Posts Tagged ‘Capitol Corridor’

New Operator Coming to Thruway Route

June 27, 2021

Starting July 5, Amtrak Thruway service between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe will be operated by El Dorado Transit.

The daily bus service will add a new stop at Cameron Park/Cambridge Road. It will continue to serve Placerville, the South Lake Tahoe Y and the Stateline Transit Centers. The Stateline Kingsbury stop is being discontinued.

Passengers should look for a Capitol Corridor and Amtrak logo on the side of the El Dorado Transit bus.

Capitol Corridor Service to Increase June 7

June 4, 2021

Amtrak service in California’s Capitol Corridor will increase on June 7.

San Jose-Sacramento service will increase from 16 to 22 trips daily, while Oakland-San Jose service will return to the pre-pandemic level of 14 daily trips.

Café Car service also will be reinstated although with a limited menu.

Capitol Corridor service was last increased in June of 2020 when some frequencies cut the previous March during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic were restored.

Some schedules were modified this past March to improve on–time performance and better service the existing travel patterns.

Capitol Corridor Service to Expand June 7

April 28, 2021

Capitol Corridor passenger service will increase on June 7, officials said this week.

The announcement said growing ridership demand, funding support and improving public health conditions are making the expansion possible.

Service will increase to 22 weekday and 18 weekend trips. The current level of service is now 16 weekday and 10 weekend trips.

The schedule change will result in a return to  pre-pandemic service between Oakland and San Jose.

However, officials do not expect complete pre-pandemic schedules to be in effect until sometime in 2022.

Capitol Corridor Schedules Changed

April 6, 2021

Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor Service schedules were changed on March 29. In a service advisory, Amtrak said the following changes have been made.

Train 521 will operate 24 minutes earlier, departing Sacramento at 4:10 a.m. Train 523 will operate 20 minutes earlier, departing Sacramento at 5:10 a.m.

Train 527 will now originate in Auburn at 5:40 a.m. Train 537 will now operate 1 hour and 19 minutes earlier, departing Sacramento at 10:55 a.m.

Train 541 will operate 2 hours and 15 minutes earlier, departing Sacramento at 11:55 a.m, terminating at San Jose. Train 545 will operate 1 hour and 10 minutes earlier, departing Sacramento at 3:55 p.m.

Train 547 will operate 49 minutes earlier, departing Sacramento at 5:03 p.m. Train 723 will operate 15 minutes earlier, departing Sacramento at 5:55 a.m.

Train 729 will operate 6 minutes earlier, departing Auburn at 7:55 a.m. Train 737 will operate 1 hour and 17 minutes earlier, departing Sacramento at 10:55 a.m.

Train 743 will operate 51 minutes earlier, departing Sacramento at 2:55 p.m. Train 747 will operate 1 hour 15 minutes later, departing Sacramento at 6:55 p.m, terminating at Oakland Jack London Square.

Train 520 will operate 8 minutes earlier, departing Oakland Jack London Square at 5:12 a.m. Train 524 will operate 24 minutes earlier, departing San Jose at 6:18 a.m.

Train 528 will operate 20 minutes earlier, departing San Jose at 8:48 a.m Train 532 will operate 1 hour and 15 minutes earlier, departing San Jose at 11:05 a.m.

Train 536 will operate 23 minutes earlier, departing Oakland Jack London Square at 3:12 p.m, terminating at Sacramento. Train 538 will operate 3 minutes earlier, departing San Jose at 3:05 p.m, terminating at Auburn.

Train 542 will operate 12 minutes earlier, departing San Jose at 4:05 p.m. Train 546 will operate 19 minutes later, departing San Jose at 6:05 p.m.

Train 724 will operate 10 minutes earlier, departing San Jose at 8:05 a.m. Train 732 will depart Oakland Jack London Square at 2:12 p.m.

Train 736 will originate at San Jose at 3:05p.m, operating to Auburn. Train 742 will operate 5 minutes earlier, departing San Jose at 5:05 p.m, terminating at Sacramento.

Restoration of State-Funded Corridor Services Presents a Mixed Picture

March 27, 2021

Passengers board Amtrak’s Chicago-bound Saluki at Effingham, Illinois, on March 21. The Chicago-Carbondale corridor lost one roundtrip since the COVID-19 pandemic began a year ago

Although Amtrak plans to restore daily service to most long-distance routes starting in late May, the restoration of corridor service cut during the COVID-19 pandemic presents a more mixed picture.

Some states might restore service by summer but that is not guaranteed.

Michigan Department of Transportation Rail Director Peter Anastor said he didn’t known when two suspended Wolverine Service roundtrips between Chicago and Detroit (Pontiac) would return.

