated feat, without precedent in the United States: the gradual transition from legacy diesel trains to the modern, lightweight electric trains commonly seen in Europe and Japan. Do they have what it takes?