Today SmartRail World is looking at the modernization of Caltrain - the commuter rail line on the San Francisco Peninsula and in the Santa Clara Valley. With a particular focus on Caltrain’s Advanced Signal System Project. The Communications Based Overlay Signal System (CBOSS) Positive Train Control (PTC) Project is an Advanced Signal System that will equip the corridor with federally-mandated safety technology by December 2015 and increase system capacity to help accommodate future increases in ridership demand. The Advanced Signal System will be interoperable with all other rail systems that access the Caltrain corridor, including commuter rail, freight rail and, in the future, high-speed rail.
The Advanced Signal System is a key component of the Caltrain Modernization Program that will electrify and upgrade the performance, operating efficiency, capacity, safety and reliability of Caltrain’s commuter rail service, providing Peninsula communities with a modernized rail service that will help meet growing ridership demand between San Francisco and San Jose.
Goals & Benefits
The Advanced Signal System will monitor and, if necessary, control train movement in the event of human error. This will increase safety on the Caltrain corridor, which has over 40 at-grade vehicular and pedestrian crossings by:
- Eliminating the risk of train-to-train collisions.
- Reducing risk of potential derailments by enforcing speed limits.
- Providing additional safety for railroad workers on the tracks.
Increased Reliability and Operating Performance
The Advanced Signal System will also provide more dependable passenger service and operating performance, which will be achieved by:
- Schedule management – there will be better accountability and management of train schedules.
- Enforcement of scheduled station stops – a train will no longer be able to overshoot a station stop or platform.
- Improved grade crossing performance - travellers crossing the tracks will benefit from reduced gate downtime and improved local traffic circulation.
Current Caltrain capacity is constrained by the existing wayside signal system, which enforces a safe separation between trains based on the poorest performing train type. The Advanced Signal System will improve on this system. It will minimize the separation of trains based on the safe braking requirements of specific train types. Caltrain Electrification will combine the Advanced Signal System project with the operation of high-performance electric multiple unit (EMU trains) and will upgrade the system to provide faster and/or more frequent service to more stations and riders.