From Progressive Railroading...
On the Cover: An Electric Proposal. Caltrain 2025 is a $3.9 billion long-range strategy to meet the agency’s capacity vs. demand challenge. Part of the plan is pretty run-of-the-mill: bring the system to a state of good repair, redesign several stations to handle more traffic, improve grade crossings and electrify the corridor. The other part is, well, unique.Any idea what these would look like? And I don't understand why there's a need for non-FRA-compliant EMU's when there's a bunch of them already running on the east coast and Chicago. Is it a low-level platform issue? Why is there a need to reinvent the wheel?
Caltrain officials have proposed operating electric multiple unit (EMU) vehicles along the corridor — think subway cars operating on open track rather than in tunnels. The lighter-weight vehicles would stop and start much quicker than Caltrain’s diesel locomotives, enabling the agency to improve travel times and, therefore, add more trains. But the EMUs Caltrain wants to operate aren’t Federal Railroad Administration-compliant; the vehicles don’t meet the administration’s crashworthiness standards. To operate the EMUs, Caltrain would have to obtain a waiver from the FRA. If the FRA grants it, Caltrain would be the first commuter-rail agency to obtain permission to operate non-compliant vehicles. In turn, Caltrain could propel its service to a whole new level, operating faster trains and more frequent service