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San Jose Diridon station

San Jose Diridon is the central passenger rail depot for San Jose, California. It also serves as a transit hub for Santa Clara County and Silicon Valley.

San Jose Diridon
Diridon Station San Jose.JPG
Diridon station
Location65 Cahill Street
San Jose, California
Coordinates37°19′48″N 121°54′11″W / 37.330°N 121.903°W / 37.330; -121.903Coordinates: 37°19′48″N 121°54′11″W / 37.330°N 121.903°W / 37.330; -121.903
Owned byPeninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board
Line(s)Peninsula Subdivision[1]
Platforms1 side platform, 4 island platforms (Amtrak/Caltrain/ACE)
2 side platforms (VTA Light Rail)
Tracks9 (Amtrak/Caltrain/ACE)
2 (VTA Light Rail)
ConnectionsBus transport VTA Bus: 22, 63, 64, 65, 68, 168, 180, 181, 522, DASH
Bus transport MST: 55, 86
Bus transport Highway 17 Express
Bus transport Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach
Bus transport Megabus
Bus transport Greyhound
Bus transport BoltBus
Parking$5.50 per day (Caltrain only)
Bicycle facilitiesRacks available (Caltrain)
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Station codeSJC (Amtrak)
Fare zone4 (Caltrain)
OpenedDecember 1935
2005 (VTA light rail)
Opening2029–2030 (BART)
TBD (High-Speed Rail)
Previous namesCahill Depot (1935-1994)
Passengers (2015)215,158[2] (Amtrak)
Passengers (2018)4,876 per weekday[3]Increase 1.3% (Caltrain)
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
Oakland – Jack London Square
toward Seattle
Coast Starlight Salinas
Santa Clara–University
toward Auburn
Capitol Corridor Terminus
Preceding station Caltrain roundel.svg Caltrain Following station
College Park Local Tamien
toward Tamien or Gilroy
Santa Clara Limited
Mountain View Baby Bullet
Peak, Pattern A
Sunnyvale Baby Bullet
Peak, Pattern B
Preceding station Altamont Corridor Express Following station
Santa Clara
toward Stockton
ACE Terminus
Preceding station BSicon LOGO SCvta.svg VTA Light Rail Following station
San Fernando Mountain View–Winchester Race Street
toward Winchester
Future services
Preceding station Bart-logo.svg Bay Area Rapid Transit Following station
Downtown San Jose
toward Richmond
Richmond–​Santa Clara Santa Clara
Downtown San Jose
toward Daly City
Santa Clara–​Daly City
Preceding station California High-Speed Rail Following station
Millbrae Phase I Gilroy
towards Anaheim or Merced
Southern Pacific Depot
ArchitectJohn H. Christie
Architectural styleItalian Renaissance Revival
NRHP reference #93000274[4]
Added to NRHPApril 1, 1993
San Jose Diridon is located in San Jose, California
San Jose Diridon
San Jose Diridon
Location in San Jose
San Jose Diridon is located in California
San Jose Diridon
San Jose Diridon
Location in California
San Jose Diridon is located in the United States
San Jose Diridon
San Jose Diridon
Location in United States
Diridon station
Track layout
W Santa Clara St.
Park Avenue

The station is on the Union Pacific Coast Line tracks (formerly Southern Pacific) at 65 Cahill Street in San Jose. The depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its Italian Renaissance Revival style architectural and historical significance.

The station is served by Caltrain, ACE, VTA light rail, and Amtrak. This is in addition to bus services by California Shuttle Bus, Amtrak Thruway Bus, Monterey-Salinas Transit, Santa Cruz Metro (Highway 17 Express), local VTA and employer shuttles and buses.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) metro service to a new underground station is projected to begin in 2029–2030 with the completion of the Silicon Valley BART extension.[5][6]


The station opened in December 1935 as Cahill Depot. The opening of the depot was the culmination of a 30-year effort to relocate 4.5 miles (7.2 km) of the Coast Line of the Southern Pacific Railroad away from the heavy traffic of the downtown area around the Market Street Depot,[7] located at Market and Bassett Streets, to the eastern edge of Willow Glen, an industrial area in the 19th century and the former location of rail facilities belonging to other railroads, in 1935. The new depot replaced the Fourth Street line's station.

The Cahill Depot was a stop for several Southern Pacific passenger trains, including the famous San FranciscoLos Angeles train, the Coast Daylight. Other "named" trains that used the station were the all first-class Lark, and the Del Monte. It was also a major station on the Peninsula Commute, the SP's commuter service between San Jose and San Francisco.

Amtrak took over long distance passenger train service in 1971. Fourteen years later, Caltrans took over the Peninsula Commute and renamed it Caltrain.

Restoration of the station was finished in 1994, when the station was renamed Diridon Station after former Santa Clara County Supervisor Rod Diridon.[8]

In 1996, Santa Clara County voters approved a half cent sales tax to fund the 1996 Measure B Transportation Improvement Project. Part of this project was the construction of the Vasona Light Rail extension which included a VTA light rail platform at the Diridon train depot.[9] The official opening date for this light rail extension was October 1, 2005, however, revenue service at the San Fernando and Diridon Stations began on July 29, 2005 to accommodate attendees of the inaugural San Jose Grand Prix race.

The passenger platform was featured in the opening scene of Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie (1964) as representing the Hartford, Connecticut, train station. Margaret (Marnie) Edgar (Tippi Hedren) is seen walking down the platform, back to the camera with a yellow purse tucked under her left arm and carrying a suitcase with her right, setting down the suitcase and waiting for her train to arrive.


Commuter railEdit

Diridon Station is a major station for the Caltrain commuter rail line. Most trains outside of peak hours originate and terminate here, with rush-hour trains continuing as far south as Gilroy. It is the southern terminus for the Altamont Corridor Express, a commuter service running between Stockton and Silicon Valley.

