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Sacramento Valley Station

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Sacramento Valley Station (SAC) is an Amtrak railway station in the city of Sacramento, California, at 401 I Street on the corner of Fifth Street. It is the seventh busiest Amtrak station in the country, and the second busiest in the Western United States with thousands of riders a day and over a million passengers per year.[2] Today it is served by 38 daily Amtrak and Amtrak California trains and many Amtrak Thruway Motorcoaches. It is also the western terminus of the Sacramento RT Gold Line light rail system and the Route 30 bus serving Sacramento State University. A planned station for the Sacramento Streetcar is set to be at that location.

Sacramento Valley Station
Amtrak and Regional Transit station
Sacramento Valley Station.JPG
Sacramento Valley Station in 2014
Location401 I Street
Sacramento, California
United States
Owned byCity of Sacramento
Line(s)Union Pacific Railroad
Platforms2 island platforms (Amtrak)
1 side platform (Light Rail)
Tracks4 (Amtrak)
2 (freight)
1 (Light Rail)
ConnectionsAmtrak Thruway Motorcoach
Construction
Parking288 long-term spaces
45 short-term spaces
Fee: $3.60/hr ($10 daily maximum)
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Station codeSAC
Websitewww.cityofsacramento.org/Public-Works/Sacramento-Valley-Station
History
Opened1926
December 8, 2006 (Gold Line)[1]
Traffic
Passengers (2017)1,073,584[2]Increase 2.15% (Amtrak)
Services
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
Davis
toward Emeryville
California Zephyr Roseville
toward Chicago
Davis
toward San Jose
Capitol Corridor Roseville
toward Auburn
Davis Coast Starlight Chico
toward Seattle
Terminus San Joaquin Lodi
Preceding station Sacramento Regional Transit.svg Sacramento Regional Transit District Following station
Terminus Gold Line 8th & H
One-way operation
7th & I
Southern Pacific Railroad Company's Sacramento Depot
Sacramento Valley Station is located in Sacramento, California
Sacramento Valley Station
Sacramento Valley Station is located in California
Sacramento Valley Station
Sacramento Valley Station is located in the United States
Sacramento Valley Station
LocationSacramento, California
Coordinates38°35′05″N 121°30′02″W / 38.584791°N 121.500517°W / 38.584791; -121.500517Coordinates: 38°35′05″N 121°30′02″W / 38.584791°N 121.500517°W / 38.584791; -121.500517
Built1925
ArchitectBliss & Faville
Architectural styleLate 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Other
NRHP reference #75000457[3]
Added to NRHPApril 21, 1975

ServicesEdit

AmtrakEdit

 
A Capitol Corridor train at Sacramento in August 2016

Sacramento is served by four Amtrak routes: two daily long-distance routes, and two Amtrak California corridor routes with multiple daily trains, for a total of 38 daily trains on weekdays and 30 each day on weekends.[4]

The California Zephyr and Coast Starlight are long-distance routes with one train per day in each direction.

The San Joaquins operates two daily round trips from Bakersfield by way of Modesto and Stockton with Sacramento as the northern terminus. Connections are available via Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach to five additional daily round trips that terminate in Oakland.

The Capitol Corridor operates 15 round trips on weekdays and 11 on weekends; Sacramento is the eastern terminus for all trains except for one daily round trip which continues to Auburn.[4]

In FY2017, Sacramento was the second busiest of Amtrak's 74 California stations, boarding or detraining an average of about 2,941 passengers daily. It is Amtrak's seventh-busiest station nationwide.[2]

Amtrak Thruway MotorcoachEdit

 
Thruway Motorcoach buses at Sacramento Valley Station

As of January 2016, Amtrak operates Thruway Motorcoach service on four routes serving Sacramento Valley Station:[4]

Connections with Amtrak trains are guaranteed. All passengers travelling on Amtrak Thruway services must include travel on a train as part of their itinerary as traveling solely on Amtrak Thruway Motorcoaches from one point to another is prohibited by California state law to prevent competition with privately operated bus services. An exception is given for the Lake Tahoe/Stateline route, which is not paralleled by any other service.[4]

Some Thruway buses also stop at the State Capitol (Amtrak code SCS). The stop is for drop-off only, except for southbound passengers connecting to the San Joaquins at Stockton.

RT Light RailEdit

 
A Gold Line train at Sacramento Valley Station in 2019

Sacramento Valley Station is the western terminus of the Gold Line, one of three routes of the Sacramento RT Light Rail system. The station has a single side platform serving the single-track branch line, with a two-track layover yard to the west.

Local and commuter busEdit

Only one RT bus route, #30, stops directly at the station, but RT is considering to eliminate the bus stop as part of its bus route modernization program.[5] However, most RT bus routes terminate in downtown Sacramento, within several blocks of the station. Additionally, Yolobus, e-tran, Roseville Transit, El Dorado Transit, and Yuba-Sutter Transit all operate commuter bus routes which terminate in downtown Sacramento.

Future servicesEdit

Altamont Corridor Express has plans for a future Modesto-Sacramento line.[6] Sacramento is planned to be the north end of the California High-Speed Rail system.

