The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission is preparing to fast track decisions to meet a state-imposed deadline of 2023 to get Altamont Corridor Express service from Lathrop to Ceres as well as Lathrop to Natomas just north of Sacramento up and running.
This has major implications for Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop.
The existing Lathrop station next to Manteca’s western city limits could be relocated to the Sharpe Army Depot site to facilitate a future connection with Valley Link that will run short sets of passenger cars pulled by electric locomotives to connect with the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. It would involve stops at River Islands at Lathrop, Tracy, and Livermore before proceeding down the Interstate 580 corridor.
The Union Pacific line between Lathrop and Ceres will be double tracked. Given Manteca is the only city with at-grade crossings — 9 to be exact — on what side of the existing track the new track is added will have significant impacts on Manteca.
A passenger platform as well as the securing of additional parking for what initially is anticipated to be 1,500 boardings for ACE trains at the Manteca Transit Center.
The building of platforms and parking for stops in Ripon, Modesto, and Ceres.
Commissioners last week approved the formation of a development committee consisting of four members that will be delegated the authority to make all decisions regarding stations and other facilities between Ceres and Natomas in order to meet the fairly aggressive timetable.
There is $400 million set aside for the Lathrop to Ceres service as part of the Senate Bill 1 deal that hiked the state gas tax 12 cents a gallon. ACE service will eventually be extended to Merced where it will connect with the California High Speed Rail Project.
In addition the SJRRC received $500 million in state funding to expand ACE from Lathrop to Manteca as well as expand Amtrak San Joaquins intercity rail service between Fresno and Natomas.
When the ACE extensions are completed commuters from downtown Manteca, downtown Ripon, and Lathrop will be able to travel by train to jobs as far away as San Jose and the Natomas area of Sacramento just across the American River from the Capitol City’s downtown.
ACE is now running four daily trains to and from San Jose as well as two Saturday trains.
For more information, go to www.acerail.com.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com