San Francisco to San José

The San Francisco to San José project section is part of the first phase of the California high-speed rail system connecting the communities from San Francisco and Silicon Valley to the rest of the state. The project section will travel between stations at the Salesforce Transit Center, 4th and King, Millbrae (near the San Francisco Airport), and San José (Diridon Station).

The San Francisco to San José project section differs from others because state legislation defined the alignment. Per the requirements of Senate Bill (SB) 1029 and regional multi-agency agreements, high-speed rail service along the San Francisco to San José corridor will be a blended service with Caltrain and high-speed rail service sharing tracks.

Working together, Caltrain and the Authority are in the process of electrifying the corridor, which will allow for both operators to share tracks in a blended system. The service will ultimately run to the Salesforce Transit Center once it is connected to the existing rail corridor, replacing Caltrain’s 4th and King Station as the northern terminus for high-speed rail trains.

The Authority is working to environmentally clear the section between San Francisco and San José. The plan is to share the tracks with Caltrain and add the infrastructure necessary to support high-speed rail service in the corridor.

Environmental clearance is scheduled to be completed in 2022. Community engagement activities will continue throughout the process in communities along the corridor.

 

SECTION DETAILS

What's New

The California High-Speed Rail Authority released, for public review and comment under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Draft and Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statements (EIR/EIS) for the San Francisco to San José Section of the California High-Speed Rail Project.

The public review period for these documents has ended. Authority staff will provide written responses to all comments received, which will be published in the Final EIR/EIS scheduled for release in 2022. View the project section environmental documents.

San Francisco to San José Alternatives

There are two end-to-end alternatives for the San Francisco to San José Project Section, Alternatives A and B.

Alternative A would operate high-speed rail trains in a blended system predominantly within the existing Caltrain right-of-way, install safety improvements and communication radio towers, and build a Light Maintenance Facility (LMF) east of the Caltrain corridor on the existing Brisbane Baylands site. This alternative would not include additional passing tracks.

Alternative B would operate high-speed trains in a blended system predominantly within the existing Caltrain right-of-way, install safety improvements and communication radio towers, and build a Light Maintenance Facility (LMF) west of the Caltrain corridor. This alternative would include six miles of additional passing tracks stretching from the City of San Mateo to Redwood City. For more information on passing tracks, please see the Passing Tracks Factsheet.

Please see the following maps to view the project alternatives.

High-Speed Rail Stations

High-speed rail stations are planned for three locations in the San Francisco to San José Project Section: 4th and King Street in San Francisco — until the connection to Salesforce Transit Center is made; in Millbrae, which also serves San Francisco International Airport; and San José Diridon Station.

For more information about individual planned rail stations, please visit the station the communities web pages:

Blended System on an Electrified Caltrain Corridor

High-speed rail service along the San Francisco to San José corridor will be a blended system which will support modernized Caltrain service and high-speed rail service primarily on shared track largely within the existing Caltrain corridor. This approach minimizes impacts on surrounding communities, reduces project cost, improves safety and expedites implementation.

The Authority is continuing the planning and environmental process to further define the blended system. System improvements that will be defined during the planning and environmental review process include passing tracks, that can be used by high-speed rail to pass Caltrain trains that need to stop more frequently, system upgrades to support higher train performance and speed, system safety improvements, including grade crossings, and stations.

Blended System Background

The blended system concept has been envisioned for many years.

In 2004, the Authority and Caltrain entered into an agreement to work cooperatively to plan a shared corridor between San Francisco and San José.

After voters approved Proposition 1A, the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century, the agencies entered into another agreement (2009 agreement, 2009 amendment) to work in partnership to identify design alternatives that would support both high-speed rail and modernized Caltrain service. These original plans called for a fully-grade separated four-track system between San Francisco and San José.

Much has changed since then and after listening to concerns from policymakers and communities on the Peninsula, high-speed rail is now being planned as part of a blended system allowing Caltrain and high-speed rail trains to primarily share Caltrain’s existing tracks on a system that remains substantially within the existing Caltrain corridor.

The Authority’s 2012 Business Plan called for blended service along the corridor saying:

“The proposed blended system for the San Francisco Peninsula is primarily a two-track system that will be shared by Caltrain, high-speed rail service, and current rail tenants. Initial investigations show that blended operations as currently envisioned for the corridor are cost-effective solutions on both a capital and operating basis.”

In 2012, Caltrain released several studies concluding that blended high-speed rail and Caltrain operations are feasible with some changes and upgrades to the existing system.

The same year, the Legislature passed Senate Bill SB 1029, defining the blended system saying:

“Any funds appropriated…for projects in the San Francisco to San José corridor, consistent with the blended system strategy identified in the April 2012 California High-Speed Rail Program Revised 2012 Business Plan, shall not be used to expand the blended system to a four-track system.”

In 2012, with local, regional and state agreement on the blended system/service concept, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Authority, Caltrain and six other San Francisco Bay Area funding partners established a regional funding memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support the blended system which stated:

“A blended system will remain substantially within the existing Caltrain right-of-way and will accommodate future high-speed rail and modernized Caltrain service along the Peninsula corridor by primarily utilizing the existing track configuration on the Peninsula.”

