Oakland – Jack London Square, CA (OKJ)
Located on Jack London Square, the historic heart of Oakland's port operations, the station opened in 1994. Walls of glass create a bright and airy space for travelers.
245 Second Street
Oakland, CA 94607
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 344,112
- Facility Ownership: Port of Oakland
- Parking Lot Ownership: Port of Oakland
- Platform Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
- Track Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
The Oakland station on the eastern-most corner of Jack London Square is a modern facility built in 1994 of glass and stone. This building replaces the older station at 16th and Wood Streets, which was built in 1912 at the terminus of the transcontinental railroad.
Fronting a natural estuary leading to San Francisco Bay, Jack London Square was the heart of Oakland’s port operations, linking the industries of shipping and agriculture and it remains a working waterfront. Jack London spent much of his boyhood on this waterfront that now bears his name. Here, his youthful adventures as an oyster pirate and sailor inspired stories such as The Sea-Wolf. London made notes for future books while sitting at the tables of Heinhold’s First and Last Chance Saloon, built in 1883 from the timbers of a whaling ship. Heinhold’s is now a National Literary Landmark.
The 16th Street Station (now called the Central Station) was designed in the Beaux Arts style by Chicago architect Jarvis Hunt. Following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the 16th Street Station was condemned as unsafe, and the building closed. The former Southern Pacific Railroad Division superintendent’s office in the next building was used as a waiting room until the tracks were moved further west in the 1990s. The building still stands and it is hoped by some Oakland residents that it can still be salvaged and restored. The principal depot of the Southern Pacific in Oakland was the 16th Street Station.
Although tribes of the Ohlone people had been established there for thousands of years, Spanish explorers claimed the Oakland area, with the rest of the bay area, for New Spain in 1772. In the early 19th century, the Oakland and East Bay area were deeded to Luís María Peralta for his Rancho San Antonio. In those days, the area was forested with oak trees, thus its later name. Development continued after 1848, when the land was ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
In 1868, the Central Pacific Railroad (the predecessor to Southern Pacific) constructed the Oakland Long Wharf at Oakland Point, the site of today’s Port of Oakland. The Long Wharf served as both the terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad as well as the local commuter trains of the Central Pacific. The Central Pacific also established one of its largest rail yards and servicing facilities in West Oakland which continued to be a major local employer under the Southern Pacific well into the 20th century
Oakland grew in the 20th century into a major industrial city. By the 1920s, it was the home of several industries, including metals, canneries, bakeries, automotive and automobiles, as well as shipbuilding. It also was where the son of General Motors founder William Durant established Durant Field in 1916, which became the site of early postal air service. Notably, the east bay area became home to many war-related industries during World War II. Among these, the Kaiser Shipyards in nearby Richmond were the genesis of today’s giant HMO, Kaiser Permanente, which still maintains its home office in Oakland.
The city has been the origin of other cultural icons: Rocky Road ice cream was invented in Oakland in 1929 by William Dreyer, although he may have been inspired by his partner Joseph Edy’s similar candy creation. The Mai Tai cocktail was first concocted in Oakland in 1944, and became very popular with military and civilian customers at Trader Vic’s in Oakland. Established in 1932, Trader Vic’s was so successful that the restaurant was chosen by the State Department as the official entertainment center for foreign dignitaries attending United Nations meetings in San Francisco. Oakland can count among its notable residents Gertrude Stein, American avant-guard author and art collector, who spent her early years there.
Amtrak provides both ticketing and baggage services at this facility. The San Joaquin service is primarily financed through funds made available by the State of California, Department of Transportation, and is managed by the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority. The Capitol Corridor route is primarily financed and operated in partnership with the State of California. It is managed by the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA), which partners with Amtrak, the Union Pacific Railroad, Caltrans and the communities comprising the CCJPA to continue development of a cost-effective, viable and safe intercity passenger rail service.
- 500 Short Term Parking Spaces
- 500 Long Term Parking Spaces
- Accessible Payphones
- Accessible Platform
- Accessible Restrooms
- Accessible Ticket Office
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Accessible Water Fountain
- Baggage Storage
- Bike Boxes
- Checked Baggage
- Dedicated Parking
- Enclosed Waiting Area
- Help With Luggage
- Pay Phones
- Quik Trak Kiosk
- Shipping Boxes
- Ski Bags
- Ticket Office
- Wheelchair Lift