R a i l D i v i s i o n

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Amtrak California Photo
An unoffical history of the California Department of Transportation's Rail Division

by Ken Rattenne
Photography by the author except where noted

Introduction Since 1982 the California Department Of Transportation (CalTrans) has been active in the funding, planning and execution of a number of railroad passenger operations in the Golden State. CalTrans' Rail Division, in a partnership with Amtrak, has expanded California's rail transportation network dramatically, adding several new trains to the San Diegan and San Joaquin corridors and initiating the very popular Capitols between San Jose and Sacramento.

Until 1992 CalTrans also operated CalTrain, the former Southern Pacific commuter service on the San Francisco Peninsula crewed by Amtrak personnel. During this period they increased the number of trains to 60 a day, refurbished stations and purchased new equipment. 

CalTrain is now operated as a separate entity governed by the Joint Powers Board representing the three participating counties: Santa Clara. San Mateo and San Francisco. Equipment, however, retains the CDTX reporting marks designation.

Due to the Great Recession, in 2010 the Joint Powers Board was receiving only a fraction of the funding required tokeep service as described above, due mostly to reduces tax revenues. The JPB announced drastic service reductions to take place starting in October of 2010 and January of 2011. Weekend service would be eliminated as would service to Gilroy. 

 Created: February 23, 1996. Last Updated: August 2010.
This document is Copyright ©1997-2010  by Ken Rattenne and KPR Media Services