Northern California Future Regional Rail

The intercity rail network in Northern California, including the Bay Area and Central Valley, is currently undergoing expansion on five separate fronts. One of them — California High-Speed Rail — gets all the headlines. But, as you may have heard, that project is now up in the air. This map shows four projects whose prospects, and outlines, are more certain: the Valley Rail expansion of Altamont Corridor Express and Amtrak San Joaquins service to Merced and Midtown Sacramento; Valley Link, which will provide DMU service between the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, Livermore, Tracy and eventually Stockton; realignment of the Amtrak Capitol Corridor between Oakland and San Jose to provide faster and more frequent service; and extension of the Caps to Salinas in Monterey County. Together, these projects will be transformative, finally giving Northern California a regional rail network that, at least, isn’t an embarrassment when compared to those on the East Coast, in Europe or in East Asia. (Note that services operated over the still-planned CAHSR segment between Bakersfield and Merced, and potentially continuing farther north and west, may eventually replace part or all of some of these lines.)

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