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High Speed Rail Sheds Altamont Corridor | Transportation

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High Speed Rail Sheds Altamont Corridor

•  Transfers leadership and funding to San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission

•  “We can expedite improvements at the local level”

If commuter rail service between San Joaquin County and Silicon Valley is to improve, it’s now on the shoulders of the Stockton-based San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority board of directors has transferred full leadership and funding for rail planning in the Altamont Corridor to the commission.

How much money, if any, will transfer has not been announced.

The Altamont Corridor Express, which connects the Central Valley and Silicon Valley via the Altamont Corridor and serves a million commuters per year, is run by the commission.

The trains, however, rent track time from Union Pacific, which owns the rails. That has put commuters often playing second fiddle to pokey UP freight trains, as well as dealing with track and signal conditions.

The approved Memorandum of Understanding between the commission and the High-Speed rail authority will allow the commission to focus on near-term improvements to speed up and increase ACE service on the existing tracks and plan for regional service connections to Modesto and Merced.

“With this signed MOU, we can expedite improvements at the local level while preparing ACE to be an important connecting service to high-speed rail,” says Stacey Mortensen, Executive Director of the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission.

The Authority will remain a partner in the planning process and the long-term goal of tying into the high-speed rail system will continue to be part of the planning process.

“The approval of today’s agreement will benefit those who travel between the Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley and will help realize our vision of a seamless and integrated rail system throughout the state,” says Jeff Morales, CEO of California High-Speed Rail Authority.



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