Rail & Capitol Corridor

PCTPA works with various jurisdictions and agencies on rail planning and programming efforts which involve current rail services as well as planning studies for future rail improvements.

Capitol Corridor

The current Capitol Corridor train schedule includes one round trip daily to/from Auburn.  For schedule information, visit the Capitol Corridor website.

PCTPA is a member of the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA), a consortium of transportation agencies that manage the Capitol Corridors rail service between San Jose and Auburn. The service is operated by Amtrak. The service in Placer County also includes connector bus service from Reno, Colfax, and Nevada City to the Auburn rail station. Rail stations in Colfax, Auburn, Rocklin, and Roseville are currently undergoing renovations and improvements to parking, shelters, and passenger amenities.

The current Capitol Corridor train schedule includes one round trip daily to/from Auburn. Currently the westbound trip leaves at 6:35 a.m., and the eastbound trip returns at approximately 6:35 p.m. Passengers may use the connector buses to travel between Sacramento and Auburn if their travel needs do not coincide with these train departure and arrival times out of Auburn. Detailed schedule and fare information can be obtained by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL or by accessing the Capitol Corridor Website.

Are you new to or thinking about riding the Capitol Corridor? Check out the new rider information for many useful tips on being a CC Rider.

Regional Rail Implementation Plan

PCTPA, along with regional partners at Sacramento Regional Transit (RT, the Yolo County Transportation District, Solano Transportation Authority, and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, worked cooperatively on a Regional Rail Implementation Plan to explore a commuter rail system between Auburn and Oakland. As part of the 2002 STIP, PCTPA pledged support for the Regional Rail concept by programming $3 million for track improvements needed to accommodate increased rail frequency to Placer County.

Work on the Regional Rail Implementation Plan began in FY 2002/03, with PCTPA as the administrative lead and Sacramento RT as the contracting agency. This plan spells out the capital and operating needs, funding required to start up, institutional arrangements, and assigning responsibilities for each of these steps. As the project has been further refined, the scope has expanded to cover Auburn to Richmond/Oakland, with participation of Contra Costa and Alameda County interests as well as BART. This Implementation Plan has been developed in conjunction with our funding partners on this effort, with assistance from the CCJPA, California Department of Transportation Division of Rail, Union Pacific Railroad, and SACOG as appropriate.

Reno-Auburn Rail Extension Feasibility Study

In 1995, Caltrans, in cooperation with the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), completed the Sacramento-Tahoe-Reno Intercity Rail Study. The study concluded that expanding the Capitol Corridor service to include stops in Colfax, Soda Springs, Truckee, Reno, and Sparks would be technically feasible, provide economic benefits, expand transportation capacity in the I-80 corridor, and increase the farebox recovery ratio. An environmental document would be required, however, and extensive mitigation costs could be involved.

The project involved the formation of a task force of partners from the various entities involved (e.g., Capitol Corridor, Caltrans, NDOT, Washoe County, Truckee-North Tahoe Transportation Management Association, Nevada County Transportation Commission, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Town of Truckee, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, etc.) to guide development of the strategic plan.

The Capitol Corridor has been involved in a railroad modeling effort to assess the capacity of the existing rail line to accommodate additional freight and passenger traffic. The scope of this effort includes adding passenger service to Reno/Sparks. This project utilizes the results of past studies and the current capacity analysis to outline a strategy for implementing extended Capitol Corridor service. Environmental, legal, financial, and institutional issues would all be addressed.

However, communication with Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) indicates that such modeling efforts will not resume anytime in the foreseeable future and that UPRR is not willing to engage in discussions extending any passenger rail service to Reno/Sparks at this time. UPRR has made a business decision to put a ‘hold’ on further modeling efforts due to the spurt in rail freight traffic and subsequent congestion and capacity constraints affecting UPRR’s entire rail network. This appears to be a situation that will remain in place for at least the foreseeable future.