SACRAMENTO, CALIF.—On September 26, 2014, city officials were joined by Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo, Congresswoman Doris Matsui and other partners to celebrate the groundbreaking for Phase II of the Sacramento Valley Station renovation project. Work completed over the next two years will combat deferred maintenance and prepare the historic station building for its next generation of service. The renewed facility will include new Amtrak offices, leasable office and retail space and food vendors that will make it more than just a transportation destination.
Opened by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1926, the station is a key component in a large-scale development project to create a modern multimodal transportation hub and transform acres of former railyards north of the station into a new urban neighborhood. In 2006, the city acquired the building and an option on adjacent property. It subsequently laid out a three phase program for renovating the facility that included realigning the tracks, renovating the historic station and enhancing intermodal connections.
Phase II work includes rehabilitation of the facade and masonry; installation of new mechanical, plumbing, electrical and communications systems; addition of bicycle facilities and new signage; relocation of ticketing and baggage facilities for improved operations; and conservation of murals and interior finishes. Funding for Phase II comes through a $15 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant matched with an equal amount obtained through the Measure A sales tax.
In a city press release, Congresswoman Doris Matsui noted: “Today we are breathing new life into this historic depot, preparing for regional growth and an urban renaissance. The $15 million federal grant, coupled with substantial funding from the City of Sacramento, will transform the Depot back to a true center of transportation, one that greets residents and visitors alike with activity, opportunity and a uniquely Sacramento sense of place.”
Phase I began in spring 2011 and included shifting the existing mainline railroad tracks approximately 500 feet north. Moving the tracks allows for more efficient rail operations by eliminating a long curve, freight and passenger-train conflicts and other long-standing problems. Additional Phase I work included construction of two double-sided rail platforms and two pedestrian and bicycle tunnels connecting the proposed intermodal center, platforms, and historic Union Pacific shop buildings on the north side of the tracks.
More than 1.13 million passengers began or ended their journeys at the Sacramento station in Fiscal Year 2013, making it the seventh busiest station in the Amtrak national network. It is served by the California Zephyr and Coast Starlight, as well as the state-supported San Joaquin and Capitol Corridor trains.
Read more about the project and keep up to date on the latest news on the Sacramento Valley Station website.