Moving Toward Unrestricted Shared Use How Caltrain Took the Next Step and What Recent Developments Mean to U.S. Commuter Railroads

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, place - north america, planning - safety/accidents


safety, European-style electric multiple units (EMUs), waiver


This paper describes the process that the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (Caltrain) in California used to obtain a waiver of FRA crashworthiness regulations to allow the operation of European-style electric multiple units (EMUs) commingled with FRA-compliant passenger trains. It presents the five basic components of the waiver petition, provides details about the safety features of the European-style EMUs, and summarizes the lessons learned during the 3-year process. Operating non-FRA-compliant European-style EMUs commingled with FRA-compliant locomotive-hauled passenger trains will not compromise Caltrain's safety and the measures to be put in place as conditions of the waiver will enhance the overall safety of the system.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, copyright remains with them.