Caltrain CEO denies report that electrification project faces delay

By Jody Meacham : bizjournals – excerpt

Caltrain CEO Jim Hartnett has denied a Friday newspaper report that the commuter rail system’s electrification project could be delayed by a snag in selling high-speed rail bonds.

In a letter to state and federal legislators, Hartnett wrote, “Despite today’s media reports that inaccurately link a delay in the sale of high-speed rail revenue bonds with a delay in [the electrification project’s implementation], the State remains committed to ensuring that agreements will be in place to make funding available and allow the project to proceed on schedule.”

The letter said completion of a funding agreement among all partners “is on pace to be complete prior to contract award,” which is planned for later this year.

Jayme Ackemann, spokeswoman for Caltrain, said Friday, “We are optimistic that high-speed rail, with the support of the state government, is going to commit to the electrification project.”

Lisa Marie Alley, spokeswoman for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, acknowledged that its bond sale is being delayed by litigation intended to block construction of that rail system. Caltrain is to receive $600 million from those bonds for its $1.7 billion Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project (PCEP). But Alley said, “There was never a by-this-date-we-will-sell-bonds” commitment in the electrification project planning.

“There is no delay in the electrification project,” Alley said… (more)

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