He indicated it will hinge in part on ridership and revenue trends.

“The CARES Act and the second stimulus bill helped fill the gap caused by fixed costs that stay the same whether you have 10 or 100 riders,” he said.

Michigan also funds the Chicago-Port Huron Blue Water and the Chicago-Grand Rapids Pere Marquette.

Although the Blue Water continued to operate throughout the pandemic, the Pere Marquette was suspended between March and last summer.

Anastor indicated new Venture coaches are expected to be assigned to Wolverine Service this spring, making it the first Midwest corridor train to have the new cars.

On other Midwest corridor routes, Hiawatha Service between Chicago and Milwaukee is expected to increase to seven round trips on May 21.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation Rail Division head Arun Rao said the service expansion will be promoted with an extensive advertising push and increased social media activity.

Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Speegle said his agency will decide in April when some other corridor services will be restored.

IDOT has suspended one round trip on the Chicago-Carbondale route, one roundtrip on the Chicago-Quincy route and two roundtrips between Chicago and St. Louis.

“We anticipate resuming full service no earlier that mid-July; the final decision on that time frame will be made in April, approximately 12 weeks prior to resumption of service,” he said.

Speegle said IDOT will review ridership and revenue numbers for the current service, anticipated costs, and the level of federal support.

Whether a second St. Louis-Kansas City Missouri River Runner will resume operating will depend on how much funding the Missouri legislature approves.

The Missouri Department of Transportation has requested funding for two daily roundtrips but the chair of a House budget committee has proposed funding just one roundtrip.

In the East, New York State has not announced its intentions in regards to restoring any suspended Empire Corridor trains.

Two routes funded by New York, the Maple Leaf to Toronto and Adirondack to Montreal have been suspended due to the U.S.-Canadian border being closed during the pandemic.

Elsewhere in the East, North Carolina will begin a fourth roundtrip starting April 5 in the Charlotte-Raleigh corridor.

Amtrak and the North Carolina Department of Transportation are reinstating a third Piedmont Service roundtrip, making this the first multi-frequency state corridor to be fully restored.

North Carolina reinstated a second and third round trip last August and December, respectively.

Another Downeaster trip to Maine is expected to resume in May after schedules are worked out with Amtrak and host railroad Pan Am Railways.

Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority Executive Director Patricia Quinn said the new schedule will be a little different.

“Instead of just plugging two midday trains back into their old slots, we’re adding a 10:30 a.m. departure from Brunswick, which will turn as a 3 p.m. departure from Boston,” she said.

“Given the change in commute patterns, we decided to try something different, assuming we won’t need two trains leaving Boston for the evening rush hour, but the additional round-trip means we will again have a flex schedule for the late-night train from Boston to accommodate sports fans and concert goers.”

Quinn said weekday and weekend schedules will now be identical.

In the West, one Capitol Corridor roundtrip will on March 29 be extended from Oakland to San Jose.

Capitol Corridor managing director Rob Pagette said there will be a change in departure times based on the way customers now use the trains.

“We’re about at 15 percent of where we were in February 2020 but we are looking to have a more robust service by September,” he said.

“We’ve seen more demand spread throughout the day, and this has allowed us to improve the efficiency of how we use our equipment by (temporarily) going from seven to six consists.”

Pagette said officials will be watching to determine where people are riding after the schedule change to determine where we add back the seventh consist.” An eighth trainset will be added later.

The extended round trip to San Jose will originate in Auburn because there appear to be increasing numbers of “super commuters” who ride 80 miles or more to their jobs.

Ridership trends during the pandemic have shown that if passengers are less likely to travel every day, more will opt for less-costly housing further away from the Silicon Valley.

In the San Joaquin corridor, a fifth roundtrip is expected to be added in in the fall. However, the two round trips to Sacramento aren’t likely to return until early 2021 at the earliest.

Those plans, though, are contingent on ridership stabilizing.

In Southern California, the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency expects to restore one Pacific Surfliner roundtrip between San Diego and Goleta in July or August.

The date of that service restoration is dependant on available funding.

In the Pacific Northwest, the Washington Department of Transportation is eyeing returning two Seattle-Portland roundtrips in mid May.

Currently, the Cascades Service is operating with one Seattle-Eugene, Oregon, round trip.

Officials are considering increasing Portland-Eugene service to two roundtrips.

Reservations Needed for Capitol Corridor Thanksgiving Travel

October 30, 2020

Reservations wlll be required to ride all Amtrak Capitol Corridor trains during the Thanksgiving travel period of Nov. 23-30.

A service advisory announcing the rule said it was being implemented in order to manage capacity and maintain social distancing.

