Palo Alto (Caltrain station)
Palo Alto Station
The rear of the station.
|Address||95 University Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301
|Connections||VTA Bus Routes: 22, 35, 522
Caltrain Shuttles: Embarcadero & Crosstown
Stanford University: Marguerite Shuttle
Samtrans KX, 280, 281, 297, 390, 397, 880
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Bicycle facilities||Racks available|
|Owned by||Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board|
|Passengers (2012)||4,661 per weekday 15.7%|
Palo Alto Southern Pacific Railroad Depot
|Location:||Palo Alto, California|
|Architect:||John H. Christie|
|Architectural style:||Streamline Moderne|
|Added to NRHP:||April 18, 1996|
Palo Alto Station is the main train station in Palo Alto, California. It is a regional transit center serving Santa Clara County and San Mateo County Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) transit bus passengers as well as Caltrain commuters. Palo Alto is also one of the busiest stations in the Caltrain system, second only to San Francisco. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural significance.
The station building is across the tracks from Alma Street, with a car entrance to the parking lot at Alma Street and Lytton Avenue. Daily parking is $4. It is on the west side of Downtown Palo Alto and offers easy access to the downtown Palo Alto Area and the Stanford University campus. It is one of two stations in Palo Alto; the other is farther south at Alma and California Avenue. On December 11, 2009, Cafe Venetia opened inside the historic Palo Alto train station.
The station is an excellent example of the Streamline Moderne style which has important connections with American social history, and which is not typically found in Palo Alto. During the 1920s and 1930s most of the significant buildings in town were designed by a single local architect, Birge Clark, who worked almost exclusively in the Mission Revival or Spanish Colonial Revival styles. Consequently, the other major buildings of that era, such as large commercial blocks and apartment buildings, the main Post Office, the Community Center and other civic buildings were built in the Mission Revival or Spanish Colonial Revival styles.
On October 22, 1940, the cornerstone was laid for the new railroad station which was designed by J.H. Christie, a full-time architect employed by the Southern Pacific Railroad. The new station replaced the one built in 1897. The building is 215 feet (65 m) long by 25 feet (7.6 m) wide with an arcade in front and a marquee at the rear including two buildings connected by an arcade. The station interior consists of the ticket office, waiting room, rest rooms, baggage room and a passageway between the waiting room and baggage room. However, the interior is not currently accessible to the public. Tickets are currently purchased from machines on the platform.
The interior of the building features a mural by John McQuarrie. Its central theme is Leland Stanford's dream of a University influenced by a pageant of transportation. The mural depicts facts and events of significance and influence historically expressed in the development of California. This one-story streamlined Southern Pacific station personifies the tendency of the 1930s to style buildings in the imagery of transportation machinery, in this case the Streamline train. The building has all the classic trademarks of the mode: porthole windows, horizontal parallel lines to indicate speed and glass blocks.
The station was refurbished in the 1980s.
Bike station 
- See also: List of United States bike stations
Due to the high number of bicyclists in Palo Alto, a bike station has been built inside the old Southern Pacific baggage room. There is now a small fee to leave a bike there, and the area is no longer supervised. Use of these facilities requires sign-up.
Station amenities 
- Caltrain ticket machines
- 8-Ride ticket validators
- Coffee Shop (Cafe Doge)
- Caltrain. "February 2012 Caltrain Annual Passenger Counts". Retrieved 2012-02-03.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2006-03-15.
- "Palo Alto Stations Improvement Project". Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- "Palo Alto Southern Pacific Railroad Depot". California's Historic Silicon Valley. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-01-18.
- Media related to Southern Pacific Railroad depot, Palo Alto, California at Wikimedia Commons
- The train depot at Palo Alto History.com
- Caltrain Palo Alto station page