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Rail News: Passenger Rail

San Joaquin rail panel begins environmental review of proposed grade separation

The Stockton Diamond is California’s most congested at-grade railway junction.
Photo – SJRRC


The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC) yesterday began the environmental review process for the proposed Stockton Diamond Grade Separation Project, which will identify concepts to separate two rail lines at California’s most congested at-grade railway junction in downtown Stockton.

SJRRC is working with BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad on the project. The intersection causes significant delays for both freight and passenger rail that use the lines, SJRRC officials said in a press release.

The proposed project is a critical element in SJRRC’s vision to expand intercity and commuter rail service between the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. It also will facilitate future passenger-rail service expansion for the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) and Amtrak San Joaquins, commission officials said. 

The project aims to improve rail efficiency and reliability by reducing conflicting train movements on shared-use rail corridors, enhance safety and improve access for Stockton residents through roadway improvements at multiple grade crossings.

SJRRC yesterday issued a notice of preparation of an environmental impact report/environmental assessment for the project.

The commission is hosting three virtual meetings during the project’s 45-day public comment period.

SJRRC owns, operates and is the policy-making body for ACE, a passenger railroad serving the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay Area.