Passengers traveling on monthly, six-ride, or 10-ride tickets will need to use the RideReserve feature at the Amtrak website or smartphone app, or make a confirmation via an Amtrak agent prior to the trip.

Occupancy Shown for Capitol Corridor Trains

October 10, 2020

Passengers booking travel aboard Amtrak Capitol Corridor trains can now find online an occupancy information tool.

In a news release issued by Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, the tool was described as an effort to provide awareness of how full a given train may be.

The tool uses recent ridership numbers to indicate vacancy rates on individual trains.

“At the moment ridership continues to be low enough to allow for ample social distancing on all of our trains and buses,” Rob Padgette, managing director of the Capitol Corridor.

He added that passenger surveys conducted last summer showed that more passengers are expected to begin riding the trains in the coming months.

Information is also available for connecting bus service between Emeryville, California, and San Francisco.

Pandemic Still Depressing Capitol Corridor Ridership

August 21, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to depress ridership in California’s Capitol Corridor.

The Capitol Corridors Joint Powers Authority said ridership in July was 18,382 passengers, down 87.5 percent compared with July 2019s count. Revenue fell 87.3 percent to $400,636.

“We continue to operate at 55 percent of pre-COVID-19 service levels and are carefully considering the service level needed for current and near-term projected demand,” CCJPA Executive Director Robert Padgette wrote in a report.

The agency said it is still working on several projects that will allow for expanded service in the future, including the Sacramento to Roseville Third Track and South Bay Connect project, Padgette wrote.

The Capitol Corridor operates between San Jose and Auburn.

Comments Sought on Calif. Line Relocation

July 3, 2020

The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority has begun an environmental review of a proposal to change the route of its passenger trains in Northern California.

The proposal is to move trans from the Niles Subdivision of Union Pacific to the UP’s Coast Subdivision.

The project has been dubbed South Bay Connect and proponents say it would create new transbay connections for travelers between the East Bay and destinations on the peninsula,

Currently trains share tracks with UP freight trains.

Public comment on the plan is being accepted through Aug. 13.

The relocation would occurs in southern Alameda County and likely would include improvements to the rail infrastructure to accommodate the shift of rail services.

Pacific Surfliners, Coast Starlight to be Disrupted

June 19, 2020

Some Pacific Surfliner trains and the Coast Starlight will be disrupted on June 20 and 21 due to a scheduled track closure.

In a service advisory Amtrak said the following changes will affect northbound Pacific Surfliner schedules.

Train 763 will terminate at Los Angeles with Bus 4863 operating from Los Angeles to Oxnard. Train 1763 will operate from Oxnard to Goleta. Regular connecting bus service will operate between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

Train 777 will terminate at Los Angeles with Bus 4877 operating from Los Angeles to Oxnard and Train 1777 operating from Oxnard to San Luis Obispo.

Train 785 will terminate at Los Angeles with Bus 4885 operating from Los Angeles to Oxnard and Train 1785 operating from Oxnard to Goleta. Regular connecting bus service will be provided between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

No alternate transportation will be provided to the missed stations of Glendale, Burbank Airport, Chatsworth, Simi Valley, Moorpark or Camarillo.

Buses will depart all stations earlier than the normal schedule. Trains traveling north of Oxnard depart later than the normal schedule.

As for southbound service, Train 768 will originate at Los Angeles. Train 1768 will operate from Goleta to Oxnard and operate as Bus 4868 from Oxnard to Los Angeles. Regular connecting bus service will be provided between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.

Train 774 will operate as Train 1774 from San Luis Obispo to Oxnard, as Bus 4874 from Oxnard to Los Angeles and as Train 774 from Los Angeles to San Diego.

Train 796 will originate at Los Angeles. Train 1796 will operate between Goleta and Oxnard and Bus 4896 will operate from Oxnard to Los Angeles. Regular connecting bus service will be provided between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.

No alternate transportation will be provided to missed stations of Glendale, Burbank Airport, Chatsworth, Simi Valley, Moorpark or Camarillo.

Buses will depart all stations earlier than the normal schedule. Trains traveling north of Oxnard depart later than the normal schedule.

The Coast Starlight will not operate on June 20 and 21 between Oakland and Los Angeles, missing intermediate stops at San Jose, Salinas, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Van Nuys and Burbank.

Train 11 will terminate at Oakland and Bus 4796 will hold for connecting passengers. Train 14 will originate at Oakland.

Amtrak said that passengers seeking to travel between Los Angeles and Oakland could take an Amtrak Thruway bus to Bakersfield and connect to an Oakland-bound San Joaquins train.

Travel to most of the missed intermediate stops between Los Angeles or Oakland may be booked using a combination of Amtrak Capitol Corridor and/or Thruway bus service.