Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak in California’

San Joaquin Schedules to Change May 20

May 18, 2019

Amtrak will release a new schedule for its San Joaquin service on May 20 that will return service to seven roundtrips operating every two hours.

Five trains will operate between Bakersfield and Oakland, and two will run between Bakersfield and Sacramento.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the new schedule is as follows:

Train 701 will depart Bakersfield 4 hours and 3 minutes earlier than Train 1701’s original time. Train 1701 is cancelled.

Train 703 will depart 12 hours and 12 minutes later from Bakersfield. Train 711 will depart 8 minutes earlier from Bakersfield.

Train 713 and 717 will depart 48 minutes earlier from Bakersfield. Train 719 will depart 58 minutes earlier from Bakersfield.

Train 702 will depart 6 hours and 15 minutes earlier from Sacramento. Train 704 will depart 1 hour and 4 minutes earlier from Sacramento.

Train 710, 712 and 714 will depart 2 hours and 1 minute later from Oakland. Train 715 will depart 12 minutes later from Bakersfield.

Train 716 will depart 59 minutes earlier from Oakland. Train 718 will depart 19 minutes earlier from Oakland. Train 1718 is cancelled

David Lipari, marketing manager of the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority said in a statement that the schedule changes are, “Designed to improve on-time performance and connectivity across the Bay Area, Sacramento, the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California, we are proud to offer a more convenient and timely solution that meets the growing needs of riders.”

Capitol Corridor Station Named for Hannigan

May 18, 2019

The Capitol Corridor station in Fairfield, California, has been named for a state legislature who was instrumental in getting the intercity rail service established.

The Fairfield-Vacaville Station has been renamed the Fairfield-Vacaville Hannigan Station in honor of the late Tom Hannigan.

As a state assemblyman, Hannigan pushed for the development of the Capitol Corridor in the middle 1980s, saying that growth in the region would support a new intercity rail system.

“It is because of Tom’s vision over 30 years ago, that we have this great route between the [San Francisco] Bay Area and Sacramento,” said Fairfield Mayor Harry Price in a statement.

A ceremony will be held this fall to unveil a memorial plaque at the depot to commemorate Hannigan, who died in 2018.

Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor trains average 3,600 trips per month from the station, which opened in November 2017.

Extending SMART to Amtrak to Cost $1B

May 8, 2019

Expanding the SMART rail commuter line in California to connect with Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor will cost $1 billion a study has found.

The study examined extending the line from Marin and Sonoma into Napa and Solano counties.

The extension is expected to take six years to complete and would connect with Amtrak at Suisan City.

The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit system now has 43 miles and operates between the San Rafael Transit Center and the Sonoma County Airport. The extension would increase the network to 70 miles.

The SMART governing board has indicated that it won’t consider the extension to Suisan City until it finishes a planned expansion to Cloverdale, a project expected to cost $364 million.

The study of expansion to Suisan City projected a travel time of 60 to 90 minutes depending on the level of track improvement.

If four daily round trips are operated it would attract an estimated 2,100 passengers. Ten daily round trips would be expected to serve 5,400 passengers.

SMART owns 25 miles of track adjacent to California Route 37 that could be used for the extension.

In a news release that accompanied the expansion study, SMART said the study concluded that the extension would require improvements to the existing tracks and bridges, construction of new stations, and installation of a new signal system with positive train control.

Basic service improvements would cost $780 million to $898 million minimal cost for a basic service whereas rebuilding the system for a higher level of service would cost $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion.

Once funding is secured the extension would require four to six years to complete.

Capitol Corridor Ridership Up 5% in March

May 3, 2019

Ridership in California’s Capitol Corridor was up 5 percent in March and ridership satisfaction was 91 percent, the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority said in a news release.

CCJPA said the March increase in ridership was compared with the same month in 2018 and marked an 18-month streak of consecutive year-over-year ridership growth.

The news release attributed the ridership gains to people seeking more affordable housing in areas such as Sacramento as an alternative to San Francisco.

Officials said cross-regional travel within the northern California mega region represents 51 percent of CCJPA’s ridership in the past year.

The news release did not contain specific ridership numbers.

Waiting on Passengers in Sacramento

April 23, 2019

It’s a warm July afternoon in 1999 at the Amtrak station in Sacramento, California.

Train No. 6 has halted and large crowds of people are scurrying about the platform to board their train, which will in two days arrive in Chicago.

Ahead lies some of the best scenery Amtrak has to offer in the American West.

Toward the rear of the train I noticed this car attendant standing by himself watching the boarding going on a few cars down.

The California Zephyr will board numerous coach passengers in Sacramento so it will be a matter of moments before he is helping them aboard.

Although 1999 doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, it’s been more than 19 years since I made this image.

The attire of car attendants has changed since then and Amtrak no longer emblazons the word “Superliner” above the entryways to those cars.

I have no idea who this guy is, but I do wonder if he still works for Amtrak.

