Sacramento Valley Station

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Sacramento Valley Station
Sacramento Valley Station.JPG
Sacramento Valley Station in 2014
Location 401 I Street
Sacramento, California
United States
Owned by City of Sacramento
Line(s) Union Pacific Railroad
Platforms 2 island platforms (Amtrak)
1 side platform (Light Rail)
Tracks 4 (Amtrak)
2 (freight)
1 (Light Rail)
Connections Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach
Parking 288 long-term spaces
45 short-term spaces
Fee: $3.60/hr ($10 daily maximum)
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Station code SAC
Opened 1926
December 8, 2006 (Gold Line)[1]
Rebuilt 2012
Passengers (FY2015) 1,027,013[2]Increase 0.5% (Amtrak)
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
toward Emeryville
California Zephyr
toward Chicago
toward San Jose
Capitol Corridor
toward Auburn
toward Los Angeles
Coast Starlight
toward Seattle
Terminus San Joaquin
toward Bakersfield
Sacramento RT Light Rail
Terminus Gold Line
One-way operation
Southern Pacific Railroad Company's Sacramento Depot
Sacramento Valley Station is located in Sacramento, California
Sacramento Valley Station
Sacramento Valley Station is located in California
Sacramento Valley Station
Sacramento Valley Station is located in the US
Sacramento Valley Station
Location Sacramento, California
Coordinates 38°35′05″N 121°30′02″W / 38.584791°N 121.500517°W / 38.584791; -121.500517Coordinates: 38°35′05″N 121°30′02″W / 38.584791°N 121.500517°W / 38.584791; -121.500517
Built 1925
Architect Bliss & Faville
Architectural style Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Other
NRHP Reference # 75000457[3]
Added to NRHP April 21, 1975

Sacramento Valley Station (SAC) is an Amtrak railway station in the city of Sacramento, California, at 401 I Street on the corner of Fifth Street. It is the 2nd busiest station in California, and 7th busiest Amtrak Station in America, with thousands of riders a day and over a million passengers per year.[2] Today it is served by 38 daily Amtrak and Amtrak California trains, many Amtrak Thruway Motorcoaches, plus the newest extension of the Sacramento Regional Transit District light rail Gold Line and the Route 30 bus serving Sacramento State University.



A Capitol Corridor train at Sacramento in August 2016

Sacramento is served by four Amtrak routes - two daily long-distance routes, and two Amtrak California corridor routes with multiple daily trains - for a total of 38 daily trains on weekdays and 30 on weekends.[4] The California Zephyr and Coast Starlight are long-distance routes with one train per day in each direction. The San Joaquins operates two daily round trips with Sacramento as the northern terminus (most San Joaquins trips do not serve Sacramento and terminate at Oakland instead). The Capitol Corridor operates 15 round trips on weekdays and 11 on weekends; Sacramento is the northern terminus for all trains except for one daily round trip which continues to Auburn.[4]

In FY2015, Sacramento was the second busiest of Amtrak's 74 California stations, boarding or detraining an average of about 2,813 passengers daily. It is Amtrak's seventh-busiest station nationwide.[2]

Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach[edit]

Thruway Motorcoach buses at Sacramento Valley Station

As of January 2016, Amtrak operates Thruway Motorcoach service on four routes serving Sacramento Valley Station:[4]

Connections with Amtrak trains are guaranteed. All passengers travelling on Amtrak Thruway services must include travel on a train as part of their itinerary; traveling solely on Amtrak Thruway Motorcoaches from one point to another is prohibited by California state law to prevent competition with privately operated bus services. An exception is given for the Stateline-Sacramento route, which is not paralleled by any other service.[4]

Some Thruway buses also stop at the State Capitol bus stop (Amtrak code SCS). The stop is for drop-off only, except for southbound passengers connecting to the San Joaquins at Stockton.

RT Light Rail[edit]

A Gold Line train at Sacramento Valley Station

Sacramento Valley Station is the western terminus of the Gold Line, one of three light rail routes operated by the Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT). The station has a single side platform serving the single-track branch line, with a two-track layover yard to the west.

