Chico, CA (CIC)

The Amtrak station is a platform adjacent to the historic 1892 Southern Pacific depot. Restored through city efforts, the building now houses the Chico Art Center.

450 Orange Street
West 5th and Orange Streets
Chico, CA 95928

Station Hours

Annual Station Revenue (2016): $705,893
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 13,144
  • Facility Ownership: City of Chico
  • Parking Lot Ownership: City of Chico
  • Platform Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
  • Track Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad

Alex Khalfin
Regional Contact
governmentaffairsoak@amtrak.com
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

Station History

The Amtrak station at Chico consists of a platform adjacent to the historic depot, which was built for the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1892. It replaced an older and inadequate structure dating from 1870, when the California and Oregon Railroad first came through the city. The city of Chico and the Chamber of Commerce saved the current structure from demolition through an agreement with the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1987. In that same year, the Chico Heritage Association applied to list the station as historic and the station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Amtrak contributed $200,000 toward the restoration of the depot. The Chico Art Center became interested in the building and relocated into the restored depot in 1988, where it remains today. A coffee bar is also on the property, inside a refurbished train car.

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Chico station received a 500-foot concrete boarding platform and lighting, as well as a new wheelchair lift in 2011. These improvements were part of the Mobility First project for compliance by Amtrak under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Chico is situated at the northeastern edge of the Sacramento Valley, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and just west of the Sacramento River. The city of Chico was founded in 1860 by General John Bidwell, a member of one of the first wagon trains to reach California in 1843; he arrived in the area that would become his home in 1850. The city was incorporated in 1872.

The Bidwell mansion still stands; it and its grounds have been used in movies over the years, including The Thin Man (1939) and Gone with the Wind (1939). Bidwell Park also served as Sherwood Forest in the 1938 classic, The Adventures of Robin Hood. During the past 100 years, the city of Chico has been used as a setting in 19 films. The station itself became famous in the 1947 film, Magic Town, when Jimmy Stewart stepped off the train at the Chico depot.

Chico has been called home by a number of notable residents, including Jackson Pollack, abstract painter; Annie Bidwell, leader in women’s suffrage and the temperance movement; and Carolyn S. Shoemaker, astronomer and co-discoverer of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. In 1996, the Olympic torch arrived in Chico at the Amtrak station, and was carried through the streets with thousands of citizens celebrating along its path.

Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this facility.

Chico is served by two daily trains.

Features

  • Accessible Payphones
  • Accessible Platform
  • Accessible Waiting Room
  • Dedicated Parking
  • Long Term Parking Spaces
  • Pay Phones
  • Short Term Parking Spaces