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Sacramento To San Jose, CA On Amtrak California's Capital Corridor Service
Monday, October 14th, 2013:

  Today, I would be riding Amtrak again! This time I would ride two Capital Corridor trains. This would be a round trip, starting in Sacramento and riding to San Jose and return. I drove from Vacaville to the Amtrak Station in Sacramento, getting lost as soon as I got off Interstate 5 (I may have made a wrong turn somewhere, oh well)! Once I eventually found the parking ramp, I parked the car, and walked to the station, then walked some more, and some more yet! The station building (a beautiful former Southern Pacific station) is a fair distance from the platforms! There are monitors set up giving train information and my train for today would be Capital Corridor Train #535 for San Jose. These trains are operated by an entity called the Capital Corridor Joint Powers Authority which partners with Amtrak, Union Pacific, Caltrans and the communities that comprise the Joint Powers Authority (per Amtrak's timetable). Once I arrived out on the platforms, I got a few photos of the train and took down the consist as well. The Consist for today's train, along with a roster photo tour is shown below:

  I was seated in Coach/Baggage Car #8202 in seat #15 so I had a window seat on the engineer's side of the train. Seats were not assigned, and only coach seating is available on these trains, so there is no Business Class car or seating on these trains. Coach seats are available in all cars except the cafe car. We made our next stop at Davis, CA. Davis had some nice stone benches outside it's station which is of Southern Pacific Heritage as this is a former Southern Pacific mainline. We departed Davis at 10:26am, 1 minute late. We would pass the eastbound Train #6 - The California Zephyr somewhere near Vacaville and it had one private car on it. I sat at my coach seat and enjoyed a Diet Pepsi and some Peanut M&M's. The menu in the cafe car on these trains is completely different from traditional Amtrak trains in terms of food items available. They have things like french fries on the menu in addition to sandwiches and snacks! Also, if your receipt has red stars on it, your meal is free!!! This happened to me once 2 years ago, though I wasn't that lucky this time around.
  We made our next stop at Suisun-Fairfield, CA and departed at 10:51am, 2 minutes late. The stops on this train are rather short and there are several of them. The cars used in this train have the capacity to have all the doors open at once, similar to the Amfleet I cars which facilitates the quick loading and unloading of passengers as these trains are primarily used by commuters. We would now be passing through the Joice Island State Game Refuge before eventually passing by the U.S. Navy's "Mothball Fleet" located in Suisun Bay. We then passed by a huge facility operated by Union Pacific that off loads new cars, before crossing the Benecia-Martinez bridge and passing by several oil refineries in the area. We then made our next station stop at Martinez, CA and departed at 11:13am, running 3 minutes late. We were now riding along the Carquinez Strait which is between San Pablo Bay and San Francisco Bay and would also ride through the Martinez Region Shoreline Park. Our next stop would be Richmond, CA which is a direct connection to the Bay Area Rapid Transit System, better known as "BART". We departed there at 11:41am, now 6 minutes late. Yes, so far we're losing time but overall this would end up not being a big deal. The next stop would be Berkeley, CA where we we would depart at 11:48am, still 6 minutes late. Next up is Emeryville, CA where we arrived at 11:52am. The normal schedule has 2 minutes of dwell time in it for this stop. Even though we arrived 4 minutes late, we were still there the 2 minutes. I got a few photos here as I've been taking photos along the route of the entire trip so far and we departed Emeryville at 11:54am, running still 4 minutes late. Next up is Oakland-Jack London Square Station where just before you arrive, the train actually runs down the street which is really cool. We arrived there at 12:02pm. Normally, there is also 2 minutes of dwell time here though we only stayed 1 minute and departed at 12:03pm, now thanks to some schedule padding, back on time again.
  The next stop would be the Oakland Coliseum BART Station where we departed again on time at 12:12pm. I headed to the cafe car to have a Macadamia Nut Cookie and a Diet Pepsi, and wow, that cookie was delicious!!! Our next stop coming up was Hayward, CA where we departed at 12:23pm, running on time. Next up was Fremont-Centerville, CA where we departed at 12:39pm, still on time. We would pass through Newark and Alviso, CA and I took more photos as we went through those areas. Next up was Santa Clara-Great America, CA which is a station located near the California's Great America Amusement Park which is owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, which is Cedar Point's (as you already likely know is my favorite amusement park on the planet!) parent company. The park is located next to what will be the new Levi's Stadium which starting in 2014, will be the home of the San Francisco 49ers NFL Team. The 49ers practice behind that stadium which is currently under construction and is set to host Super Bowl 50 in a few years! We departed Santa Clara-Great America station at 12:57pm, running 1 minute late. Next up is Santa Clara-University, CA where we departed at 1:04pm, on time. Shortly after departing Santa Clara-University station, we rode through CalTrain's big maintenance facility located near the San Jose station. After passing through there, we had to wait for another train to exit the track we were supposed to use before finally pulling into the station at San Jose, CA which is the final destination for this train. We arrived at 1:17pm, due to schedule padding, 1 minute early. After getting off the train, I headed into the station to go meet a cousin of mine who lives in the area for lunch. After a quick lunch at a nearby Chipotle Mexican Grill, she drove me back to the station so I could pick up my return train back to Sacramento. There are photos of course from this portion of the trip and you'll see them soon! For now, check out the story about my return trip back to Sacramento, then you'll see photos, I promise!!!