Caltrain Grade Separations Begin

Imagine: easily bicycling under the Caltrain tracks to pop over and shop at Hillsdale Shopping Center. Or perhaps you live on the other side of El Camino and want to quickly zip over to Bay Meadows park to watch the kids’ soccer match.

The vision for safe, accessible passages connecting Bay Meadows on the east with the western side of San Mateo just got very real.

The city and county of San Mateo along with Caltrain and California High Speed Rail just broke ground on the long-awaited Caltrain grade separation project for the Hillsdale station.

Currently, East 25th Ave is essentially the only way to get from one side of the Caltrain tracks to the other. With construction to be completed in 2020, this project not only raises the tracks and lowers the road at E. 25th Ave. it also will complete east/west grade street separations at 28th and 31st Avenues, which currently dead-end on either side of the tracks.

And Caltrain will build a new Hillsdale Station to the north, at 28th Ave. A ceremonial groundbreaking marked the beginning of the work on the $181M project. San Mateo’s project has been touted as a model for how costly grade separations should be funded.

Additionally, the project is expected to improve traffic flow ahead of Caltrain’s electrification project, which will allow more trains to run and those trains will be running on clean fuels.

Beginning this month, crews will install a gate at 28th Avenue, between the west side of the tracks and El Camino Real. To sign up for regular construction updates, visit:

Here’s a handy community page from Caltrain that outlines background, project costs,  construction schedule, expected community impacts during construction and where to view weekly updates. You can also see where to get involved for community input.

While the Hillsdale station will close for a few months during the project, Caltrain will provide enhanced bus service during that short period and additional service at the Belmont Caltrain station. The brief Hillsdale station closure is expected in late 2018.

Featuring best-in-class retailers such as Tin Pot Creamery and Blue Bottle Coffee, Bay Meadows’ Town Square is shaping up to be the ideal gathering place with more groundfloor retail, outdoor dining and pop-ups to come. Soon home to a stunning new sculpture from internationally-renowned artist Jeppe Hein, the Town Square will be the dynamic core of our urban village. With Caltrain electrification to start in 2017, the platform will be elevated and grade separations will be installed on 31st and 28th Avenues, making the Town Square the perfect place to relax outside for a glass of wine or an ice cream after a day of shopping and entertainment at Hillsdale Center. Join the Bay Meadows email list to stay on top of the latest.