Thanks to Mark C. who rides every day for letting me know
that as of May 25th, 2012, Amtrak's contract with CalTrain had expired and has
not been renewed. Service is being taken over by TransitAmerica
under contract with CalTrain, in an attempt to control costs.
There are a lot of pictures on this page, please be patient while they load,
this is not a modem friendly page if you are still using one :-(
CalTrain is a commuter rail service that
originates out of San Francisco and heads south to San Jose, and for some
trains, a little further south. There are 43 northbound and southbound
trains a day during the week. Out of them, 17 SB's and 18NB's service the
next stop south, Tamien. Of those, there are 3 NB's and 2 SB's doing the
Gilroy thing. The trains to and from Gilroy are morning only for NB's to
San Francisco, and afternoon only for the two SB's.
Caltrain has 29 regular stops, one football-only stop
(Stanford Stadium), and two weekend-only stops (Broadway and Atherton). As of
January 2011, Caltrain runs 86 weekday trains (22 Baby Bullet and Limited), 36
Saturday (4 Baby Bullet), and 32 Sunday (4 Baby Bullet).
From the Caltrain Website: A Caltrain train is almost two stories
tall, weighs close to one million pounds, has flashing lights and takes more
than a half-mile to stop. Please stay out of its way.
addition to the 92 weekday, 36 Saturday and 32 Sunday trains, Caltrain also
operates extra trains for Giants baseball games and other special events. Union Pacific Railroad runs freight trains
along the Caltrain line. So, you can expect to see a train at any time on any
tips will provide you with the knowledge you need to stay safe when you are near
or need to cross train tracks. If you encounter an emergency on Caltrain or see
something suspicious, call the Transit Police at 1.877.SAF-RAIL (1.877.723.7245). Mileage to San Jose/Diridon is 47.5 miles (76.4km), to
Gilroy it's 77.4 miles/124.5km.
The system, for fare purposes, is split into 6 zones.
San Jose is in zone 4. Below are the fares, current to 12/11/11.
The Hold-Out Rule: Stations where trains on
both tracks are boarded on the same side (requiring some passengers
to cross an active track to board) have a "hold-out" rule,
prohibiting any train from passing a train that is stopped at the
station for passengers. (The rule applies even when the passing
train is on the side opposite the platform.) The rule does not
apply to Broadway and Atherton stations on weekdays, when no trains
stop there. Stations where this applies are:
-- South San Francisco
-- Santa Clara
-- College Park
Passenger service on the peninsula corridor
began on Oct. 18, 1863 under the authority of the San Francisco
and San Jose Railroad Company. Prophetically, some
$600,000 of the original $2 million capital stock issue was
owned by the voters of San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara
counties following a three-county election in 1861.
In 1870, the San Francisco and San Jose
Railroad Company was acquired by the firm that was consolidated
eventually into the Southern Pacific Railway. S.P.
double-tracked the line in 1904, and operated passenger service
in the corridor successfully until after World War II.
Changing commute patterns impacted Southern
Pacific along with private carriers all over the country, and
after protracted struggles with the state Public Utilities
Commission on fares and service levels, SP petitioned to abandon
passenger service in 1977.
Once more, the three Peninsula counties
stepped into the breach with a temporary Fare Stabilization Plan
-- partially subsidizing commuter tickets -- that reversed a
long pattern of declining ridership and set the stage for state
sponsorship of the Peninsula Commute in 1980.
From 1980 until mid-year 1992, Caltrans
contracted with SP to provide passenger service in the corridor,
sharing operating subsidies with San Francisco, San Mateo and
Santa Clara counties. The state assumed sole
responsibility for station acquisitions and other capital
improvements until the service resulted in formation of the
Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board in 1987. The JPB
agreed to assume operating responsibilities for Caltrain
effective July 1, 1992, and to shoulder 100 percent of the
operating subsidy a year later.
In December 1991, the JPB purchased the
rail right of way from San Francisco to San Jose. The JPB
secured trackage rights to Gilroy for another $4 million, with
an option to acquire half the right of way in the future. SP
retains rights to operate freight service in the corridor.
To replace SP as the commute operator, the
JPB signed Amtrak, the national rail corporation, to a
three-year agreement with two one-year options beginning July 1,
1992. The contract was extended through September 2001.
Contract oversight is provided by the Joint Powers Board.
The JPB signed a new contract with Amtrak, the National Railroad
Passenger Corporation, on November 1st, 2001. This
contract agreement will be effective for a five-year term.
As its legacy to the JPB, Caltrans has
deeded 26 stations, 20 diesel locomotives and 73 bi-level
passenger cars to the local agency.
As of May 25th, 2012, Amtrak's contract
with CalTrain had expired and has not been renewed.
Service is being taken over by TransitAmerica.