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 even if an initial operating segment begins service between Bakersfield and the Bay Area by the end of the 2020s (which seems … optimistic), it will arrive to find a greatly expanded regional network. This map shows four projects: the Valley Rail expansion of Altamont Corridor Express and Amtrak San Joaquins service to Merced and Midtown Sacramento scheduled to be completed by 2027; Valley Link, which will provide DMU service between the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, Livermore, Tracy and 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. While firm timelines haven’t been attached to the final three projects, they seem relatively certain at this point — and together, the projects will be transformative, finally giving Northern California an intercity rail network that, at least, isn’t an embarrassment when compared to those on the East Coast, in Europe or in East Asia.

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