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Passenger Trains > End is Near for VTA's Almaden Branch


Date: 11/30/19 16:26
End is Near for VTA's Almaden Branch
Author: milepost20

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority(CA) has been threatening to shut down their
Almaden Branch light rail line for years now and they're finally going through with that threat.
The single track branch is just over a mile in length branching off from VTA's Santa Teresa
mainline at Ohlone-Chynoweth and terminating at Almaden with an intermediate station at Oakridge.

A single train shuttles back and forth at 15 minute intervals transiting the line in just 4 minutes.
Turnaround time at Almaden is a reasonable 6 minutes but at Ohlone-Chynoweth the operator changes
ends in just one minute!

The line has anemic ridrship totals with at last report just 300 boardings at its two stations on
weekdays.  When service ends it will be the first federally-funded light rail line built after 1980
to ever cease service.

The last day of service is scheduled for December 27 which was confirmed by the operator of today's
train.  I have yet to see anything in the local media yet and you have to go to VTA's web site for
any info.  Scroll down to Light Rail--Almaden Spur(900) for the announcement that it is being replaced
by new bus line 64A effective 12/28:
 
https://newservice-beta.vta.org/changes

In the photos (all taken this morning) a northbound run is seen with 3489' Mt. Umunum(Ohlone for "resting
place of the butterfly") with its abandoned cold war-era radar tower dominating the background.  This was
once an SP branch serving quicksilver mines above Almaden.  Second view has the train coming off the branch
(double track ends right behind the train) and then stopping on the southbound Santa Teresa main for its
lightening quick turnaround.








Date: 11/30/19 16:28
Re: End is Near for VTA's Almaden Branch
Author: milepost20

A southbound is seen arriving at the two track Almaden terminus and then laying over before returning north.
The other track is rusty and seldom if ever used.  Notices are up regarding upcoming changes but you'll
have to go to VTA's web site for more specifics.  Cyclone fences around the two stations(assuming that is
what they do) will result in a real eyesore in what are mainly residential neighborhoods.








Date: 11/30/19 16:54
Re: End is Near for VTA's Almaden Branch
Author: joemvcnj

Reminds me of PATransit's Drake Branch



Date: 12/01/19 07:04
Re: End is Near for VTA's Almaden Branch
Author: Highspeed

Was this line planned to go further into Almaden Valley, or even to Bailey Avenue?



Date: 12/01/19 16:06
Re: End is Near for VTA's Almaden Branch
Author: bobs

I've seen at least two ads in the Mercury News over the past couple of weeks giving more information about the light rail changes, including the termination of the Alamaden branch.



Date: 12/01/19 23:40
Re: End is Near for VTA's Almaden Branch
Author: SanDiegan

It probably won’t be the last. T.O. should start a “Dead LRT and Streetcar” pool :-)

Posted from iPhone



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