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Tue January 18 2022

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Balfour Beatty agrees revisions to Californian rail contract

8 Dec 21 Balfour Beatty and the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (JPB) have reached a US$347m (£262m) agreement to modify the scope of work and the project schedule of the Caltrain Electrification Project.

The project involves electrifying and upgrading of Caltrain’s commuter rail service through San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties in the US state of California.

Balfour Beatty said that the agreement further solidifies the joint commitment to finish the project by September 2024 to provide a modernised, sustainable and reliable commuter rail service for commuters in the Bay Area.

The US$347m agreement, which is exclusive to the construction scope of work, is the result of Balfour Beatty and project stakeholders partnering to find the most efficient and cost-effective solutions to deliver the rail service’s 25kV AC overhead catenary system (OCS).

Once complete, the OCS will serve as the power source for the new electric trains and provide a more sustainable rail service through the replacement of ageing diesel trains to high-performance electric trains. In addition, the OCS will allow for an increase in the commuter rail service to six trains per peak hour per direction, and maintain train operating speeds of up to 79mph.

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The Caltrain Electrification project will electrify the commuter rail corridor from San Francisco’s 4th and King Caltrain Station to the Tamien Caltrain Station in San Jose. Balfour Beatty’s design-build team members will continue to work along 52 miles of dual-track alignment to electrify the remaining sections of the Caltrain corridor.

Construction activities include locating underground utilities, testing soil conditions, inspecting signals and communications equipment, pruning and removing trees, and installing foundations to prepare for the installation and operation of the OCS.

Leon Blondin, chief executive officer of Balfour Beatty US, said: “We are very pleased with the agreement in the delivery of the Caltrain Electrification project. The execution of this agreement is a true testament of Balfour Beatty’s committed partnership with the Joint Powers Board and our promise in providing a realistic, cost-effective, quality and timely solution that we can all mutually deliver upon. We will continue to work safely and sustainably to electrify and upgrade the service, capacity and reliability of the transit system on behalf of commuters in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.”

Michelle Bouchard, Caltrain acting executive director, said: “With this new agreement, we have a clear path forward to launching electrified service in 2024. Together, Caltrain and Balfour Beatty will complete the infrastructure to deliver a world class rail service that will decongest our streets and highways, improve our environment, and benefit the Bay Area for decades to come.”

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