Merced Intermodal Track Connection (MITC) Project
The Merced Intermodal Track Connection (MITC) Project includes a new track
connection from the BNSF corridor to the proposed integrated station in downtown
Merced between R and O Streets, in addition to a new platform, that will allow for a
cross-platform transfer between the San Joaquins and High-Speed Rail (HSR). The
Project only includes the construction of the track connection and the San Joaquins
platform; it does not include the construction of the rest of the integrated station.
The Project would consist of the following:
- New passenger rail connection for the San Joaquins from the BNSF north of
State Route (SR) 59, running along the SR 59 corridor and immediately west of
the ACE/Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) corridor, to the southern terminus at the
proposed integrated station;
- Shifting ACE/UPRR spur track that accesses industrial area north of SR 59;
- New aerial guideway on the west side of the ACE/UPRR corridor that would
connect into the east side of the HSR platform (which would be shared with the
San Joaquins); and
- Modification of the approved ACE Merced Layover and Maintenance Facility (ACE Ceres-Merced Extension EIR, 2021), including upgraded tracks for San Joaquins trains to access the facility, use of the facility by ACE and San Joaquins trains, and space within the facility for additional maintenance equipment and parking. The footprint of the facility will not be expanded.
California High-Speed Rail Authority is planning to initiate service on the Merced to Bakersfield HSR Early Operating Segment by 2030-2033 and to extend the HSR service to the Bay Area after 2030-2033 (referred to as Silicon Valley to Central Valley HSR). When the Merced to Bakersfield HSR Early Operating Segment is operational, the San Joaquins passenger rail service between Merced and Bakersfield would be replaced by the HSR service and the SJJPA would terminate the San Joaquins intercity rail service in Merced. HSR will provide faster, more reliable, and more frequent service than the San Joaquins currently provides between Merced and Bakersfield.
Implementing the Project would allow direct transfers from San Joaquins service to HSR at the proposed integrated station in downtown Merced. The San Joaquins would offer intercity service between the San Francisco Bay Area (Bay Area)/Sacramento and northern San Joaquin Valley. The Project would provide a cross-platform transfer between the San Joaquins and HSR for passengers traveling between the Bay Area/Sacramento and Madera/ Fresno/ Kings/ Tulare/ Bakersfield/Southern California (via Thruway bus connection).
The Project is the critical link between the San Joaquins service and HSR service, allowing the San Joaquin's Intercity Rail and ACE to connect to the future HSR. The Project is a crucial piece to the overall vision of megaregional rail in Northern California.
Benefits of MITC
- Integrates and creates a seamless connection between the San Joaquins service and the Merced-Bakersfield HSR Early Operating Segment and future Phase I HSR service in Merced
- Enhances San Joaquins service to better serve regional markets
- Reduces traffic congestion, improve regional air quality, and reduce GHG emissions
Additional Information and Project Documents
The Project is located entirely within Merced County and almost entirely within the city limits of Merced. A small portion of the Project near Ashby Road and Miles Court is outside the city limits of Merced. The new track for the Project would run from the BNSF corridor just north of where it crosses Snelling Highway (SR 59) to the north to a station platform at the proposed integrated station located between R and O Streets in downtown Merced to the south.
Work Completed to Date
SJJPA completed a Project Study Report Equivalent to identify the Project scope, schedule, and estimated cost of the Project in March 2022.
SJJPA is currently initiating an environmental review of the Project in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In addition, at a later time, the Project will comply with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
- SJJPA filed a Notice of Preparation for the Project on January 5, 2023 and accepted scoping comments through February 19, 2023
- SJJPA held a scoping meeting on January 26, 2023
SJJPA manages the San Joaquins rail service and is expected to be the Operating Agency for CHSRA’s Merced-Bakersfield EOS. SJJPA and CHSRA will partner to implement the improvements needed for the Merced Intermodal Hub. SJJPA is the lead agency for MITC under CEQA working in partnership with CHSRA, California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), Caltrans, Merced County Association of Governments (MCAG) and the City of Merced.
Project Related Documents
- Merced Intermodal Track Connection (MITC) Notice Of Preparation
- Merced Intermodal Track Connection (MITC) Presentation
- Merced Intermodal Track Connection (MITC) Project Study Report Equivalent
- Scoping Meeting Power Point
- MITC Fact Sheet--English
- MITC Fact Sheet--Spanish
- Scoping Meeting Display Boards--English
- Scoping Meeting Display Boards--Spanish