Balfour Beatty and Caltrain Celebrate Placement of Final Foundation on the Caltrain Electrification Project

by Balfour Beatty

January 31, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Balfour Beatty and Caltrain have successfully laid 3,092 foundations on the Caltrain Electrification Project, with the final foundation of the overhead catenary system set on Friday, January 28. Balfour Beatty and Caltrain held an event at the site of the final foundation to celebrate the team reaching the significant milestone. 

Event attendees gathered at the San Francisco Caltrain Station located at 4th and King streets to witness the unveiling and final bolt placement for the final foundation. Speakers at the event included Eric Stenman, Balfour Beatty U.S. president, Michelle Bouchard, Acting Executive Director of Caltrain, U.S. Reps. Eshoo and Speier; State Sen. Weiner, State Asms. Mullin and Ting and SF Supervisor Shamann Walton, Caltrain Joint Powers Board of Director. Ezequiel Zepeda, Balfour Beatty superintendent of foundations, had the honor of placing the last screw on the foundation to end the event.

“Today marks a major achievement in the history of Caltrain,” said Caltrain Acting Executive Director Michelle Bouchard. “This final foundation marks a turning point in the electrification of this railroad, towards a modern, efficient service that the people of the Bay Area deserve.

The foundation phase of construction was highly complex due to much of the work taking place in a 150-year-old right of way with many unknown underground conditions. As part of the scope of work for this phase, the team rerouted utilities and solved other site condition challenges. Completing the foundation phase with the underground cleanup enables future phases of the above groundwork to advance with reduced complexity and challenges. 

"Through our consistent collaboration with the Caltrain team and our industry partners, we persevered to solve many challenging obstacles and complexities during this phase. The success of reaching this significant milestone is attributable to our strong partnership with Caltrain," said Eric Stenman, Balfour Beatty president of U.S. operations. "We look forward to continuing the momentum built and are honored to be a part of a project that will bring greater sustainability to California's transit system."

The Caltrain Electrification Project will electrify the commuter rail corridor from San Francisco's 4th and King Caltrain Station to the Tamien Caltrain Station in San Jose. Balfour Beatty's design-build team members will continue to work along 52 miles of dual track alignment to electrify the remaining sections of the Caltrain corridor. The remaining construction activities include installing and operating the rail service's 25kv AC Overhead Catenary System (OCS). Once complete, the OCS will serve as the power source for the new electric trains and provide a more sustainable rail service through the replacement of aging diesel trains to high-performance electric trains. Additionally, the OCS will increase commuter rail service to six trains per peak hour per direction, and maintain train operating speeds of up to 79 mph.