||This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2007)|
Amtrak California train at San Jose Diridon Station
|Owner||Caltrans Division of Rail|
|Transit type||Intercity rail|
|Number of lines||3|
|Number of stations||59|
|Reporting marks||CDTX (occasionally AMTK)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
Amtrak California (reporting mark CDTX) is a brand name used by the Caltrans Division of Rail for all state-supported Amtrak rail routes within the U.S. State of California. It also includes an extensive network of Thruway Motorcoach bus connections, operated by private companies under contract.
By 1976, the once expansive rail network throughout California (as in the rest of the United States) had declined to a point where rail travel in California was basic and infrequent. As a result, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) was founded in 1971 to take over America's passenger rail system. In order to relieve California's traffic congestion on state highways and to expand rail service above a basic level, California began to provide financial assistance to Amtrak. At the same time, Caltrans Division of Rail was formed to oversee state-financed rail operations and the brand Amtrak California started appearing on state-supported routes.
In 1990, California passed Propositions 108 and 116, providing $3 billion for transportation projects, with a large portion going to rail service. As a result, new locomotives and passenger cars were purchased by the state, existing inter-city routes expanded, and one new inter-city route, the Capitol Corridor, began operation. A more distinct image for Amtrak California, such as painting locomotives and passenger cars in "California Color", was established with the arrival of new rolling stock.
Rolling stock 
Nearly all of the locomotives and passenger cars used in Amtrak California service are owned by the State through the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and carry the 'CDTX' reporting mark.
The motive power for the Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin routes is provided primarily by 17 state-owned locomotives, of which 15 are EMD F59PHIs and two are GE P32-8WHs. The Pacific Surfliner route also uses EMD F59PHIs but they are Amtrak-owned instead of state-owned. Occasionally, locomotives from Amtrak's national system, such as GE P42s, can be spotted working on Amtrak California routes. The opposite has also occurred, with the Coast Starlight and California Zephyr occasionally being hauled by a CDTX unit.
State-owned passenger cars, dubbed "California Cars" and "Surfliners", are used on these three routes. They are a variant of Amtrak's Superliner bi-level passenger cars. A major difference between California Cars and Superliners is that California Cars have two sets of doors on each side instead of only one door on the Superliners, which speeds up boarding and alighting considerably. Additionally, California Cars are equipped with bicycle racks to permit transport of unboxed bicycles. As the leading agency of a joint purchase agreement with the Midwest Coalition consisted of llinois, Michigan, and Missouri, Caltrans awarded a 130-car order to Nippon Sharyo on November 6, 2012, to be built at Nippon Sharyo's new factory at Rochelle, Illinois, of which 42 will go to California. The car design is based on existing California Cars with heavy involvement by Caltrans. The first cars are expected to be delivered by late 2015.
Consists on the San Joaquin, Capitol Corridor, and Pacific Surfliner routes usually include between four and six cars, with one locomotive and a cab control car on the rear end. Occasionally, Superliner equipment (coach or diner) from Amtrak's national fleet is used on some consists for replacement or maintenance purposes.
In 2007, Amtrak California paid for the repair of seven wreck-damaged Superliner Coaches owned by Amtrak in exchange for a six-year lease, intended to quickly add capacity on busy Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin trains. These have been repainted to a new paint scheme which is similar to the colors of the original California color paint, and has the current Amtrak logo on the middle left side of each car.
Amtrak California utilizes a livery and logo that is different from the standard Amtrak colors. All state-owned locomotives, passenger cars and buses, with the exception of equipment used on the Pacific Surfliner route, are painted in the "California Colors" of blue and yellow. Each permanently assigned passenger car is named after a geographical feature of California.
The Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin trains are the two routes most identified with the Amtrak California image, since they extensively use "California Colored" equipment. The other state-supported rail route, the Pacific Surfliner, uses a unique blue and silver paint scheme that is different from the other Amtrak California-branded trains.
Capitol Corridor 
The Capitol Corridor route runs north from San Jose through the East Bay to Oakland and Richmond, then east through the Delta communities of Martinez and Suisun City, and the Sacramento Valley cities of Davis and Sacramento. One Capitol Corridor train per day continues east of Sacramento during the afternoon commute to the small Sierra Nevada town of Auburn, returning in the morning. Plans have been proposed to extend an additional train per day to Reno, Nevada (a longtime major tourism and gaming destination for Northern Californians).
Pacific Surfliner 
The Pacific Surfliner is a major commuting route in Southern California. The entire length of the line runs from San Luis Obispo in the north, down to San Diego in the south. It hugs the California coast for most of the route, providing a stunning backdrop. Most trains on the Pacific Surfliner route only travel a portion of the whole route. The Pacific Surfliner between Los Angeles and San Diego had previously operated as the San Diegan. The Pacific Surfliner now has one Weekday-Only Express Train. The Purpose of an Express Train is to decrease travel time. This weekday train, #563, makes all Station Stops except the following: San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, and Fullerton. It is run on the same schedule that Train #565 (Now a Weekend-Only Train) used to have; but is supposed to arrive into Los Angeles at least 20-30 Minutes Earlier. With 2.7 million passengers in fiscal year 2007, this is Amtrak's most heavily travelled service outside of the Northeast Corridor.
San Joaquin 
The San Joaquin operates twelve trains (six in each direction) each day between Bakersfield and Stockton. From Stockton, four trains from Bakersfield continue west to Oakland, while two trains proceed north to the state capital of Sacramento. Central Valley communities served include Fresno, Corcoran, Hanford, Lodi, Madera, Merced, Modesto, Turlock/Denair and Wasco. Delta/Bay communities of Antioch, Martinez, and Richmond are also served by the San Joaquin. Los Angeles is not served because in order to get there, the train must use the Tehachapi Pass line, where the Union Pacific prohibits passenger train use.
See also 
- About Us/History - Amtrak California
- Prop. 108: Passenger Rail And Clean Air Bond Act Of 1990; California Streets and Highways Code, Division 3, Chapter 17
- All Aboard - Amtrak California
- Nippon Sharyo and Sumitomo Corporation receive the Contract Award for 130 Bi-Level Passenger Cars from Caltrans and IDOT
- Amtrak Monthly Performance Report September 2007
- Amtrak California
- The Rail Passenger Association of California (RailPAC) a statewide membership organization working for the expansion and improvement of rail passenger service within the states of California and Nevada.