South Terminal Future Operating Capacity and Reliability Analysis

Strategic planning and operations analysis for a major terminal reconfiguration to meet the future needs of five rail operators

Caltrain/Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (PCJPB) | USA | 2012-2016

Diridon Station is noted for its Italian Renaissance Revival architectural style

Caltrain's average weekday ridership is 67, 728

Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States when Caltrain began operating in 1863 as Peninsula Commuter


  • Develop planning and operations analysis for Caltrain's South Terminal (Diridon Station), which supports five separate mainline railroad operators: Caltrain, Union Pacific Railroad, Amtrak Coast Starlight, Capital Corridor, and Altamont Corridor Express (ACE).
  • Build on previous manual analyses by using comprehensive computerized network simulations under both non-randomized and randomized input conditions.
  • Accommodate and analyze future operational plans, including Caltrain mixed electric and diesel-powered services prior to full Caltrain electrification.
  • Quantify the capacity and reliability of two projects: Third Main Track (CP-Bird interlocking to north side of I-280/mile post 48.1) and Fourth Main Track (Centralized Equipment Maintenance & Operations Facility to Diridon Station).


  • Hatch LTK developed a comprehensive simulation model of the Caltrain Corridor, using its proprietary TrainOps software to test the operating benefits of proposed South Terminal improvements.
  • Using TrainOps software, Hatch LTK was able to analyze the dynamics of all rail operations, including train performance, track geometry, dispatcher logic, train control, and terminal operations.
  • Based on the analytical results of TrainOps, the Fourth Main Track project was re-engineered to provide greater routing flexibility at the station's northern approach.


  • The adopted design of the Fourth Main Track project included complex "double slip" track switches that maximize the number of parallel moves (a northbound train leaving the station while a southbound train simultaneously enters a station on an adjacent track) for the five rail operators.
  • The results of the project validated Caltrain's engineering designs for improvements and supported its negotiations with Union Pacific for operating protocols and engineering improvements for Caltrain electrification.

Project numbers

Caltrain operates on 77.4 miles (124.6 km) of track
USD $6.3 million project
More than 100,000 people live and work within a half-mile of the streetcar route
Caltrain has 29 locomotives and 134 passenger cars in revenue service

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