Local and commuter bus[edit]

Only one RT bus route, #30, stops directly at the station. However, most RT bus routes terminate in downtown Sacramento, within several blocks of the station. Additionally, Yolobus, e-tran, Roseville Transit, El Dorado Transit, and Yuba-Sutter Transit all operate commuter bus routes which terminate in downtown Sacramento.

Future services[edit]

Altamont Commuter Express has plans for a future Modesto-Sacramento line.[5] Sacramento is planned to be the north end of the California High-Speed Rail system.

Greyhound Lines does not use Sacramento Valley Station for its competing intercity bus service; instead, its Sacramento terminal is located 1 mile (1.6 km) to the north, near the 7th & Richards / Township 9 RT Light Rail station.[6] However, Phase 3 of the ongoing renovation project may include additional bus bays to allow Greyhound to use Sacramento Valley Station as well.



The westbound California Zephyr at Sacramento in February 1985

The original Sacramento station was the terminal of the Central Pacific Railroad. The present building, designed by the San Francisco architectural firm of Bliss and Faville for the Southern Pacific Railroad, was built in 1926 in the Renaissance Revival style.[7] Decorative features include a red tile roof and terracotta trim, as well as large arches on the main facade. Inside, the waiting room has a mural by artist John A. MacQuarrie that depicts the celebration of the groundbreaking for the First Transcontinental Railroad on January 8, 1863 in Sacramento. The Central Pacific started from Sacramento and built east to Promontory Summit, Utah, where it met the Union Pacific Railroad. The station is now owned by the CIty of Sacramento.[8] With the creation of Amtrak on May 1, 1971 the station became Amtrak-only. The station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 as "Southern Pacific Railroad Company's Sacramento Depot".[3]

The Gold Line was extended 0.5 miles (0.80 km) to Sacramento Valley Station on December 8, 2006.[1]

Renovation and Railyards project[edit]

Map of the track relocation project

The City of Sacramento, in conjunction with the Sacramento Railyards Project, is in the process of an extensive and multi-stage renovation project. The first stage, called the Sacramento Valley Station Intermodal Phase I, was completed on August 13, 2012 with the complete relocation of all heavy-rail passenger platforms (Amtrak) approximately 1000 feet further north from their previous location. Sacramento Regional Transit Gold Line light rail operations remain in their original location directly behind the station depot. Stage two, or Sacramento Valley Station Intermodal Phase II, is actively under way with extensive work being performed on the station depot building itself. This work includes long-deferred retrofitting and structural repair, window replacement, ADA accessibility work, Life Safety fire code work including the outward opening of emergency exit doors and panic hardware installation, and both appearance and comfort rehabilitation to make the station better serve the public. As a result, as of August 2014, the station interior is full of scaffolding to facilitate the work being undertaken, causing the passenger waiting space to be visibly claustrophobic. This work will also see the complete relocation of Amtrak ticket and baggage offices from the 1960s era addition on the back side of the waiting room; the new offices will be located in the former station restaurant space on the North wing of the station and will be much more passenger-friendly.

The city does not plan to immediately vacate the station, but services inside the main Head House building will slowly shift over the coming years as various projects to remodel and retrofit the facility and grounds progress. Eventually, however, the historic Head House will see less use as a transportation facility as the California High Speed Rail Project progresses, and when the planned Sacramento Intermodal Transportation Center is constructed along 5th Street between the Depot and the new platforms, all passenger services will leave and the historic structure will fully be available for use in other roles.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Sacramento Regional Transit District Fact Sheet" (PDF). Sacramento Regional Transit District. May 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2015 - State of California" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2015. 
  3. ^ a b National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Amtrak System Timetable" (PDF). Amtrak. January 11, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Regional Governance for San Joaquin Rail Service". Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  6. ^ "Sacramento Bus Station". Greyhound Lines. Retrieved August 22, 2016. 
  7. ^ Great American Stations. Accessed February 19, 2013.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^

External links[edit]