Valley Rail

What is Valley Rail?

Valley Rail is a joint program that includes improvements and expansions of both ACE and Amtrak San Joaquins that is focused on improvements between Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley. Valley Rail implements two new daily round-trips for the Amtrak San Joaquins service to better connect San Joaquin Valley travelers with the Sacramento Area, and extends Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) service between Sacramento and Merced. In addition, Valley Rail will convert the entire fleet including the thruway bus network to renewable diesel fuel, providing greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits across the entire existing (449 track miles) and proposed expanded (119 track miles) San Joaquins and ACE services.

Valley Rail Program Segments

The Valley Rail Program consists of several project segments that together improve rail service on ACE and the San Joaquins for the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento, and the Bay Area. The project segments include: Lathrop to Ceres Extension, Sacramento Extension, Ceres-Merced Extension, Stockton Diamond Grade Separation, Madera Station Relocation, and the Oakley Station Project. 

Current Valley Rail Progress

Valley Rail Station Design Guidelines

Valley Rail will consist of shared ACE and San Joaquins stations between Stockton and Natomas, ACE stations for the extension from Lathrop to Ceres/Merced, and San Joaquins stations at Oakley and Madera. As SJJPA/SJRRC have made passenger experience a priority, there is a strong need for blended policies to guide elements of station design and delivery. Additionally, as the program will be implemented through multiple station design projects, with different design teams and over a duration of time, the agency felt there was need for unified principles, guidelines and criteria. These will help guide station and system designs for visibility, safety, and passenger accommodation while reflecting quality design and relating to their local environment. The overall design goal is to balance consistent system-wide functional continuity, while providing distinctive elements that are reflective of surrounding neighborhood character.

The document can be found here.

Why is Valley Rail Important to California?

Valley Rail improves geographic equity by connecting key locations in the Central Valley including Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, and Fresno Counties to each other and beyond to the Bay Area and the greater California rail network via three future high-speed rail (HSR) connections in Merced and San Jose. This transformative, megaregional project helps further the State’s vision for an integrated rail network and provides direct mobility and air quality benefits to citizens in nine counties, including over 30% of the disadvantaged communities in California.  SJJPA SJRRC TIRCP Grant Announcement Press Release

Based on environmental clearance and funding, the Valley Rail Program consists of two segments one South and one North of Stockton. Each segment includes several projects each with individual costs and schedules.

Current contract work includes engineering and property assessments for different station and track work locations at Ceres, Modesto, Manteca, Lathrop, Stockton, Lodi, Elk Grove, Midtown Sacramento, and Natomas. Additional contracts will be awarded in the future for stations and associated track work. 

Project Highlights

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New stations

16 new stations are being constructed

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Increased Service

7 new daily round-trips will be added between the two services

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Serving the community

30% of disadantaged communities in California served

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Environmental Benefits

52 Million metric tons of C02 GHG

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Community Health

Improve public health and reduce Fataties/Injuries

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New Equipment

New trainsets for ACE and San Joaquins

Frequently Asked Questions

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