Valley Link trains could depart River Islands and North Lathrop every 24 minutes during peak commute hours to connect with BART in Pleasanton/Dublin starting in the fourth quarter of 2028.
That’s based on the just adopted Valley Link feasibility study that assumes a high end cost of $3.2 billion with roughly half of those funds needing to be approved by voters on both sides of the Altamont Pass.
The system is expected to move 26,000 to 28,000. That would take nearly 50% of the projected increase of 64,500 commuters expected to travel over the Altamont on a daily basis by 2040. That’s a 75 percent increase on top of today’s commute traffic that is roughly 86,000 vehicles a day.
Valley Link is part of a two-pronged effort to provide mass rail transit to Bay Area employment centers from the Northern San Joaquin Valley that has become the primary growth area to house workers needed for expanding tech industries in San Jose/Silicon Valley as well as San Francisco/Oakland. The other is a substantial upgrade of the Altamont Corridor Express crossing of the Altamont by putting in tracks separate from the Union Pacific line that will be straighten by drilling tunnels to allow substantially faster speeds to cut commute times.
The initial 42-mile connection between BART and North Lathrop where Valley Link would connect with ACE trains on the Sharpe Army Depot site between Lathrop Road and Roth Road just west of Manteca would have seven stations. The existing Lathrop/Manteca ACE station would be shifted to the Sharpe Depot location in North Lathrop.
It also includes stops at Mountain House and downtown Tracy as well as a River Islands at Lathrop station where developers are planning to add a transit village with apartments and such adjacent to a 350 acre business park.
Stops west of the Altamont would be at Greenville and Isabel. Plans call for train movements from stations during peak hours to be every 12 minutes to meet every BART train and every 30 minutes to connect with every other BART train during off peak hours.
For this side of the Altamont trains would run every 24 minutes at peak times to connect with every other BART train and once every 60 minutes to meet every fourth BART train during off peak hours.
Initially service would run from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
A second phase would extend Valley Link to Stockton. There it would also connect with ACE as well as Amtrak service.
The Valley Link operations and maintenance facility is planned for Hansen Road in west Tracy.
The system will likely use train sets powered by hybrid engines using diesel power and battery packs.
The Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority Board approved the project feasibility report earlier this month.
“The Rail Authority’s adoption of this Feasibility Report is yet another important milestone towards implementation of the Valley Link project.” noted Councilmember Veronica Vargas of Tracy, who serves as the Vice Chair of the Regional Rail Authority. “The commute over the Altamont is one of the worst in the United States and this rail line will give another alternative to the 87,000 commuters who make that trip daily.”
The final feasibility report can be seen on the agency’s website valleylinkrail.com.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com