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Passenger Trains > Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?


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Date: 09/12/23 14:48
Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: wzd

At one time there was a plan to move the Starlight and/or Capitol Corridor trains from their current route (forgot the name) to the Mulford Line between Oakland and Newark Jct.

Is that still in the works and what's the staus?



Date: 09/12/23 15:54
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: ble692

The project is called Capital Corridor South Bay Connect. I can't tell you about the current status of it, but here is their webpage...

South Bay Connect



Date: 09/12/23 17:06
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: wzd

Thanks for the information - I will email them.

-- wzd



Date: 09/12/23 17:11
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: pdt

Well....uhhh....the starlights usually use the Mulford line ("the little coast") as they have no stops between SJC and Jack London anyway. Sometimes the starlights go via the Niles sub (also called the Hayward line) , it just depends on traffic.

As for the Cap Corridor trains....They were routed via Harward, because there's an actual city and population base there.   The Mulford line between Elmhurst and Newark, basically goes thru industrial/warehouse areas to the north, and a lot of swamp to the south.  No one lives there.

Now that BART basically parallels the Niles sub thru Hayward, Union City, Niles, etc. They are talking about moving the Cap Corridor trains back to the Mulford line...but IDK why.   Still..its mostly industry and swamp.   Whats the point.   They would put a new station just north of the Newark wye, to make  trains sort of accessible to someone.  The Centerville station would still be served by ACE trains.

Also the Mulford line is still single track TWC.  That would have to be upgraded.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/23 21:19 by pdt.



Date: 09/12/23 17:38
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: BrynMawr

My understanding from a chat w/ a person involved is as follows.  He says it will cut 15 minutes run time.  Further, the thought is that UP will allow double tracking of Mulford--the dream is more trains per day.
One might add that Cap Corridor was very happy filling trains w/ Taylor Swift fans.  This is mass transit.



Date: 09/12/23 18:44
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: Passfanatic

In April of 2022, I took 14 from Burbank Bob Hope Airport Station to Portland Oregon and we took the Mulford Line. We were on time out of San Jose.



Date: 09/12/23 20:23
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: SPB

Moving to the Mulford line would eliminate the Hayward and Fremont/Centerville stops.  A new platform is being built at the Hayward stop.  Not an indication of moving Capitols to the Mulford line.  
Gerry



Date: 09/12/23 21:05
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: dwatry

The idea behind moving the Cap Corr trains to the Mulford line is that once BART is completed all the way to downtown San Jose, BART will provide the local service up and down the East Bay, and the Cap Corr can provide a faster express service between Oakland and San Jose - more in line with Amtrak's "intercity" mandate.  As someone else mentioned, going all-Mulford would be about 15-20 minutes faster than going the current Cap Corr route via the Niles and Centerville lines.  Personally, I think the current route would be preferable because of the better-located stations, which are more in the population centers.  The new stations won't be near population or existing connecting public transit routes.



Date: 09/12/23 22:03
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: pdt

The problem is that there is no connection between Bart and the Cap Corr trains in Oakland!

You cant take BART from fremont or Hayward to Oakland and have an easy transfer to Cap Corr trains if u wan to go towards SAC.
I guess u can take BART up to Richmond and transfer, but thats a long bart ride from Fremont (17 stops)

Also the cap corr trains can get you from Hayward to Silicon Valley, where Bart doesnt go.  IDK if how much traffic there is between East Bay and Silicon valley...... 



Date: 09/12/23 23:26
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: goduckies

Coliseum station could work... but it is a dangerous area.

Posted from Android



Date: 09/13/23 00:15
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: coach

Along with this project, UP has also indicated interest in building a new alignment that would allow trains to switch over to the ex-WP tracks, south of the BART South Hayward station.  By doing so, UP could run "more" freight trains down the Hayward line, then easily switch over to the ex-WP, and keep on cruising at high speed right into Niles Canyon.  

Currently, to access Niles Canyon, UP trains have to exit the Hayward line  at 98th Ave, swing south onto the Mulford line, head south to Newark, then take another slow diverging onto the Centerville line, and finally head for Niles Canyon.  Using the Hayward line instead would save ALOT of time, be more direct, and eliminate 2 very slow diverging approaches onto other tracks..  

The old WP still lives on, at least in future plans....



Date: 09/13/23 00:45
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: pdt

Well....its a pretty small part of the old WP main to Oakland.   And I wouldnt hold my breath....How many trains a day go from Oakland to Lathrop? Like 1 RT a day?    I could be wrong, but I think other freight traffic via niles canyon goes to Warm Springs....

OTOH, it would be pretty easy to do as the SP Niles sub and WP main are right next to each other  south of Hayward.  IDK how much of the WP is still in service tho.  There used to be a local that worked up to Union City from the south.   Im pretty sure parts between Union City and south of elmhurst are OOS, and in some places the track removed too.   Id have to google earth railfan the area...



Date: 09/13/23 08:32
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: timz

> He says it will cut 15 minutes run time.

