As part of its effort to electrify its train fleet, Caltrain is beginning work this week on a paralleling station on Page Mill Road in Palo Alto.
The unmanned station, which is required to regulate power to the newly electrified train system, is one of several such stations that Caltrain is building along its corridor. It consists of two box-like structures — a transformer and a control house — and two 50-foot-tall gantries to support the wires perpendicular to the tracks.
The gantries connect to the overhead contract system and provide power to the trains. Caltrain plans to install one such structure near the transformer and another one on the other side of the tracks.
The paralleling station will go up on Caltrain's right-of-way at 187 Page Mill Road, according to the agency's announcement. The agency plans to start setting up the construction area for the project Tuesday on Page Mill Road, between Sheridan Avenue and Park Boulevard. The station is expected to be completed in January 2021.
While the agency does not plan to close Page Mill Road during the construction, local businesses may experience some traffic delays due to these activities, according to Caltrain. Most of the work is set to take place on weekdays, between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m., according to Caltrain, though there may be some night and weekend work. Crews will remove and prune trees and lay a concrete pad before installing the transformer and gantry structures. They will be using excavation equipment and dump trucks to remove and deliver materials, according to the agency.
The paralleling station is the latest step in Caltrain's phased electrification project, which launched in 2017 in San Mateo County and San Jose before moving on to San Francisco and north Santa Clara County. Caltrain has been installing about 3,000 poles throughout the 51-mile segment between San Francisco and San Jose, which includes 196 poles in Palo Alto.