Santa Clara Station (California)

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Not to be confused with Santa Clara – Great America Station.
For other uses, see Santa Clara Station.
Santa Clara Station
Caltrain, Amtrak California, and ACE Commuter rail station
USA-Santa Clara-Railroad Depot-2.jpg
Santa Clara Station, 2007
Station statistics
Address 1001 Railroad Avenue(Caltrain)
1005 Railroad Avenue(ACE)
Santa Clara, CA
Line(s) Caltrain
  Local service
  Limited-stop service
Amtrak
Altamont Corridor Express
  ACE
Connections VTA Bus, Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach
Platforms 1 side platform, 1 island platform
Tracks 3
Parking Yes
Bicycle facilities Lockers available
Other information
Opened Late 1863
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Station code SCC
Owned by Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board
Fare zone 4
Station status Open (Caltrain)
Traffic
Passengers (2013) 8,635[1] Increase 529% (Amtrak)
Passengers (2014) 909 per weekday[2] Increase 10.6% (Caltrain)
Services
Preceding station   Caltrain logo.svg Caltrain   Following station
Local service
toward Tamien
Gilroy during peak hours
(weekday limited service)
toward Tamien
Gilroy during peak hours
Limited-stop service
toward Tamien
Gilroy during peak hours
Limited-stop service
BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak California
Terminus
Capitol Corridor
toward Auburn
Altamont Corridor Express
Terminus
ACE
toward Stockton
Santa Clara Depot
Santa Clara Depot.jpg
Santa Clara Station (California) is located in California
Santa Clara Station (California)
Location Santa Clara, California
Coordinates 37°21′11″N 121°56′11″W / 37.35306°N 121.93639°W / 37.35306; -121.93639
Built 1863
Governing body South Bay Historical Railroad Society
NRHP Reference # 85000359 [3]
Added to NRHP February 28, 1985

Santa Clara station (also known as the Santa Clara Depot) is one of two heavy railway stations in Santa Clara, California (the other being Great America Station further to the north). It is served by the Caltrain from San Francisco, and is served by the Altamont Corridor Express from Stockton although this service was previously suspended from 2005 until 2012 due to track construction in the area.[4] This station is the planned terminal for the Silicon Valley BART extension into Santa Clara County and will be preceded by Diridon/Arena BART station with direct service to San Francisco/Daly City and Richmond.[5]

Santa Clara station has a side platform serving the southbound Caltrain track and a narrow island platform for the northbound Caltrain track. The island platform is connected to the side platform by a pedestrian tunnel, that was completed in 2012. Additional tracks are northeast of the Caltrain tracks used by Amtrak, Altamont Corridor Express, and Union Pacific freight trains.

The platforms have been rebuilt to eliminate the hold out rule and permit ACE and Amtrak Capitol Corridor trains to stop at the station.[6]

History[edit]

The Santa Clara Depot, built by the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad in late 1863, was the oldest continuously operating railroad depot in the State of California until the ticket office was closed in May 1997.

The original 24'x50' (79x165 m) board and batten depot was one of the two "way stations" built between San Francisco and San Jose. Plans for a railroad linking San Francisco and San Jose began as early as 1851. Though the 1851 scheme ultimately failed, the incorporation of the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad in 1859 met with success. Most of the financing for the project came from county government in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, with the University of Santa Clara and local industry also playing a significant role in both stock acquisition and choice of placement of the depot in Santa Clara.

The first passenger service to San Francisco started in January 1864. The Southern Pacific Railroad acquired the San Francisco & San Jose Railroad in 1868. The depot, originally on the east side of the tracks, was moved to its present location in 1877 and attached to the existing 32'x50' (105x165 m) freight house constructed several years earlier. Because of the large volume of agricultural freight shipped from the depot, the freight house was increased in size at that time to its present dimensions of 32'x160' (105x528 m).

On November 1, 1877, the San Jose Mercury reported the facility nearing completion. Following construction of the railroad, farming and fruit-related industries developed in the Santa Clara area, with the depot serving as a focal point for shipping. Rail service provided the direct link to San Francisco and, in the later 1870s, to Southern California. Typical of these efforts were those of James A. Dawson, who pioneered the area's fruit-canning industry in 1871. By the turn of the century, the Pratt-Low Preserving Company, the largest fruit packing plant in central California, was located just south of the depot.

The California Department of Transportation acquired the depot from Southern Pacific in 1980. It was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. In cooperation with the South Bay Historical Railroad Society, a nonprofit group founded the same year, they began renovation work in 1986 on the depot, by then badly in need of repair. A group of volunteers spent over 25,000 hours hauling away debris, replacing support timbers, siding, exterior decking and interior flooring, scraping peeling paint, painting and many other repairs. With the major renovation complete since 1992, this 139-year-old building hosts a railroad library and museum with 2 large model railroad layouts and many other artifacts while still serving its original function as a passenger depot.

Service[edit]

The new pedestrian tunnel as it appeared in 2012

The station is an intermodal transportation center, with Caltrain and Altamont Corridor Express train service and bus service operated by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). Bus service is extensive and includes limited-stop and, since July 2005, the VTA's brand of bus rapid transit.

It is also served by a free shuttle from San Jose International Airport, the SJC Airport Flyer (Route 10), jointly operated by the VTA and the airport, as well as an Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach bus that runs from San Jose to Stockton.[7][8]

Amtrak Capitol Corridor trains began stopping at the station on May 21, 2012, giving Caltrain a second direct connection to Amtrak.[9]

Of Amtrak's 74 California stations, Santa Clara University was the 73rd-busiest in FY2012, though the station was only open for half of the fiscal year.[10]

Platforms and tracks[edit]

Mainline tracks Coast Starlight No stops
Caltrain: Baby Bullet No stops
1 ACE toward Stockton (Santa Clara–Great America)
ACE toward San Jose Diridon (Terminus)
Capitol Corridor toward San Jose Diridon (Terminus)
2 Caltrain: Local service toward San Francisco (Lawrence)
Caltrain: Limited-stop service toward San Francisco (Lawrence or Mountain View)
Capitol Corridor toward Auburn (Santa Clara–Great America)
3 Caltrain: Local service toward Gilroy (College Park or San Jose Diridon)
Caltrain: Limited-stop service toward Tamien, Gilroy during peak hours (San Jose Diridon)

Proposed transit plans[edit]

A project is being considered to replace the Airport Flyer bus service with a people mover similar to AirTrain JFK, which provides similar access to rapid transit stations; the status of the project is unknown due to the nature of funding.

The station was considered for California High-Speed Rail, but was rejected on the grounds that it was too close to the nearby, and much larger, Diridon Station in San Jose, and that the airport traffic that it would receive would not be enough to justify maintaining a separate station. Rather, it was decided that two Peninsula stations would be sufficient, one in Palo Alto or Redwood City, and the other serving the larger San Francisco International Airport (probably using the existing Millbrae Station with BART connection to the airport).

This station is planned as the terminal station for the BART extension to San Jose in the second, unfunded phase. The project will extend the BART system south from its current terminus in Fremont. Reasons for selecting Santa Clara as the proposed terminus for the BART extension are the access to the San Jose International Airport as well as the proposed BART maintenance facility located in the vicinity of the station at the former Union Pacific rail yard.

Connecting bus lines[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Santa Clara Station (California) at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 37°21′13″N 121°56′12″W / 37.353488°N 121.936578°W / 37.353488; -121.936578

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Park Service.