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Caltrain Contest Lets You Pick New Train Design - By jkukura - May 16, 2017 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Caltrain Contest Lets You Pick New Train Design

Image: Caltrain

The Caltrain commuter rail line connects San Francisco with the high-tech hub of Silicon Valley, but the trains themselves are not particularly high-tech. In fact, “the vast majority of Caltrain’s current fleet is over 30 years old,” according to Caltrain’s own website.

That’s why the rail service is fighting for funding for a new fleet of electric trains. That funding is far from certain, but Caltrain is still proceeding with their plans for the rollout of new electric trains. And they’re letting riders vote on the design of these trains of the future.

All four exterior design options for the new electric trains are seen above and in this May 12 Caltrain tweet. The voting on train designs is open until Friday, May 19, 2017.

“As we move closer to finalizing various design aspects of the new electric trains your input will not only help shape how we deliver a more comfortable ride and more efficient service – but what the trains look like as well,” Caltrain says on their electric train site. “Check back soon, as we will be posting updates on the poll outcome next week.”

Though as Adam Brinklow points out over at Curbed, Caltrain does not necessarily commit to choosing the winner of this poll as their new train design. The rain service says very non-committally that “rider feedback is one of several important factors we will consider.”

More notably, you should not be holding your breath for the new electric trains to be whisking you up and down the peninsula anytime soon. According to Caltrain’s delivery plan, the electric trains would not be rolled out for passenger service until 2021 — and even that plan is contingent on federal funding that remains in limbo.