Intercity railEdit

The station is the southern terminus for the Capitol Corridor, Amtrak's regional rail service for the urban core of Northern California, with seven round trips to Sacramento on weekdays and six on weekends. A seventh weekend round trip goes all the way to Auburn in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. It is also a major stop on the Coast Starlight, a long-distance service running along the length of the Pacific Coast from Seattle to Los Angeles.

Rapid transitEdit

Diridon Station is served by VTA's Mountain View-Winchester line in northwestern Santa Clara County. It will pick up BART service in 2029–2030.[5][6]


Of Amtrak's 74 California stations, San Jose was the 19th-busiest in FY2010, boarding or detraining an average of approximately 643 passengers daily.[10]


The depot is in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, with a three-story central section flanked by two-story wings. The building, a compilation of rectangular sections, is 390 feet (118 m) long and 40 feet to 78 feet (12 to 24 m) wide. The central section, which contains the passenger waiting room, measures 40 by 80 feet (12 by 25 m) and is 33 feet (10 m) high. The high center pavilion housing the waiting room is constructed of steel columns and trusses. The side wings are framed with wood. The exterior walls are clad with tapestry brick or varied colors and arranged in an English bond pattern. The depot is in an industrial area formerly dominated by warehouses and related commercial businesses. Several vernacular sheds, a water tower, butterfly passenger sheds and the nearby Alameda underpass are all contributing buildings and structures within the railroad station.

The building was designed by Southern Pacific architect, John H. Christie, who had worked on the Southern Pacific remodeling of the Fresno depot in 1915 and later, in 1939, worked on Union Station in Los Angeles. This depot is one of only four Italian Renaissance Revival style depots in California, and the largest surviving depot of the San Francisco–San Jose line. The only other large depot built in California during the 1930s was the Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal.

Platforms and tracksEdit

Tracks 1-9 Side platform, doors will open on the left
Northbound      ACE toward Stockton (Santa Clara)
Northbound      Capitol Corridor toward Auburn (Santa Clara)
Island platform, doors will open on the right
Northbound      Coast Starlight toward Seattle (Oakland–Jack London Square)
Southbound      Coast Starlight toward Los Angeles (Salinas)
Island platform, doors will open on the right
Northbound      Local toward San Francisco (College Park or Santa Clara)
Northbound      Limited toward San Francisco (Santa Clara or Sunnyvale)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right
Northbound      Baby Bullet toward San Francisco (Sunnyvale or Mountain View)
     Baby Bullet Peak Pattern B toward San Francisco (Palo Alto)
Southbound      Local toward Gilroy (Tamien)
     Limited toward Gilroy at peak hours or toward Tamien (Terminus) at non-peak hours →
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right
Southbound      Baby Bullet Peak Pattern B toward Tamien (Terminus)
VTA Side platform, doors will open on the right
Northbound      Mountain View–Winchester toward Mountain View (San Fernando)
Southbound      Mountain View–Winchester toward Winchester (Race)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

Transit connectionsEdit

  • VTA Route 22
  • VTA Route 63
  • VTA Route 64
  • VTA Route 65
  • VTA Route 68
  • VTA Express Route 181
  • VTA Route 201 Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) (free)
  • VTA Rapid Route 522
  • Highway 17 Express - VTA
  • 17 Express - Santa Cruz Metro
  • MST Route 55
  • Route 86
  • Amtrak Thruway Bus - San Joaquin Route
  • S.J. Diridon Weekends Shuttle

Future BART and California High-Speed Rail serviceEdit

Aerial view of Diridon station and vicinity, on approach to San José International Airport

The San Jose Diridon station is planned as a future stop on the California High-Speed Rail line and Phase 2 of VTA's Silicon Valley San Jose BART extension in Santa Clara County. The high-speed rail track and platform locations have not been determined yet.

The BART station will be called Diridon and planned to be a subway station adjacent to the train station and Santa Clara Street. It will be located between the Santa Clara and Downtown San Jose BART stations with direct service to Santa Clara, San Francisco/Daly City (via the East Bay), and Richmond.[11]

If these plans are completed, Diridon station would offer connections between six agencies' rail services: ACE, Amtrak's Capitol Corridor and Coast Starlight lines, BART, Caltrain, CHSR, and VTA light rail.

In 2009, the City of San Jose partnered with the Harvard University Graduate School of Design to study transportation and urban planning issues surrounding such a large-scale transit hub.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ SMA Rail Consulting (April 2016). "California Passenger Rail NETWORK SCHEMATICS" (PDF). California Department of Transportation. p. 13.
  2. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2015 - State of California" (pdf). Amtrak. November 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
  3. ^ "2018 Annual Count Key Findings Report" (PDF). Caltrain. 2018.
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 15, 2006.
  5. ^ a b "BART delays loom for downtown San Jose: BART timetable for downtown San Jose service now seen as 2030". San Jose Mercury News. September 24, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019. At one point, political and business leaders had anticipated BART service beginning in 2026 in downtown San Jose, but the new estimates from VTA point to a service launch more in the 2029 or 2030 time frame…
  6. ^ a b Handa, Robert (September 25, 2019). "New Design on BART Extension to San Jose Pushes Back Completion Date to 2030". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  7. ^ San Jose's Market Street Depot
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Vasona Project Description". Completed projects. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2008-11-16.
  10. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2012, State of California" (PDF). November 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-11.
  11. ^ BART Silicon Valley Fact Sheet Archived 2010-07-11 at the Wayback Machine. VTA - BART Silicon Valley, 2011.
  12. ^ "Diridon Station to Be Focus of Harvard Design Group" (Press release). City of San Jose. 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2016-03-26.


External linksEdit