Important Update — Weekday Train Service Changes, Effective August 13, 2012
Capitol Corridor customers may have heard recent news reports about changes in the Capitol Corridor weekday train service levels. This blog post is to accurately confirm specific information so Capitol Corridor riders will be aware of the very latest service news.
Discontinuing Trains 518 and 553
Effective Monday, August 13, 2012 Trains 518 and 553 will be discontinued. This decision to reduce weekday service levels from 32 to 30 trains took months of careful consideration, but like other public transit systems, the CCJPA was faced with cost-effectiveness decisions that lead to this action.
We outlined our intention to reduce service in the CCJPA’s Business Plan published in January 2012 and adopted by the CCJPA Board in February 2012. This year, as we have for over 12 years, CCJPA staff and I boarded several trains in January 2012 to present the annual business plan and the related weekday service changes to the Capitol Corridor passengers. This outreach effort let those passengers know personally that we were discontinuing these trains.
To accommodate Train 518 riders, effective Monday, August 13 2012, an existing Davis to Sacramento Amtrak Thruway bus will be scheduled to begin its trip at Martinez. The bus will serve the Martinez and Suisun/Fairfield stations, as well as the current Davis and Sacramento stations and provide connections to San Joaquin train #702 to Bakersfield.
More About Train 553
In our new train schedule, you may notice that Train 553 will not be listed in the schedule. Train 553 is being renumbered to Train 551, this means the latest train out of Sacramento will still leave at 9:10PM. As we are merging two westbound trips (6:40pm and 7:40pm) into one train (#549) departing Sacramento at 7:10pm, our last trip out of Sacramento will be listed in Capitol Corridor’s train schedule as 551 at 9:10pm.
This is the first time in 20 years that we discontinued a train or reduced service, but changing from 32 to 30 trains per weekday will help CCJPA save approximately $1 million. These cost savings will be used to address steep increases in diesel fuel prices, while ensuring the continued operation of trains that have higher passenger counts.
Other Changes: Train numbers 520, 531, 549
Also effective Monday August 13, Capitol Corridor schedules for trains 520, 531, 549 (and again Train 551) will change as a result of the City of Sacramento’s track realignment project. The project will enable an additional train to be stored in Sacramento overnight, eliminating the need to operate an extra round-trip every day to move train sets to/from Oakland as we had to do when train storage space was limited. Therefore, several other trains have minor adjustments to provide better spacing between departures.
- Train 520 will operate 10 minutes earlier.
- Train 531 will operate 10 minutes earlier.
- Train 549 will operate 30 minutes later.
- Train 551 will operate 90 minutes later (taking over slot currently used by train 553).
There will be no changes to weekend Capitol Corridor service (trains 720-751).
Sacramento Project Improves Your Safety
Speaking of the track relocation project, the four new station tracks will improve passenger safety because the new boarding platforms will provide grade- separated access to the trains. Passengers will never have to cross a track in order to reach their train. When the improvements are complete, new electronic signs will direct patrons to the proper boarding areas, and new canopies will protect the passengers from the elements on the walkways, ramps and boarding areas.
A new walkway will be put in service on August 13. It is an extended walk from what riders are used to, so until you’re used to the new path, I’d suggest adding an extra 10-15 minutes to get to your train.