10 minutes may be a possibility -- not more.
Present schedule departure Great America to
departure Coliseum is 37 minutes; distance
via Mulford is about 28.7 miles.



Date: 09/13/23 08:34
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: atsf121

The South Bay Connect proposal is interesting, but quite different from what had been proposed years ago and has apparently died on the vine.  The idea then was to create a connection between the ex-SP Niles Sub to the ex-WP Oakland Sub with a station at Union City BART.  UP trains would then connect into Niles Canyon like they used to following the old WP routing, while Capital Corridor trains would get a new connection back to the Niles Sub so they could stop at Fremont/Centerville.  This was also part of a proposed Dumbarton service that would run from Union City through the new connection to Fremont/Centerville and over the Dumbarton bridge to Redwood City.  I think there was even a proposal to route an ACE train to Union City or even across Dumbarton to Redwood City.  I liked that idea as it improved connectivity between BART and the other rail services.  I think there have been a number missed opportunities to improve connectivity between the various services in the Bay Area.  I do like the proposed time savings for South Bay Connect, but I don't see it happening anytime soon.

Nathan



Date: 09/13/23 10:52
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: BoilingMan

In their early years the Capitals used the Mulford line- the Hayward line would better serve the communities in the East Bay, but was in horrendous shape at the time. So the State paid to have it brought up to passenger standards, the switch was made, and Hayward & Centerville were added to the schedule. To abandon the route now would also abandon the $$$ the State invested in the line.
SR

The preferred route of 11/14 is the Mulford. But sometimes traffic, MoW, or the T&E crew not being currently qualified, results in the Starlight using the Hayward.



Date: 09/13/23 14:44
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: thetuck

pdt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The problem is that there is no connection between
> Bart and the Cap Corr trains in Oakland!
>
> You cant take BART from fremont or Hayward to
> Oakland and have an easy transfer to Cap Corr
> trains if u wan to go towards SAC.
> I guess u can take BART up to Richmond and
> transfer, but thats a long bart ride from Fremont
> (17 stops)
>
> Also the cap corr trains can get you from Hayward
> to Silicon Valley, where Bart doesnt go.  IDK if
> how much traffic there is between East Bay and
> Silicon valley...... 

The Coliseum has potential as a good BART/CC connection but needs some major improvements in safety.  Also, there should be a platform on the main line so trains can avoid the tedious crawl in and out of the siding track.  This alone would save 5 mins on CC schedules.

I believe there is decent ridership from the East Bay to Silicon Valley.  The proposed Ardenwood Station on the Mulford line is meant to improve connectivity across the Dumbarton Bridge via a bus transfer stop in the center of Highway 84.



Date: 09/13/23 14:59
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: thetuck

Neither of these routings are ideal.  As things are today, I think the Hayward line is better for ridership.  In the future, BART will serve downtown San Jose so the CCJPA wants to shift its focus to better connect Silicon Valley with the northern half of the CC (Martinez to Auburn).  This is where the Mulford line becomes slightly better, as it shaves a few miles off the overall journey.  But in addition to plugging in CTC and adding a second main track, the curves at Newark and Elmhurst need to be straightened out to increase speeds.  Also, the Coliseum station should have another platform so trains can avoid the siding.  Without those improvements, the time savings will be minimal.



Date: 09/13/23 18:21
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: pdt

Opinion only......  I wish the money that is being wasted on the HSR that duplicates rail service that is already there , and wont be finished on the one segment that is really needed (LA to BFL) , in my lifetime...was spent on some sensible and needed rail segments....like trains to Salinas and santa cruz, and rebuilding the dumbarton bridge to get 1 seat service from SAC, Stockton to SFO.



Date: 09/14/23 17:43
Re: Moving the Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: TopCat

Howdy,

There has been much talk about it.  According to many people I've talked to at Amtrak and Union Pacific they can "CTC" the Coast Line
with just "the turn of a switch".  The signal system is ready to go, UP just wants the state to pay for it.  My two cents worth, perhaps perform a
six month ridership survey and see which trains get the least/most ridership at Hayward and Fremont.  Then perhaps come up with those
trains (say 521 and 527 run to SJC via the Coast Sub and 523 and 529 run via Niles and vice versa.  524 and 532 run via the Coast Sub and
528 and 532 run via Niles).  It might be a little confusing at first, but it could be done.  Like forementioned, ACE already stops at Fremont, so those
people will still have service.  Unfortunately when they updated the Niles sub to 79 MPH they still have the 15 MPH turns at Newark and Niles Jct
which slows the trains.  On the Coast Sub there would only be one slower turn at Elmhurst (where the lines split).

Top Cat.



Date: 09/15/23 18:38
Re: Moving the Starlight/Capitol Corridor to the Mulford Line?
Author: SanDiegan

I’m old enough to remember when the state paid S.P. $40 million from to move the trains (3 round-trips at the time?) from the more direct Mulford Line to the Fremont Line. Now they want to go back. Things always go in circles with rail and transit.

Posted from iPhone



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