Mountain View–Winchester (VTA)

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MountainViewWinchesterVTALogo.svg
Mountain View–Winchester
Overview
Type Light rail
System Santa Clara VTA Light Rail
Locale Santa Clara County, California
Cities: Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Jose, and Campbell
Termini Mountain View Station
Winchester Station
Stations 38
(plus 3 planned)
Operation
Opening 1987
Operator(s) Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
Rolling stock 99 Kinki Sharyo light rail vehicles
(low floor)
Technical
Line length 22.3 mi (35.89 km)
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
(standard gauge)
Electrification Overhead lines, 750 V DC
Highest elevation at grade, elevated, underground
Route map
Mountain ViewCaltrain
SR 85
Evelyn
Whisman
Middlefield
US 101
Bayshore/NASA
Mountain View
Sunnyvale
Moffett Park
Lockheed Martin
Borregas
Crossman
SR 237
Fair Oaks
Vienna
Reamwood
Sunnyvale
Santa Clara
Old Ironsides
Great America
Levi's
Stadium
Great America (Amtrak/ACE)
Lick MillAmtrak Altamont Corridor Express
Santa Clara
San Jose
Guadalupe River
Champion
Alum Rock–Santa Teresa
Tasman transfer
River Oaks
Orchard
Bonaventura
Component
Karina
US 101
Metro/Airport San Jose International Airport
Gish
I-880
Civic Center
Japantown/Ayer
St. James
Santa Clara
Paseo de San Antonio
Convention Center transfer
Alum Rock–Santa Teresa
SR 87
San Fernando
SAP
Center
San Jose DiridonCaltrain Amtrak Altamont Corridor Express
West San Carlos planned
Race
I-280
Fruitdale
Bascom
San Jose
Campbell
Hamilton
SR 17
Downtown Campbell
Winchester
Hacienda planned
Campbell
Los Gatos
Vasona planned

Mountain View–Winchester is a light rail route operated by Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). The Mountain View–Winchester route is one of three existing VTA light rail routes. The other two light rail routes are the Alum Rock–Santa Teresa line and Ohlone/Chynoweth–Almaden line. On system maps, the line is represented as the Green Line, however, unlike many other transit systems, VTA personnel do not refer to the line by its color, much less refer to it as Line 902 on official documents.

Route description[edit]

The Mountain View–Winchester line starts from the Downtown Mountain View station (Mountain View, California), travels toward the east, passing under U.S. Route 101 at Ellis Avenue, following Mathilda Avenue to Java Drive, crossing State Route 237 and turning east on Tasman Drive. At First Street, it turns south and shares tracks of the Alum Rock–Santa Teresa line to downtown San Jose. After the Convention Center stop, it leaves the shared portion of the tracks and heads south west to the Winchester station in southern Campbell, with a stop at Caltrain and Amtrak's Diridon Station. The whole route takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes.

Owl service[edit]

From February 2000 to April 14, 2003, VTA operated all night train service with light rail vehicles (commonly known as "owl service") on a 70 minute frequency between Mountain View and Baypointe. VTA light rail was the only light rail service in the United States to operate 24 hours a day. The owl service was curtailed in 2003 as a result of mounting deficits.

Construction history[edit]

The route that the Mountain View–Winchester line now runs on is constructed in three different expansion projects: the original Guadelupé line, the Tasman West extension, and the Vasona extension.

Guadelupé line[edit]

The trackway between Woz Way in Downtown San Jose and Old Ironsides station is part of Guadelupé line, the first light rail line constructed in Santa Clara county. Guadalupé line opened for revenue service on December 10, 1987 originally running from Old Ironsides station to Civic Center station in San Jose. Champion station was not part of the original line; it was added as intermediate stop as part of the Tasman West project. [1] [2]

Service on this line was gradually expanded south from Civic Center station as follows:

  • Service through the downtown mall and onward to the Convention Center station began on July 17, 1988.[3]
  • Service between Convention Center and Tamien stations began on August 17, 1990.[4]
  • Service between Tamien and Santa Teresa stations began on April 25, 1991.[5]

Tasman West extension[edit]

The Tasman West extension project added to the line as follows:

  • Champion station added as an intermediate stop along existing Guadelupe line trackway (Station opened March 24, 1997).[6]
  • 7.6 miles (12.2 km) of trackway and 12 new light rail stations added between the existing Old Ironsides station and the new Downtown Mountain View station. (Opened December 17, 1999.)
  • Baypointe station added just east of the intersection of 1st and Tasman. (Opened December 17, 1999.)
Baypointe station is no longer served by this line due to a line reconfiguration implemented in August 2005.
  • After the completion of Tasman West extension and before the completion of Tasman East/Capitol and Vasona extensions, VTA split the light rail system into two main lines: one line running between Baypointe and Downtown Mountain View, the other between Baypointe and Santa Teresa. Passengers transferred between the two lines at the new Baypointe station.[7] Tasman is now the transfer station.

Tasman West extension was constructed with funds from 1996 Measure B sales tax measure.

