Northern California Future Regional Rail

There are currently not one, two, three or four projects to expand the intercity rail network in the Bay Area and Central Valley, but five. One of them — California High-Speed Rail — gets all the headlines. But that project is now up in the air. This map shows four projects whose prospects, and outlines, are somewhat 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. (Note that services operated over the still-planned CAHSR segment between Bakersfield and Merced, and potentially continuing farther north and west, could eventually replace part or all of some of these lines.)

DESIGN NOTES

One problem with this expansion is that as currently planned, the Northern California regional rail network will continue to consist of separate operators with no coordinated fares, schedules or branding. In fact, it will go from three to four intercity operations (not including the local operators such as BART). But at the behest of the High-Speed Rail Authority, the existing operators have in the past at least met to discuss a “Northern California Unified Rail Network.” Presumably, this would mean uniting their maps (1, 2, 3, 4). The typeface, appropriately, is a generic (or universal?) one, Open Sans.

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