Environmental Impact Report for Valley Rail Project Now Open for Public Comment

Are you sitting at home, twiddling your thumbs, looking for something to do? Lucky for you, the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Valley Rail Sacramento Extension Project is now available for public review! You have until May 15, 2020 at 5:00 p.m to send in any comments you have.

Unlike many rail projects, this is one you should take seriously, because they got $500 million in funds to actually build the thing. As I mentioned back in 2018, the improvements are aimed at both the Amtrak San Joaquin line and the ACE commuter line.

According to the project team, the purpose of Valley Rail will be:

To enhance commuter and intercity rail service and to promote greater transit connectivity between the Sacramento region, the San Joaquin Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, SJRRC and SJJPA are jointly proposing to implement ACE and San Joaquins passenger rail service with six stations between Stockton and Sacramento.

The Northern segment extends ACE service from Stockton to Natomas and includes additional San Joaquins service.  The Northern segment does not follow the current San Joaquins rail alignment but provides new ACE and San Joaquins service on a new rail alignment closer to Interstate 5. After the environmental phase is completed, final design will commence for the selected project alternative.

The Southern segment extends ACE service to Ceres/Merced. The Valley Rail South extension has already completed the environmental documentation phase and is in the final engineering phase. In May 2019, the SJRRC Board approved multiple contracts for both segments.

Valley Rail

The first phase should be done by 2022, with all of it done by 2026.

3 Replies to “Environmental Impact Report for Valley Rail Project Now Open for Public Comment”

  1. Lucky Sac, theyre doing things right. We can leanr alot from that city. Too bad we don’t have a economic engine called GOVT like them.

  2. High-Speed Rail for a while been Fresno’s only plan for future rail corridor improvement, but not enough has been said about what future service on the San Joaquins route will look like once HSR has officially begun service.

    I hope we get answers to these questions soon and that at the least, the Amtrak San Joaquins route will stick around in some form, providing slower, but more frequent service than state HSR. Just because HSR is on the horizon doesn’t at all mean that we shouldn’t shy away from improving current rail service.

    1. he current plan is for HSR to end at Merced, and a cross-platform transfer be available for San Joaquin trains. San Joaquin trains would only operate north to Sacramento and Oakland.

      I have a feeling the plan will change many times. For one, the busiest station pair is Hanford-Fresno, which is not served by HSR.

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