Vasona extension[edit]

Mountain View–Winchester contains the entire Vasona extension from San Fernando station to the southern line terminal, Winchester station. Vasona extension opened for revenue service on October 1, 2005. It was originally scheduled to open two months earlier on August 1 but delayed due to a dispute between Federal Railroad Administration and VTA. At issue was whether a waiver was needed from FRA, since the Union Pacific branchline that parallels most of Vasona extension is still actively used on a tri-weekly basis. A waiver was finally obtained on the condition that all light rail vehicles sound their horns at crossings until "Quiet Zone" improvements are implemented (freight trains are still required to sound their horns). Vasona extension was also constructed with funds from 1996 Measure B sales tax measure.

Possible future expansion[edit]

A Vasona extension Phase 2 was designed but not constructed because a funding source can not be identified. Phase 2 would extend the light rail line westwards to Vasona Junction in eastern Los Gatos. It is expected that Mountain View–Winchester would extend to terminate at Vasona Junction if Phase 2 is built.

Station stops[edit]

Transfer to Alum Rock–Santa Teresa line anywhere between Tasman and Convention Center

Station Transfer to
Downtown Mountain View Caltrain: Mountain View
VTA: 34, 35, 51, 52
Evelyn
Whisman
Middlefield VTA: 32
Bayshore/NASA
Moffett Park
Lockheed Martin VTA: 26, 54, 120, 121, 122, 321, 328
Borregas VTA: 26, 120, 121, 122, 321, 328
Crossman VTA: 120, 121, 122, 321, 328
Fair Oaks
Vienna
Reamwood VTA: 55, 321
Old Ironsides VTA: 55, 57, 60, 121, 140, 330
Great America VTA: 140, 330
Lick Mill Altamont Commuter Express: Great America
Amtrak: Santa Clara – Great America
VTA: 140, 330
Champion VTA: 140, 330
Tasman VTA: Alum Rock - Santa Teresa LRT
River Oaks VTA: 58
Orchard VTA: 58, 321
Bonaventura
Component
Karina
Metro/Airport VTA: 10 (Airport Flyer)
Gish
Civic Center VTA: 12, 61, 62, 66, 181
Japantown/Ayer VTA: 66, 181
Saint James VTA: 65, 66, 72, 73, 82, 181, 304
Santa Clara Highway 17 Express
Monterey-Salinas Transit: 55, 79
VTA: DASH, 11, 22, 23, 63, 64, 65, 66, 68, 81, 82, 168, 181, 304, 522
Paseo de San Antonio VTA: DASH, 23, 66, 68, 82, 168, 304
Convention Center VTA: Alum Rock - Santa Teresa LRT, DASH, 23, 168
San Fernando VTA: DASH, 22, 63, 64, 65, 68, 168, 181, 522
San Jose Diridon Altamont Commuter Express: San Jose
Amtrak: San Jose
Caltrain: San Jose Diridon
Highway 17 Express
Monterey-Salinas Transit: 55, 79
VTA: DASH, 22, 63, 64, 65, 68, 168, 181, 522
Race VTA: 65, 103, 182
Fruitdale VTA: 25, 63, 103, 182
Bascom
Hamilton VTA: 26, 61, 62, 82
Downtown Campbell VTA: 26
Winchester VTA: 37, 48, 49, 60, 101

Station facilities[edit]

Many stations along this line have park-and-ride lots (labeled as PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg), as well as bike stations (labeled as Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg), including:

  • Downtown Mountain View Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg
  • Evelyn Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg
  • Whisman PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg
  • Bayshore/NASA Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg
  • Moffett Park PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg
  • Lockheed Martin Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg
  • Lick Mill (at Great America Station: Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg)
  • River Oaks Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg — also the stop for VTA headquarters
  • San Fernando Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg
  • San Jose Diridon Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg
  • Bascom Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg
  • Winchester Fahrrad aus Zusatzzeichen 1000-32.svg PKW aus Zusatzzeichen 1048-10.svg

Supplementary service[edit]

During peak periods and late nights, many trains operate as short turn trips, meaning they operate portions of the route. Late night supplementary services are also provided northbound from Baypointe to Downtown Mountain View.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robinson, Bert et al. "All Aboard - It's Off and Rolling." San Jose Mercury News. 11 December 1987. Sec A:1.
  2. ^ Grant, Joanne. "Mishap Won't Delay Light Rail." San Jose Mercury News. 6 November 1987. Sec B:3.
  3. ^ Sweeney, Frank. "Downtown S.J. Trollys Start Friday." San Jose Mercury News. 13 July 1988. Sec B:1.
  4. ^ _______. "Light Rail to Willow Glen Opening Friday." San Jose Mercury News. 16 August 1990. Sec B:3.
  5. ^ Guido, Michelle. "The Trolly Finally Makes its Way South in Debut Today." San Jose Mercury News. 25 April 1991. Sec A:1.
  6. ^ Barnacle, Betty. "Light Rail Opens New Stop; First Station on Tasman Line to Serve North S.J. High-Tech Firms." San Jose Mercury News. 24 March 1997. Sec B:1.
  7. ^ Diaz, Sam. "Ready for a Rail Good Time: Major Link for Transit Takes its First Step." San Jose Mercury News. 18 December 1999. Sec B:1.