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CEMOF: Centralized Equipment, Maintenance and Operations Facility

Fact Sheet

Caltrain’s Centralized Equipment Maintenance & Operations Facility will accommodate inspections, maintenance, repairs, train washing and storage. It also will be the “nerve center,” of the commuter railroad, where dispatchers will direct and monitor train traffic between San Francisco and Gilroy.

Built on the site of an old Southern Pacific maintenance yard, the 20-acre facility includes a central control building, maintenance shop, train washer, water treatment plant and storage tracks. A 250-foot tunnel will allow workers to cross the yard, which has live, operating tracks, safely. On-site fueling will be added in 2008, allowing trains to fuel at the facility and eliminating the need for daily fuel truck deliveries.

Approximately 100 mechanical department employees and 120 train crew members will be based at CEMOF.

Central Control Facility
Central Control has moved from a leased building near the San Jose Diridon Station to its own dedicated building on the site.

Maintenance Shop
The three-story, 58,800 square-foot maintenance shop will allow mechanics to work in much better conditions. Previously, mechanics worked outside and had to crawl underneath cars to work on them. The new shop has a train lift and two 800-foot-long service and inspection pits where mechanics can stand while working under the trains. The building also includes a massive overhead crane to lift heavy parts such as air-conditioners and engines, from one area to another.

A wheel elevator called a drop table will be used to remove and replace the train wheels by lowering the axles while the car is being supported. A new wheel set can be installed in one hour.

For the first time, Caltrain also will be able to perform its own wheel-truing. Train wheels will go through a machine that profiles or “trues” the wheels on a lathe. This is a routine maintenance job but previously Caltrain had to send wheels out of state to have them resurfaced. “Truing” give passengers a better ride and filing down rough spots extends the life of the wheels and reduces wheel noise.

Train Washer
About half the rail fleet will be washed every day in the facility’s train washer. Previously, crews were only able to give trains a thorough washing and scrubbing about twice a year. The train washer has two 35,000 gallon tanks that will be refilled about every three days.

Water Treatment Plant
A 3,000-square-foot water treatment facility will recycle about 80 percent of the water used in the train washer.

Construction Timeline
Construction began in October 2004. The facility will become fully operational by the end of the year.

The project cost $140 million, including $105.8 million in federal funds and $8.2 million in state funds.

Caltrain is governed by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, a tri-county partnership of the San Mateo County Transit District, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency. Caltrain contracts with Amtrak for the rail service, including onboard crew and maintenance workers.

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