Greyhound Lines does not use Sacramento Valley Station for its competing intercity bus service; instead, its Sacramento terminal is located 1 mile (1.6 km) to the north, near the 7th & Richards / Township 9 RT Light Rail station.[7] However, Phase 3 of the ongoing renovation project may include additional bus bays to allow Greyhound to use Sacramento Valley Station as well.

HistoryEdit

Pre-2006Edit

 
The westbound California Zephyr at Sacramento in February 1985

The original Sacramento station was the terminal of the Central Pacific Railroad. The present building, designed by the San Francisco architectural firm of Bliss and Faville for the Southern Pacific Railroad, was built in 1926 in the Renaissance Revival style.[8] Decorative features include a red tile roof and terracotta trim, as well as large arches on the main facade. Inside, the waiting room has a mural by artist John A. MacQuarrie that depicts the celebration of the groundbreaking for the First Transcontinental Railroad on January 8, 1863 in Sacramento. The Central Pacific started from Sacramento and built east to Promontory Summit, Utah, where it met the Union Pacific Railroad. The station is now owned by the CIty of Sacramento.[9] With the creation of Amtrak on May 1, 1971 the station became Amtrak-only. The station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 as "Southern Pacific Railroad Company's Sacramento Depot".[3]

For most of Amtrak's first two decades, the only trains calling at Sacramento were long-distance routes. The California Zephyr and its predecessors have served the station from Amtrak's inception; several pre-Amtrak predecessors of the Zephyr stopped in Sacramento from the 1930s onward. The Coast Starlight arrived in 1982. From 1981, the Spirit of California ran as a sleeper to Los Angeles along the far southern leg of the Coast Starlight route. Service expanded dramatically in 1991 with the introduction of the Capitols service, now the Capitol Corridor. Partly due to its success, it is now the second-busiest station in the Western United States, behind only Los Angeles Union Station, and the seventh-busiest station overall.

The Sacramento Regional Transit Gold Line service was extended 0.5 miles (0.80 km) to Sacramento Valley Station on December 8, 2006.[1]

Renovation and Railyards projectEdit

 
Map of the track relocation project

The City of Sacramento, in conjunction with the Sacramento Railyards Project, is in the process of an extensive and multi-stage renovation project.

The first stage, called the Sacramento Valley Station Intermodal Phase I, was completed on August 13, 2012, with the complete relocation of all heavy-rail passenger platforms (Amtrak) approximately 1,000 feet (300 m) further north from their previous location. Sacramento Regional Transit Gold Line light rail operations remain in their original location directly behind the station depot.

The second stage, called the Sacramento Valley Station Intermodal Phase II, was extensive work performed on the station depot building itself. This work included long-deferred retrofitting and structural repair, window replacement, ADA accessibility work, Life Safety fire code work including the outward opening of emergency exit doors and panic hardware installation, and both appearance and comfort rehabilitation to make the station better serve the public. As a result, the station interior was full of scaffolding to facilitate the work being undertaken, causing the passenger waiting space to be visibly confined throughout the duration of the renovation. The work also saw the complete relocation of the Amtrak ticket and baggage offices from the 1960s era addition on the back side of the waiting room; and the new offices located in the former station restaurant space on the North wing of the station and are more passenger-friendly. The station renovation was officially concluded on February 23, 2017 with a grand re-opening hosted by city officials.[10]

The third and final stage, called the Sacramento Valley Station Intermodal Phase III, will consist of continued station improvements, including the light rail trackage realignment into a downtown loop, addition of a new bus loop and terminal adjacent to the new platform, and construction of an elevated concourse to replace the current walkway to permanently connect the Railyards development to the north. Additional features will also include new bicycle trails, site preparation for commercial and mixed-residential use surrounding the historic depot, and possible land conversion for the California State Railroad Museum expansion east where parking lots currently exist. This phase is currently still under review, including environmental evaluation and eventual RFPs for construction scheduled in the next 5-10 years.[9]

The city does not plan to immediately vacate the station, but services inside the main Head House building will slowly shift over the coming years as various projects to remodel and retrofit the facility and grounds progress. Eventually, however, the historic Head House will see less use as a transportation facility as the California High Speed Rail Project progresses, and when the planned Sacramento Intermodal Transportation Center is constructed along 5th Street between the Depot and the new platforms, all passenger services will leave and the historic structure will fully be available for use in other roles.[9] The long-term plan also calls for integrating the proposed Sacramento Streetcar project as well as constructing a loop for light rail lines to enable through-running.[9] As of May 2019, the streetcar project has been indefinitely stalled due to soaring price tags. [11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Sacramento Regional Transit District Fact Sheet" (PDF). Sacramento Regional Transit District. May 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2017 - State of California" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2017.
  3. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d "Amtrak System Timetable" (PDF). Amtrak. January 11, 2016.
  5. ^ "SacRT Forward Draft Networks". Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  6. ^ "Regional Governance for San Joaquin Rail Service". Retrieved 2012-12-15.
  7. ^ "Sacramento Bus Station". Greyhound Lines. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  8. ^ Great American Stations. Accessed February 19, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d Sacramento Valley Station Master Plan (PDF) (Report). City of Sacramento. February 27, 2018. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  10. ^ Chabria, Anita (February 23, 2017). "Restored Sacramento train depot offers glimpse of past and future". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  11. ^ "Sacramento streetcar project in serious jeopardy as price tag soars". The Sacramento Bee.

External linksEdit