- The agreement recently entered into by Caltrain and Union Pacific, stipulating that:
- UP will start looking for a new short line freight service provider.
- Caltrain will ensure that short line locomotives with freight PTC can operate throughout CBOSS territory, a condition described as "unconstrained interoperability," a great pretext for more CBOSS program blowouts
- Caltrain will ensure that Caltrain rolling stock can operate on UP's freight PTC equipped Gilroy branch, or cease operating on the Gilroy branch.
- Caltrain agrees to never electrify UP's Main Track 1 from CP Coast (Santa Clara) through San Jose to CP Lick (south of Tamien), the land under which Caltrain owns.
- UP agrees not to object to the CPUC safety requirements (1.4 MB PDF) formally adopted on 10 November 2016 for Caltrain's electrification project.
- UP allows Caltrain's SSF station reconfiguration project to proceed, trading some old yard tracks and a loading dock for $2 million plus a new Caltrain-funded freight yard track at Newhall in Santa Clara.
- UP settles some old claims by Caltrain for track maintenance.
- In the coming months,
- UP will select a Short Line and obtain Caltrain's approval.
- Caltrain will sign a new trackage rights agreement with the short line.
- Caltrain will sign a new trackage rights agreement with UP that replaces the current trackage rights agreement, concerning the "South Terminal Area" around San Jose.
- The Surface Transportation Board will hopefully approve the whole deal, which is the entry criterion into phase 3.
- Upon STB approval,
- Caltrain will own the "common carrier" obligations and be on the hook legally and financially for abandonment of freight service, should that ever be contemplated.
- The Short Line will own the common carrier obligations on the sidings and lead tracks not owned by Caltrain.
- UP will transfer to Caltrain the rights for intercity passenger service north of CP Coast in Santa Clara, but not south of there.
- UP will agree not to pursue legal action against the electrification project.
11 January 2017
UPRR Leaves, Sort Of
Caltrain and Union Pacific have recently agreed on the terms of a deal for UPRR ceasing to operate freight trains on the peninsula, between Santa Clara (CP Coast) to San Francisco. This is not the end of freight, however. The Deal Terms Sheet (2MB PDF) outlines the process by which a smaller "Short Line" operator would take over the rights and obligations to continue serving rail freight customers on the peninsula. It also unravels a laundry list of contentious issues that pitted UP and Caltrain against each other. In summary, there are three phases to the deal:
This agreement could open a tiny sliver of hope for building grade separations that are both cheaper and more community-friendly without stubborn opposition from UP. On the other hand, it gives no hope for relief from freight PTC interoperability, justifying additional costs that have not already been sunk in the bottomless pit that is CBOSS.