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

  After coming back from lunch, I took a few photos both inside and outside the station. I had a nice chat with a few passengers who were waiting for the northbound Coast Starlight which wouldn't get here until tonight. The station features a nice newsstand that sells magazines as well as snacks and beverages along with souvenirs. This station is of Southern Pacific Heritage and it still bears the SP's name outside and beautiful architecture throughout. An announcement was made that Amtrak California Capital Corridor Train #538 would be boarding from Track #4 and the train was in the station so we could go board now, still 20 minutes before the scheduled 3:10pm departure time. The train would have the same consist as Train #535 that brought me here though it would be "pushed" by the locomotive instead of pulled as these trains operate in "push-pull" mode which avoids the need for turning the train once it arrives at its endpoint as the last car in the train features a control stand and is used as the "lead engine" while the actual engine is pushing the train from the back. The revised consist for the train along with a roster photo tour are shown below:

  I was given permission by a member of the Amtrak crew to photograph the train from an adjoining platform that could be accessed by crossing the tracks in front of the train at a marked pedestrian crossing on the platform. After getting my photos, I was told by an Amtrak mechanic that I couldn't cross back on that crossing and would have to run inside the station, down the ramp, then up the proper ramp back to my train. The kicker here is there was NO SIGNAGE prohibiting the use of that pedestrian crossing by passengers!!! The platform did have a sign saying no trains stopped at it but it was not blocked off. Not wanting to cause trouble, I walked down the ramp, then up the proper one and reboarded the train. We departed San Jose, CA on time at 3:10pm.
  For this ride, I was seated in Coach #8003 in window seat #23. Seats were also not assigned on this train, same as the trip here. I decided to just relax more on this ride back and take fewer photos as I had just rode through here earlier. Yes, Amtrak's Coast Starlight follows this exact same route but by riding this train, I can now say I've covered every stop on the route of this train! We were in and out of Santa Clara-University Station at 3:17pm, 1 minute late. We then arrived at Santa Clara-Great America Station and departed there at 3:25pm, 1 minute late. We were now passing through the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge at Alviso, CA. One thing that definitely was a huge help to me in this trip was the maps app on my iPhone 4S! Since I'm not from the state of California, this made things very easy in locating where I was! We arrived at the next stop of Fremont-Centerville and departed at 3:43pm, now back on time. Next up was Hayward, where we departed at 3:59pm, still on time. Our next stop was the Oakland Coliseum BART Station where we departed at 4:09pm, on time. The crowd on this train, like the one I rode to get to San Jose was rather light as both of these trains were not operating at peak time periods. We made our next stop at Oakland-Jack London Square at 4:16pm, having arrived 2 minutes early and departed at 4:20pm, on time as there was 2 minutes of dwell time at that stop. I had a nice chat with the cafĂ© attendant about all things Amtrak and bought another one of those delicious Macadamia Nut cookies and a Diet Pepsi. We arrived at the next stop of Emeryville, CA at 4:28pm, and departed at 4:30pm, on time.
  Next up was Berkeley, CA where we departed at 4:34pm, still on time, which is always a good thing! We would pass Train #5 - The California Zephyr near the next station stop of Richmond, and it had 3 private cars on the rear end! I would come to find out that one of them was the Silver Solarium which is an original California Zephyr car from the 1950's! We were in and out of our next station stop of Richmond at 4:42pm, on time. We arrived at the following stop of Martinez, CA departed there at 5:10pm, now 1 minute late, no big deal. Next up was Suisun-Fairfield where we departed at 5:29pm, 1 minute late. The next stop would be Davis where we departed at 5:52pm, on time. I could now see the Sacramento city skyline coming into view and we would arrive there at the endpoint for this train at 6:06pm, thanks to schedule padding, 17 minutes early. I took a few more photos of the train and made the long walk back to the station. Inside the Sacramento Station, there is heavy construction going on. The goal is to make the building better able to withstand an earthquake. After leaving the station, I walked back to my car, paid the $15.00 to park and drove back to Vacaville, and had dinner at In-N-Out Burger. This is another chain we don't have back in Buffalo! I do like the fact that they cut the fries in the restaurant from the potatoes right before your eyes! After dinner, I drove back to the hotel and called it a day.
  I would spend my final full day in the Bay Area back in Napa doing more photos of the Wine Train which you already saw in the Multi-Angled Photo Tour. For now, here's a collection of photos taken along the route of Amtrak California's Capital Corridor during my round trip!