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By Noel T. Braymer

I recently received an email from RailPAC member Doug Kerr who often attends meetings of the San Joaquin Joint Powers Agency (SJJPA). He attended the latest meeting on July 28, 2017 in Sacramento. Doug Kerr emailed me a copy of the agenda of this meeting after my post about plans to extend rail passenger service to Sacramento. On the agenda was the planning to extend service to Sacramento using the UP Sacramento line. This is the line that doesn’t have connections to the Sacramento Valley Station used by all the other Amtrak trains and Thruway Buses. By going to the SJJPA  website I was able copy several of the PowerPoint slides presented at the July 28th meeting of their current planning for expanded service to Sacramento. Many of the plans they presented closely resembled conclusions I had made including the need for more stations between Stockton and Sacramento including stations north of downtown Sacramento. What I am concerned about are plans to limit service between Sacramento and Fresno. Granted, service south of Fresno might be in the early morning or late in the evenings. But the San Joaquin trains would not function without bus service south of Bakersfield which brings in bus loads of passengers to and from Southern California. Even bus service from San Diego to Fresno with San Joaquin connections would be better than no connections at all.

This is a summery of the advantages of using an upgraded Sacramento Sub compared to adding tracks on the Fresno Sub of the UP between Stockton and Sacramento


This is a map showing both routes between Stockton and Sacramento. Highlighted are the plans for new stations using the Sacramento Subdivision of the Union Pacific.


This shows what the SJJPA is proposing for new service on the Sacramento Subdivision with 2 additional daily trains to Sacramento’


This is an overlay pf possible joint service on the Sacramento Subdivision with both San Joaquin service and Altamont Corrridor service which could use Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) trains instead of locomotive hauled trains.

The SJJPA planning includes using a new Redding to Sacramento service to connect with San Joaquin rail service. The map also shows service to Yuba City/Marysville, Oroville and Chico. This would follow the route of the Sacramento Sub and could be used in the future to extend San Joaquin service north. Most of the track improvement needed to use the Sacramento Sub would be in the Sacramento Metro area.