Commuter train service for Curtis Park residents may no longer be a pipe dream. Despite strong demand, Sacramento is currently under-served by commuter rail.
Dan Leavitt, manager of Regional Initiatives, for San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority and San Joaquin Rail Commission, discussed this topic at the Nov. 14 annual SCNA meeting. He outlined the possibilities for a commuter train running between Fresno and the Sacramento International Airport with stops at a to-be-built platform at Sacramento City College and a to-bebuilt station in Natomas that would have a link to the airport.
An expanded commuter rail would reduce vehicle traffic along the Highway 99 corridor in the Valley. The proposed line would cover 364 miles of track in 11 counties, with stops in Lodi and Elk Grove as well as City College. Tracks exist for most of this proposed project, so it could happen faster than usual even with track improvements. The line would also connect to the State Rail Plan and future high speed rail.
The plan’s highlight includes a morning express run that would transport travelers from Fresno to midtown Sacramento in a little under three hours, arriving just before 8 a.m. Travel time from Elk Grove to midtown Sacramento would take about 15 minutes. The proposed stop for Curtis Park (at the college) just needs construction of a platform and some adjustment to existing track.
Leavitt and his team, who work with Amtrak on routes and schedules, are presenting their proposal throughout the area to gain support for the funding grant they seek. SCNA president Eric Johnson will take the information to the board at their next meeting to consider sending a letter showing neighborhood support for the grant that they request. If you’d like to voice your support or opposition, please email Eric Johnson at President@sierra2.org. For more questions, Dan Leavitt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Erik Fay Viewpoint staff writer