“This MOU is specific to project investments that upgrade existing rail services and prepare for a future high-speed train project that is limited to infrastructure necessary to support a blended system, which will primarily be a two-track system shared by both Caltrain and high-speed rail…”

In 2013, the Authority and Caltrain signed a new agreement, replacing the agreements signed in 2004 and 2009. The 2013 agreement commits the two agencies’ to advancing a Blended System for the peninsula corridor and outlines the general path for advancing the Caltrain Modernization Program and the blended system.

In 2016, the Authority signed a funding agreement and supplement to the 2012 Nine-Party MOU that outlines the Authority’s commitment to provide Caltrain with an additional $113 million to support the Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project (PCEP), bringing the Authority’s total contribution to $714 million. Seven of the original nine parties to the 2012 Nine-Party MOU, including the Authority, identified additional funding to reach the estimated cost of the PCEP, identified as $1.972 billion by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (PCJPB) in 2016.

Get the latest information on the Caltrain Modernization Program.

Local Policy Maker Group

The Local Policy Maker Group (LPMG) is comprised of officials from cities and counties along the Caltrain corridor. The group meets monthly to provide feedback and receive updates on the Caltrain Business Plan, Caltrain Electrification Project, and California high-speed rail project updates.

The LPMG group meets every month on the fourth Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Edward J. Bacciocco Auditorium located on the second floor at SamTrans Administrative Offices, 1250 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos. The office is located two blocks west of the San Carlos Caltrain Station. In compliance with COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, meetings may occur as online and/or teleconference meetings.

For more information on upcoming meetings, including meeting agenda, materials, and updated LPMG member list, visit: www.caltrain.com/projectsplans/CaltrainModernization/Local_Policy_Maker_Group.html

Northern California Light Maintenance Facility

The California High-Speed Rail system has three planned train maintenance facilities that would support high-speed rail operations. In Northern California, a Light Maintenance Facility (LMF) is planned in the City of Brisbane; the LMF would serve as a location where trains are cleaned, serviced, and stored and as a service point for any trains in need of emergency repair services. The facility will be designed, constructed, and operated with LEED® Gold Certification – it will be energy-efficient and environmentally sensitive.

The Authority evaluated several potential LMF sites in Northern California and identified two options in Brisbane to further analyze in the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIR/EIS). In 2019, the Authority Board of Directors identified the East Brisbane LMF (Alternative A) as the preferred location, considering preliminary environmental analysis and input received from the public. Both options are studied in full in the Draft EIR/EIS.

For more information, please see our LMF Factsheet and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Additional questions can be provided by email at san.francisco_san.jose@hsr.ca.gov or by phone at (800) 435-8670.

Public Involvement & Community Outreach

The Authority encourages public engagement to advance California high-speed rail in Northern California so that the final project reflects the needs and vision of our community as a whole.

We conduct outreach events including Open Houses, Community Working Groups, and attending regional events throughout Northern California to inform and gather input from local communities, policymakers, and stakeholders. Stakeholders include environmental justice groups, community organizations, city/county staff, neighborhood groups, and California residents.

For more detailed information, factsheets, and visualizations of project elements please visit MeetHSRNorcal.org.

Please visit the Events page for a listing of upcoming events and outreach opportunities in your area.

Events Archive:

November 2021 

August 2021

March 2021

November 2020

August 2020

  • Draft EIR/EIS Open House Q&A Webinar on MeetHSRNorcal.org – 08/05
  • Draft EIR/EIS Public Hearing – 08/19

July 2020

March 2020

August 2019

July 2019

Due to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, meeting materials prior to July 2019 can be requested through a Public Records Act request.

Maps

Visit the address lookup and interactive online map to find your property in relation to either of the two project alternatives.

Newsletters & Factsheets

Newsletter

The Authority releases quarterly regional newsletters to keep stakeholders and the public up to date on the high-speed rail program.

To sign up for the newsletter, complete the form on the Contact Us page and select “Northern California” from the dropdown menu.

View the most recent Northern California Regional Newsletter.

Factsheets

Visit the Factsheets page to learn more about the statewide California High-Speed Rail program.

To learn more about the San Francisco to San José Project Section, please see the following factsheets.

Environmental Review

​Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the State of California and the federal government both require a proposed infrastructure project to undergo an extensive assessment of the project’s potential impacts on the environment.

Below is a timeline of steps the Authority is taking to deliver the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS).

Development & Review of Environmental Document Graphic

Documents & Reports

The following documents are available for review upon request. The Authority encourages written requests submitted via our Public Records Portal.

  • San Francisco to San José Project Section Scoping – 2016
  • San Francisco to San José Project Section Supplemental Alternatives Analysis
  • San Francisco to San José Project Section Alternative Analysis
  • San Francisco to San José Project Section Scoping
  • San Francisco to San José Project Section Notice of Intent/Notice of Preparation

Please visit the links below to view the latest project section and California High Speed-Rail reports.

Contact Information

If you are interested in inviting the Authority to your community meeting to receive a project update, the team would be happy to coordinate with you.

(800) 435-8670
san.francisco_san.jose@hsr.ca.gov

Visit the Contact Us page to sign up for e-mail alerts and for additional contact information.

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PROJECT SECTION ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTS 

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The California High-Speed Rail Authority makes every effort to ensure the website and its contents meet mandated ADA requirements as per the California State mandated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA standard. If you are looking for a particular document not located on the California High-Speed Rail Authority website, you may make a request for the document under the Public Records Act through the Public Records Act page. If you have any questions about the website or its contents, please contact the Authority at info@hsr.ca.gov.