Posts Tagged ‘Capitol Corridor’

Some Capitol Corridor Trains to be Suspended

August 7, 2022

Some Amtrak Capitol Corridor service will be suspended Aug. 15 due to workforce shortages.

The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, which oversees the service that operates between Sacramento and Oakland, California, said two of the 11 weekday round trips will be suspended through Oct. 2.

A service advisory issued by the Authority said the service cuts are “necessary due to workforce shortages that make it challenging for us to offer our full schedule at this time.”

Affected will be Trains 543 and 549, which depart Sacramento at 1:55 p.m. and 5:55 p.m. respectively. Also affected are Nos. 540 and 548, scheduled to depart Oakland at 4:42 p.m. and 8:12 p.m.

No weekend service or through trains between San Jose and Sacramento or Auburn, California, are being suspended.

Capitol Corridor Managing Director Rob Padgette told Trains magazine that the staff shortages are related to the COVID-19 pandemic and workers taking regular days off.

He said the service suspensions are intended to avoid last-minute cancellations because extra-board crews are unavailable.

Padgette was optimistic that new crew members in training will be able to qualify in time for the Oct. 3 service restoration.

Track Work to Disrupt 2 Capitol Corridor Trains

February 25, 2022

Track work being performed by Union Pacific will affect operations of some Capitol Corridor trains on Feb. 26 and 27.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said Train 736 will terminate at Sacramento on Feb. 26 with alternate transportation to Auburn on Bus 3436 making intermediate stops at Roseville and Rocklin.

Bus 3436 will depart Sacramento at 6:15 p.m., 12 minutes later than the normal scheduled time, and will operate on a later schedule at Roseville, Rocklin and Auburn.

On Feb. 27, Train 729 will originate in Sacramento. Alternate transportation will be provided between Auburn and Sacramento on Bus 3429, making intermediate stops at Rocklin and Roseville.

Bus 3429 will depart Auburn at 7:30 a.m., 25 minutes earlier than the normal schedule time and will operate on an earlier schedule departing Rocklin and Roseville.

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.