Mountain View–Winchester (VTA)
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.
- 1 Route description
- 2 Owl service
- 3 Construction history
- 4 Station stops
- 5 External links
- 6 References
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.
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. At the time, 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.
The route that the Mountain View–Winchester line now runs on is constructed in three different expansion projects: the original Guadalupe line, the Tasman West extension, and the Vasona extension.
The trackway between Woz Way in Downtown San Jose and Old Ironsides station is part of the Guadalupe line, the first light rail line constructed in Santa Clara county. The Guadalupe 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.  
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.
- Service between Convention Center and Tamien stations began on August 17, 1990.
- Service between Tamien and Santa Teresa stations began on April 25, 1991.
Tasman West extension
The Tasman West extension project added to the line as follows:
- Champion station added as an intermediate stop along the existing Guadalupe line trackway (Station opened March 24, 1997).
- 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. Tasman is now the transfer station.
Tasman West extension was constructed with funds from 1996 Measure B sales tax measure.
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 to serve a cement plant in the Cupertino Foothills and a lumber yard in Campbell. 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.
Light Rail Efficiency Project
In 2014, a new storage track and crossover was constructed between Old Ironsides and Reamwood as part of improvements to support events at Levi's Stadium and the future Silicon Valley BART extension.
To provide better headways and service reliability, a second track is being constructed between Whisman and Downtown Mountain View. Work began in summer 2014 and is expected to be completed by late 2015. Evelyn Station was permanently closed in mid-March 2015 as part of track construction.
Possible future expansion
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.
Upon the opening of the Silicon Valley BART extension to Berryessa / North San Jose, Line 902 will be split into the Green Line (Old Ironsides -Winchester) and the Orange Line (Mountain View - Alum Rock).
|Station||Other lines||Transfer to|
|Downtown Mountain View||Caltrain: Mountain View
VTA: 34, 35, 51, 52
|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|
|Reamwood||VTA: 55, 321|
|Old Ironsides||VTA: 55, 57, 60, 121, 140, 330|
|Great America||VTA: 140, 330|
|Lick Mill||Altamont Corridor 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|
|Metro/Airport||VTA: 10 (Airport Flyer)|
|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 Corridor 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||VTA: 61, 62|
|Hamilton||VTA: 26, 61, 62, 82|
|Downtown Campbell||VTA: 26|
|Winchester||VTA: 37, 48, 49, 60, 101|
Many stations along this line have park-and-ride lots (labeled as ), as well as bike stations (labeled as ), including:
- Downtown Mountain View
- Moffett Park
- Lockheed Martin
- Lick Mill (at Great America Station: )
- River Oaks — also the stop for VTA headquarters
- San Fernando
- San Jose Diridon
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.
Route map: Google
- Robinson, Bert et al. "All Aboard - It's Off and Rolling." San Jose Mercury News. 11 December 1987. Sec A:1.
- Grant, Joanne. "Mishap Won't Delay Light Rail." San Jose Mercury News. 6 November 1987. Sec B:3.
- Sweeney, Frank. "Downtown S.J. Trollys Start Friday." San Jose Mercury News. 13 July 1988. Sec B:1.
- _______. "Light Rail to Willow Glen Opening Friday." San Jose Mercury News. 16 August 1990. Sec B:3.
- Guido, Michelle. "The Trolly Finally Makes its Way South in Debut Today." San Jose Mercury News. 25 April 1991. Sec A:1.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Light Rail Efficiency". Light Rail Efficiency. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
- "Mountain View Double Track". Mountain View Double Track. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved May 13, 2015.