3.1 Briefing Papers - 2016 Caltrain Plan

A key part of the CHSRA 2016 Business Plan is the electrification of the San Francisco to San Jose Corridor by Caltrain and the CHSRA.  Between the Fall of 2016 and the  Summer of 2017, a series of reports were sent to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) (which is part of the Department of Transportation) in San Francisco and in Washington DC, regarding the SF to SJ Corridor.  Follow up letters and reports were sent to teh Department of Transportation in the Summer and Fall of 2017.

August, 2016 -  This is a 2 page cover letter and a 4 page report sent to FTA San Francisco outlining the financial requirements and the financial risks associated with the HSR program, including the lack of sufficient capital to construct the HSR system and the requirement to never require an operating subsidy.  Also included were 4 Attachments, totaling 63 pages.  Attachment 2 is critical as it defines the contractual agreement between Caltrain and CHSRA, and which has been approved by the CHSRA. Click on Subpage A, below.

September, 2016 - This is a 3 page letter sent to FTA San Francisco commenting on several issues in the FTA PCEP Core Capacity engineering document and risks to Caltrain regarding the 2016 enacted State Legislation AB 1889.  These two documents are included as attachments and total 8 pages.    Click on Subpage B, below.

November, 2016 - This is a 6 page letter from Community Collation on High Speed Rail (CC-HSR) that was sent to FTA San Francisco.  The letter points out that a number the FTA requirements had not been met, and in addition to the lack of committed funding there are cost escalation requirements which were not funded, the PTC project (CBOSS) has a number of problems and that a number of issues with Union Pacific railroad had not been resolved.  There are three attachments, two of which are included in Subpages A and B. Click on Subpage C, below.

December, 2016 - This is a 3 page letter sent to FTA San Francisco to update the FTA on issues with the Joint Powers Board and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. In addition a copy of the lawsuit filed against the CHSRA was provided to the FTA.  There are three attachments.  Click on Subpage D, below.

December, 2016 - This is a 2 page cover letter sent to the Acting Administrator of the FTA, in Washington DC, with the purpose of ensuring that the FTA organization had a complete sent of the various letters, reports, and documents that had been sent to the San Fransisco office.  There are two large attachments.  Click on Subpage E, below.

January 5, 2017 -  This is a 2 page cover letter sent to the Acting Administrator of the FTA, in Washington DC, and to FTA San Francisco to update the FTA regarding mismanagement issues at Caltrain and to inform the FTA regarding the failed efforts by the CHSRA to arrange an immediate construction loan for $15 Billion with the FRA (Federal Railroad Administration). There are three attachments. Click on Subpage F, below.

January 7, 2017 -This is a 2 page letter sent to the Acting Administrator of the FTA, in Washington DC, and to FTA San Francisco by one of the two attorneys who have represented the Plaintiffs in the Tos vs. CHSRA lawsuits.  The purpose of the letter was to be sure the FTA understood that the CHSRA considers Caltrain to be an integral partner in the HSR program.  Additionally, Caltrain will be receiving $600 Million of Prop 1A funds to support this electrification program.  The CHSRA is well aware that these Prop 1A funds can only be used on HSR projects, not commuter rail systems.  Lastly, the US House of Representatives are on record that no more federal funds are to be gifted or loaned to the HSR program in California.  There are no attachments. Click on Subpage G, below.

January 16, 2017 - This is a 2 page cover letter sent to the Acting Administrator of the FTA, in Washington DC, and to FTA San Francisco to update the FTA regarding serious mismanagement issues at Caltrain and to inform the FTA regarding the projected construction cost overruns being presented by the FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) to the CHSRA. There are two attachments. Click on Subpage H, below.

March 6, 2017 - This is a 23 page Briefing Report to the US Congress and the Department of Transportation, regarding the Caltrain grant application for $647 Million.  On February 17, 2017 the FTA (part of the DOT) decided that the application was to be deferred until the President's budget is submitted.  The Report takes the position that this matter SHOULD NOT GO INTO THE PRESIDENT'S BUDGET. The Report discusses 13 issues that need to be resolved and Attachment 1 is a letter, to the FTA which identifies 3 additional areas of concern that must also be addressed.  There is one attachment. Click on Subpage I, below.

March 31, 2017 - This is a 14 page Supplemental Report to the US Congress and the Department of Transportation, regarding the Caltrain grant application for $647 Million.  This report is in support of the March 6, 2017 Briefing report.  On February 17, 2017 the FTA (part of the DOT) decided that the application was to be deferred until the President's budget is submitted.  This Supplemental Report reaffirms the position that this matter SHOULD NOT GO INTO THE PRESIDENT'S BUDGET. This Supplemental Report discusses one key issue.  Through Freedom of Information Act requests Caltrain's  Application to the FTA has now been reviewed.  It is apparent that the FTA requirement of showing a minimum of a 10% growth in capacity due to the use of the FTA funds is not attainable.  Therefore, the Caltrain Grant Application should be denied.   There are two critical Exhibits. Click on Subpage J, below.

April 8, 2017 - This Capacity Report is an expansion on the initial Briefing Report of March 6, 2017, and the Supplemental Report, dated March 31, 2017. Both deal with the Caltrain Electrification Program that has been proposed to the FTA.

This Capacity Report focuses on one single point. The application that Caltrain submitted to the FTA in 2016 was fatally flawed, and it could not have been approved by the FTA had the correct information been presented. This report is an extremely detailed analysis of the seat capacity, both current and future, Caltrain submitted to the FTA as the basis of meeting the capacity growth requirement of the FTA grant. Read the Summary on the first page. Click on Subpage K, below.

May 5, 2017 - This package is an Addendum to the April 8, 2017 Caltrain Capacity Report.  The Capacity Report and this Addendum both deal with the Caltrain Electrification Program that has been proposed to the FTA.

This Addendum to the Capacity Report focuses on two points.  The application that Caltrain submitted to the FTA in 2016 was fatally flawed, as was the recent update to it.  The application could not have been approved by the FTA had the correct information been presented.  This Addendum shows the recent updates by Caltrain continue to understate current capacity, and explains why long term growth in capacity can not occur due to limitations placed on Caltrain by the CHSRA.  Please read the Summary on the first page.  Click on Subpage L, below.

May 18, 2017 - This is a package that was sent to Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation, US Department of Transportation.  The 67 page package contained a 4 page letter to Ms. Chao and copies of the 4 packages, listed above, which had been sent on May 5, 2017, April 8, 2017, March 31, 2017, and March 6, 2017 to the Department of Transportation.  It summarized the arguments as to why the FTA should not award Caltrain the grant for $647 Million.  The 4 page cover letter summarizes these arguments.  Click on Subpage M, below.

August 2, 2017 - This is a package that was sent to Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation, US Department of Transportation, on August 2, 2017. 

The 123 page package contained a 4 page introductory letter to Ms. Chao, a 17 page Report, and 9 Appendixes.

The included report, The Caltrain Electrification Project Needs An Audit Before It Is Funded, calls out three different areas of investigation that are needed to be done by the FTA and the FRA.  These areas include the problems associated with the signaling systems that are needed for safety, the lack of long term commuter passenger seat capacity, and the risk of inadequate project funding.

The 9 Appendixes include substantial evidence to support the issues raised in the report.  Additionally, Appendix 3, Exhibit 3, reviewed the letter of January 24, 2017 where all 14 Republican members of Congress from California requested an audit be conducted by the Department of Transportation.  To date, no such audit has been initiated.  Click on Subpage N, below