SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Amtrak San Joaquins is making some schedule changes to make it easier and faster for passengers to get to their destinations.  

The overall goal is to improve on-time performance, enhance statewide connectivity, and make rail travel convenient for the greatest number of travelers. 

Amtrak San Joaquins is Amtrak’s sixth busiest route in the country with 1.1 million annual riders, so the impact of the schedule changes will be massive. David Lipari, marketing manager for the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA), said the new schedule will improve on-time performance, “making the train departure and arrival times more predictable.” 

The schedule update will return the San Joaquins to seven full-corridor round-trips, five between Bakersfield and Oakland, and two between Bakersfield and Sacramento. All departures from Bakersfield, Oakland, and Sacramento are now scheduled for every two-hours. The schedule changes begin May 20. 

Under the previous schedule, there were challenges when trains had to pass each other, which created delays. 

“The new schedule will allow for trains to pass at double track sections, which limits time wasted waiting for trains to pass,” Lipari said.

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The schedule will also improve connections for passengers who want to travel the full-corridor to Southern California, which is a very important market for Amtrak San Joaquins. 

Lipari said more than 200,000 passengers ride the Amtrak San Joaquins trains to Southern California, but the previous schedule created challenges for travelers who wanted to make connections into Southern California or access the Thruway Bus network. He said the new schedule will make this more convenient. 

“[It's] designed to improve on-time performance and connectivity across the Bay Area, Sacramento, the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. We are proud to offer a more convenient and timely solution that meets the growing needs of riders,”Lipari said.

Lipari said the schedule changes are part of a bigger plan. The SJJPA, the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC) and the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) Service are working on increasing service to Sacramento as part of their Valley Rail Project

The increased service will bring additional San Joaquins and new ACE service to Sacramento. The Valley Rail Project, which received $500.5 million in state grant funding last year, is moving forward with planning, design and implementation. Currently, environmental analysis is underway and additional trains are expected start running within three years.

Schedule Changes

Train 701 / 1701

Monday - Sunday

Depart Bakersfield at 6:12 a.m.

Arrive in Sacramento at 11:49 a.m.

Change Benefits

Restores seven-day service to Sacramento via direct train to Bakersfield, Wasco, Corcoran, and Hanford while decreasing the Thruway Bus trip length from Los Angeles.

Train 718

Monday - Sunday

Depart Oakland at 5:36 p.m.

Arrive in Bakersfield at 11:57 p.m.

Change Benefits

Restores full-corridor service seven days a week while decreasing the Thruway Bus trip length to Los Angeles.

Train 702

Monday - Sunday

Depart Bakersfield at 6:26 a.m.

Arrive in Sacramento at 11:57 a.m.

Change Benefits

Provides an early morning train south out of Sacramento with well-timed connections throughout the Valley and Southern California.

Train 703

Monday - Sunday

Depart Bakersfield at 6:12 p.m.

Arrive in Sacramento at 11:31 p.m.

Change Benefits

Provides an evening Sacramento-bound train that serves afternoon departures from Southern California and evening trips in the San Joaquin Valley.

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