By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
ACE could carry 13,700 daily
High speed trains would cut trip time by nearly 60%
Placeholder Image
A high speed rail version of the Altamont Commuter Express service could take as many as 12,250 cars a day off the clogged Interstate 580 corridor connecting the Northern San Joaquin Valley and the Bay Area.

 That’s because new tracks across the Altamont Pass will allow speeds up to 150 miles per hour compared to conventional trains that move at times as slow as 10 mph on the windy route plus have to deal with freight traffic.

The commute is now about two hours and 10 minutes from Lathrop/Manteca to San Jose. It is a time comparable with driving during the worst part of the commute. Riders among the 3,700 who take ACE on an average day say they prefer the train as they are more relaxed and can do other things such as work, sleep, or read.

The faster speed possible over the Altamont would reduce the time to 55 minutes even with running at much slower speeds than 150 mph through the populated areas on both sides of the Altamont Pass.

The rail system - if it has a train moving through stations every half hour - could carry 13,700 riders a day as just one ACE train could carry 900 commuters.

In addition the ACE route is being designed to tie into the California High Speed Rail corridors being developed both on the San Francisco Peninsula and through the Central Valley. That would allow even more commuters - essentially from San Jose to Sacramento - to ride a train.

The earliest construction could start is 2015.