Port of San Francisco, California – Quint Street Yard Track and Signal Improvements – $2,970,000 to improve an approximately one mile-long spur connecting a Caltrain mainline track to the San Francisco Rail Yard. The mainline is under consideration for use as part of the California high-speed rail project, and the current condition of the spur track limits the frequency, weight and length of trains that can use the track, causing delays. The improvements will allow freight trains to operate at higher speeds and clear the mainline more quickly, significantly reducing delays to Caltrain commuter trains and future high-speed rail trains.Meanwhile, back in the real world, Caltrain has been granted a waiver of compliance from certain FRA crashworthiness regulations that enables the operation of lightweight electric rolling stock from European manufacturers. The same waiver would presumably be extended to any high-speed trains that might use the peninsula rail corridor. The FRA's waiver decision letter states (with emphasis added) :
JPB additionally explains that the Caltrain 2025 program will temporally separate freight and passenger operations between San Francisco and Santa Clara, CA (Mileposts 0.2 to 44.6). Temporal separation between these mileposts will be achieved by limiting freight movements to the exclusive freight period hours of midnight - 5 a.m.That's right, temporal separation means that freight trains will not operate in the same hours as passenger trains, making the need to "clear the mainline more quickly, significantly reducing delays to Caltrain commuter trains and future high-speed rail trains" nothing more than a specious pretext. Nice play for $3 million, nonetheless!
Temporal separation, by the way, is the best way to avoid the expenditure of millions upon millions of dollars to make Caltrain's positive train control system compatible with Union Pacific freight PTC (and thus, incompatible with the HSR train control system).