About Amtrak California
The State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has been promoting intercity passenger rail service in California by augmenting Amtrak’s basic system of interstate trains since 1976. Through Caltrans, the State of California provides capital grants and support for station and track improvements, signaling, locomotives and passenger rail cars, connecting Amtrak Thruway bus service, and operating assistance for the Pacific Surfliner® and San Joaquin® routes.
These two California train routes and numerous Thruway bus routes, collectively referred to as Amtrak California, are funded and managed by Caltrans, but operated by Amtrak in addition to Amtrak's own interstate trains - the Coast Starlight®, California Zephyr®, Southwest Chief®, and Sunset Limited®.
The State of California also provides funding for the Capitol Corridor® which is managed by the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority in cooperation with Caltrans and Amtrak.
THE CALTRANS DIVISION OF RAIL
In addition to Amtrak California, the Caltrans Division of Rail (DOR) manages and coordinates intercity passenger rail services in an effort to improve the state’s air quality and reduce highway congestion and fuel consumption.
The DOR performs long-range planning, coordinates with Amtrak on operations issues, administers the state rail program marketing contract, and procures and manages the rehabilitation of equipment. The DOR also works with local agencies to manage the capital program for projects on the San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner and Capitol Corridor routes which includes track and signal projects resulting in increased train frequencies, reduced travel times and improved on-time performance.
The Pacific Surfliner (PSL) is the second most popular route in the country, running between San Luis Obispo and San Diego. The PSL offers 11 weekday and 12 weekend round trips from San Diego to Los Angeles. Of those, five extend to Santa Barbara and two to San Luis Obispo. PSL trains connect to Amtrak long distance trains at Los Angeles and Fullerton.
The San Joaquin (SJ) is the fifth busiest route in the Amtrak system, operating six round trips from Oakland and Sacramento to Bakersfield, with Amtrak Thruway bus service to Los Angeles.
The Capitol Corridor (CC) ranks third in ridership, and runs between San Jose and Auburn. For more information on the Capitol Corridor visit www.capitolcorridor.org.
AMTRAK THRUWAY BUSES
Why buses? It's all about connections. California is a big place. Unfortunately, our trains can't go everywhere. Amtrak Thruway bus routes were designed exclusively for our train passengers - enabling them to connect to our trains from many regions of the state such as the North Coast, Shasta Cascades, Gold Country, High Sierra, Central Coast, Deserts, and Southern California. Amtrak Thruway buses also allow San Joaquin passengers to connect to the Pacific Surfliner and other Amtrak long distance trains in Los Angeles. On the flip-side, with Amtrak Thruway bus routes, train passengers can can travel to more than 175 destinations throughout California and Nevada.
Amtrak Thruway buses are luxury motorcoaches offering comfortable reclining seats, overhead lighting and onboard restroom facilities.
When you think travel, think Amtrak California. Enjoy your journey.