 

Early Morning San Joaquin to be Discontinued

April 11, 2019

Amtrak is citing low ridership for suspending the informally named Sacramento Morning Express, which has been scheduled to enable San Joaquin Valley residents to travel to Sacramento at the start of the business day.

The service began a year ago, leaving Fresno at 4:25 a.m. and arriving in Sacramento at 7:46 a.m. It made intermediate stops in Madera, Merced, Denair, Modesto and Stockton.

State transportation policy makers had hoped that the service would expand ridership beyond leisure travelers.

Amtrak plans to continue operating two daily round San Joaquin roundtrips between Bakersfield and Sacramento, and five between Bakersfield and Oakland.

Officials said the Sacramento Morning Express could return after track and other infrastructure improvements are made over the new few years.

The train averaged 50 passengers a day compared with 130 per day on other trains that operated later in the day.

“It’s revenue driven, and it wasn’t carrying its weight,” said Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa. “It may take a few years, but I’m pretty confident that it’s still necessary.”

The early morning train launched on May 7, 2018.

Amtrak’s San Joaquin service overall continues to do well, carrying 1,078,707 passengers from October 2017 through September 2018, the most recent fiscal year.

Transportation planners said business travelers to Sacramento may someday benefit from an expansion of the Altamont Corridor Express, which currently operates four roundtrips on weekdays between Stockton and San Jose via Livermore.

By 2021, ACE may have stations in Manteca, Ripon, Modesto and Ceres with longer range plans to expand to Turlock and Merced County along with a northward branch to Sacramento.

Thruway Service to be Suspended to Placerville

April 10, 2019

Amtrak Thruway bus service to Placerville, California, will be suspended due to road construction.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the service suspension will last from April 15 to 26.

Repairs are being made to a bridge on Highway 50 that will reduce the road to one lane in each direction and cause delays of up to 45 minutes.

Amtrak said passengers traveling to Placerville should consider disembarking at Sacramento, the nearest Amtrak station.

More information is available at Capitolcorridor.org or by calling Capitol Corridor at 877-9-RIDECC (877-974-3322) between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Pacific Surfliner Schedules to Change April 8

March 28, 2019

Amtrak said that effective April 8 the schedules of select Pacific Surfliner trains will change.

Train 572 will depart Los Angeles 14 minutes earlier than scheduled at 10:40 a.m.

Train 573 will depart San Diego 30 minutes later than scheduled at 11:15 a.m.

Track Work to Affect Pacific Surfliners

March 28, 2019

The North County Transit District is conducting track work in April that will will affect operations of Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner service on weekends.

On April 12 Train 590 will be cancelled and passengers advised to make reservations aboard other Amtrak trains.

However, bus service will be provided from Los Angeles to San Diego, making stops at Oceanside, Solana Beach, Old Town San Diego and San Diego Downtown.

No alternate transportation will be provided to Fullerton, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine and San Juan Capistrano.

On April 13 and 15 Trains 562, 583, 1565, 1566, 1569, 1572, 1573 and 1590 will be cancelled with travelers advised to make reservations aboard other Amtrak trains.

In a service advisory Amtrak said Train 782 will terminate at Los Angeles and no alternate transportation will be provided between Los Angeles and San Diego.

Train 796 also will terminate in Los Angeles and bus service will be provided for all missed stops.

Trains 580, 768, 774, 792, 1564 and 1584 will operate normally to Irvine, where bus service will be provided from there to San Diego.

Express buses will run from Irvine to San Juan Capistrano, Oceanside, Solana Beach, Old Town San Diego and downtown San Diego only.

Trains 591, 595, 763, 777, 785, 1579, 1761 and 1767 will originate in Irvine with connecting bus service provided from San Diego for all trains except No. 1761.

Buses will depart downtown San Diego, Solana Beach, Oceanside and San Juan Capistrano earlier than the train schedule to allow time to connect with trains in Irvine.

Amtrak said the buses will not pick up at Old Town San Diego and passengers should take the trolley to downtown San Diego to board buses to Irvine.

Bus service ervice will not be provided to connect with Train 1761 and Metrolink will honor Amtrak tickets between Irvine and Los Angeles.

Veterans Fares Reinstated in California

March 27, 2019

Discounted fares for military veterans have been reinstated on three Amtrak-operated routes in California.

The 15 percent discounted fares had been discontinued in March 2018 when Amtrak ended those fares nationwide.

The restored veteran’s fares are part of the California Everyday Discount program, which also has discounted fares for students, seniors and passengers with disabilities.

Route affected by the fares include the Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquins.

“We’re proud to partner with the

Discounted fares for military veterans have been reinstated on three Amtrak-operated routes in California.

The 15 percent discounted fares had been discontinued in March 2018 when Amtrak ended those fares nationwide.

The restored veteran’s fares are part of the California Everyday Discount program, which also has discounted fares for students, seniors and passengers with disabilities.

Route affected by the fares include the Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquins.

“We’re proud to partner with the Capitol Corridor and Pacific Surfliner to bring back the veteran’s discount,” said Vito Chiesa, chair of the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority, which manages the Amtrak San Joaquins route.