Amtrak San Joaquins Begins Early Morning Service to Sacramento on May 7th
Launch Celebration Scheduled for Inaugural Train on May 7th: Elected and Business VIP Riders on the Train, with Welcome Event at Sac Valley Station
SACRAMENTO, CA – Beginning on Monday May 7th, riders travelling from as far south as Fresno can board an Amtrak San Joaquins Morning Express train and arrive in Sacramento before 8:00AM. With support from businesses, local and state elected leaders, and members of the community, this new service will make travel on the San Joaquins more convenient – helping increase ridership and bringing environmental benefits from reduced greenhouse gas emissions as more passengers avoid driving along congested highways.
“The SJJPA prioritized the Morning Express service as a significant improvement that will make our trains a more attractive option for many travelers in the Central Valley,” said Vito Chiesa, Chair of the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors. “Increased reliance on passenger rail will facilitate economic growth in a vibrant and connected Central Valley.”
A major celebratory event is planned for the inaugural train on Monday morning, May 7th. Dozens of business leaders and elected officials will board the first train as it stops at stations along the San Joaquins corridor, and a welcome event and press conference is set for their arrival at the Sacramento Valley Station around 7:45AM. Event speakers include Stanislaus County Supervisor and SJJPA Chair Vito Chiesa, Sacramento Vice Mayor Steve Hansen, CA State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Annis, Assemblyman Adam Gray, Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty and Fresno EDC President Lee Ann Eager.
The Morning Express service is designed to help travelers from cities along the San Joaquins corridor be able to plan half-day or full-day round trips to Sacramento. Until the launch of this Morning Express service, the first northbound train along the San Joaquins line was not scheduled to arrive in Sacramento until 11:20am. That has made it a challenge to attract business travelers who need to be in Sacramento in the morning or may need to spend more than just a few hours in Sacramento.
“Providing business travelers with reliable transportation options is an integral component in improving our position in the Northern California mega region. Morning Express is a transformative change in service that will benefit our region as a whole” said Robert Dugan of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
The service is also frequented by lawmakers and people with business at the Capitol, “I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Morning Express. This service will allow me to seamlessly conduct my duties as a legislator in Sacramento as well as at home” said Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula from Fresno.
The daily Early Morning Express service begins in Fresno, CA, departing at 4:25AM with stops in Madera at 4:50AM, Merced at 5:20AM, Turlock-Denair at 5:42AM, Modesto at 5:57AM, Stockton (SKT) at 6:30AM, Lodi at 6:44AM, and will arrive in Sacramento at 7:46AM. Return service will depart Sacramento at 12:41PM and 5:30PM, making stops at each of the stations along the San Joaquins Southbound line.
Passengers can transfer to Sacramento Regional Transit’s light rail or bus system once they arrive in Sacramento, or the station is only a short distance from the Capitol as well as many state agencies and downtown businesses. Additionally, Amtrak has a formal partnership with Lyft – passengers who sign up to request a Lyft through the Amtrak App receive $5 off their first four rides.
The Amtrak San Joaquins also feeds into to the larger regional rail network, including a connection at the Stockton (SKT) Station to the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE Rail) service to San Jose, as well as a connection to Amtrak long distance routes including California Zephyr and Coast Starlight services at the Sacramento Valley Station.
“We need to get more Californians out of their cars and into trains,” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento). “The Sacramento Morning Express will increase connectivity between Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley, and will reduce vehicle trips on the freeway, benefiting both residents and the environment.”
“For years I have been a rider on the Amtrak San Joaquins and have found it to be comfortable and a good way to get work done during my travel time”, said Cathy Rodriguez, President of the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber. “These new times for Sacramento arrivals and departures will make it even easier for other business travelers to choose the train.”
Amtrak San Joaquins’ onboard amenities make travel time much more productive and enjoyable compared to driving. Comfortable seating and free Wi-Fi allows passengers to work or relax while they ride. And the train’s Café Car features a regional selection of snacks, sandwiches, coffee, craft beer and more.
“As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads, I know how important passenger rail is to the Valley,” said U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials in the U.S. House of Representatives. “This new service will be great for the Valley and helps support our local efforts to continue to bring resources and jobs to Valley families.”
Tickets for the Morning Express service can now be booked at AmtrakSanJoaquins.com or by calling 1-800-USA-Rail, or on the Amtrak App. Multi-ride passes are available including 10-Trip books and monthly passes, and there are a series of additional everyday discounts listed at www.amtrak.com/california-everyday-discounts(Open external link).
SJJPA is responsible for the management and administration of Amtrak® San JoaquinsSM. SJJPA is governed by Board Members representing each of the ten (10) Member Agencies along the San Joaquins Corridor. With 365 miles of track, 18 stations, and over 1.1 million annual riders, Amtrak San Joaquins is the 6th busiest Amtrak service running 7 daily round-trips (two between Sacramento and Bakersfield and five between Oakland and Bakersfield). For more information visit https://www.sjjpa.com/ (Open external link)