By Gennady Sheyner, Palo Alto Weekly.
Caltrain's effort to replace its diesel trains with electric ones hit a milestone on Thursday morning when the agency's board of directors signed off on a key environmental document that paves the way for the project's implementation.
Without any substantive discussion or dissent, the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board approved the Final Environmental Impact Report for what is known as the Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project (PCEP). The agency, which oversees Caltrain, hopes to implement electrification along its 51-mile corridor between San Francisco and San Jose by 2020. The project is also a stepping stone for California's controversial high-speed rail system, which would share the newly electrified tracks with Caltrain along the Peninsula.