The future ride to work for thousands of Bay Area commuters was unveiled in San Francisco Saturday — and though the new Caltrain trains bear the agency’s familiar red logo, these new electric trains are definitely green.

Caltrain introduced the agency’s new electric fleet at its station on Fourth Street at an event for reporters, employees and agency directors. After speeches from officials including Congresswomen Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo and state Sen. Scott Wiener, attendees got a chance to climb aboard and check out one of the two trains on display.

Throughout the speeches, speakers emphasized the environmentally sustainable nature of the new trains, which are scheduled to go into operation in 2024.

“All aboard for climate champions!” said Speier, adding, “These trains will take 15,000 cars off the road per day. We will see a reduction of 97 percent of carbon dioxide as a result of electrifying these trains.”

The electric trains replace diesel locomotives and are expected to reduce Caltrain’s greenhouse gas emissions and eliminate the particulate matter caused by the aging diesel engines. The new trains will produce substantial reductions in corridor air pollution emissions compared with diesel locomotives, according to Caltrain.

Describing the trains as “faster, quieter, cleaner,” Eshoo, who was the first speaker said, “This is the most innovative region in the country. It deserves a 21st century transportation system.”

Caltrain Board Chair Steve Heminger lauded what he described as “trains with essentially no emissions.”

After the speeches, the assembled crowd explored one of the two trains on display. The attendees got a close look at different types of train cars: standard, bike and bathroom car.
The train still had that new car smell, and its interior was immaculate, as no passengers have yet had the chance to spill their smoothies or kale chips on the floor.

Tour of a new electric train at Caltrain’s Fourth Street station in San Francisco on Sept. 24, 2022. (Photo: Bay City News)

New amenities include digital onboard displays, power outlets at each forward-facing seat, a new seat color palette selected by the public, energy-efficient lighting, coat hooks, security cameras, and expanded storage under the seats.

Creating the new system generated around 33,000 jobs around the country, according to speakers including John Putnam, general counsel for the U.S. Department of Transportation. The trains were built in Salt Lake City, Utah, tested in Pueblo, Colorado and then delivered to San Jose.

“Building new, sustainable transportation projects is a key priority of the Biden administration,” Putnam said.