Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

February 21, 2006 >

All Aboard for Niles!
Submitted by Michael McNevin

The Niles Canyon Railway (NCRy)
Schedules and Info Regarding New Operations in Niles, CA
Additional info at:

NCRy Niles Train Operations Overview:

The Historic Niles Canyon Railway runs from Sunol to Niles and back, offering departures and arrivals in both towns on most Sundays throughout the year. On 34 Sundays a year, "Train Days", barricades block vehicular use of Sullivan Underpass in Niles from 10am to 4:30pm, creating a safe pedestrian walkway between the trains & downtown Niles. The distance between the boarding area and Downtown Niles is just a few minutes walk. We encourage train riders to park in one of the two downtown parking lots on Niles Blvd, and from there either walk through Sullivan Underpass to the boarding area, or catch the Niles Coach Lines bus at one of two bus stops located in downtown near the town parking lots.

Niles Coach Lines:

There is an historic 1950_s Peerless Bus, "Niles Coach Lines", shuttling passengers to and from the town and the trains (it_s free). Two Niles Coach Lines bus stops are on Niles Blvd, in the same locales as the AC Transit Bus Stops -- one is near the green merchants train car at Niles Blvd & J St., the other is near the public bathrooms at Niles Blvd & H St. A third Niles Coach Lines stop is at the train boarding area itself -- where the Sullivan Underpass meets Mission Blvd.

Golden Spike Docents:

To help passengers on their excursions in Niles, five Golden Spike Docents are on duty volunteers who guide foot traffic, point out shops, restaurants, activities, bus stops, trains, & rest rooms - a Niles welcome wagon! Want to volunteer as a Golden Spike Docent? Contact the Golden Spike Docent Coordinator at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum: (510) 494-1411 or A Golden Spike web site is also in the works - stay tuned.

Where Is Niles?

For those looking for Niles on a map; Niles is a district of Fremont, CA 94536. The boarding of trains takes place near the corner of Sullivan Underpass and Mission Blvd.

NCRy Niles Station Test Runs began Feb 19th!: Additional Niles Canyon Railway "Test Runs" for the new Niles Station Train Operations are scheduled for 3/5, 3/19, and 4/2 -- they are now boarding passengers in Niles! Read on for schedules and general info. Keep in mind these first three dates are 'test runs'; The NCRy trains will be as prompt as possible, but boarding and departure times may not go exactly as written here.

Ticket Donations Requested:

NCRy suggested donation for tickets: $5 for children age 3 through 12, $8 for seniors, $10 for everyone else. (Infants through age 2 ride free)

NCRy Test Run Train Schedule for March, 2006 (a second train will be added in April):

From Sunol, a 10:30 a.m. train travels Niles Canyon, arrives Niles at 11:00 a.m.

Niles Train Boards at 11:00 a.m. in Niles. Leaves for Sunol at 11:10 a.m. (Arrives Sunol 11:40 a.m. Departs Sunol at Noon. Arrives Niles again at 12:30 p.m.)

Niles Train Boards at 12:30 p.m. in Niles. Leaves for Sunol at 12:40 p.m. (Arrives Sunol 1:10 p.m. Departs Sunol 1:30 p.m. Arrives Niles again at 2:00 p.m.)

Niles Train Boards at 2:00 pm in Niles. Leaves for Sunol at 2:10 p.m. (Arrives Sunol 2:40 p.m. Departs Sunol 3:00 p.m. Arrives Niles again at 3:30 p.m.)

Niles Train boards at 3:30 pm in Niles. Leaves for Sunol at 3:40 pm. (WARNING: 3:30 p.m. train from Niles to Sunol has no return to Niles!)

IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT THE LAST TWO TRAINS OUT OF NILES: Riders on the 2:10 pm train from Niles to Sunol should stay on that train for the ride back to Niles. Stretch your legs in Sunol if you like, but be on that train when it leaves for Niles at 3:00pm. REPEAT: unless you have arranged for a ride back in a car from Sunol, do not miss that 3:00 pm train that is your last ride home! Likewise, Sunol based passengers should be very certain to catch the 3:30 train from Niles to Sunol, as that is their last ride home to Sunol. Niles based riders may ride the 3:30 train to Sunol, but that train does not come back! The 3:30 train out of Niles is primarily for the folks needing to get back to Sunol to their cars there. Niles folks should not board the 3:30 Niles Train to Sunol unless they have a plan for coming back in a car.

NCRy Train Days - "Year at a Glance":
1st & 3rd Sundays January through March
Every Sunday April through September
1st & 3rd Sundays in October
1st Sunday of November.
"Train of Lights", TBA.

NCRy Train Days

Mar 5, 19 (test runs)
April 2 (test run), 9 (GOLDEN SPIKE III), 16, 23, 30
May 7, 14, 21, 28
June 4, 11, 18, 25
July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Aug 6, 13, 20, 27
Sept 3, 10, 17, 24
Oct 1, 15
Nov 5

Note about Handicapped Access:
There are handicap lifts at both ends of the line, but for now, there are no vans or busses able to carry the handicap passengers from the Niles station into town. The Niles boarding area will soon be creating two courtesy handicap parking spaces near the boarding area. Regardless, getting between the Niles Train Boarding Area and downtown Niles may be a challenge for the handicapped or elderly, so please plan accordingly. Passengers should also be aware that the Antique Peerless Bus being used as a shuttle is only equipped with normal bus steps, no handicap lift. Train riders unable to walk up the bus steps, or who are unable to walk or wheelchair on their own between town and the boarding area, may choose to board in Sunol where parking, town amenities, and lifts are all within closer proximity.

Note about "Wildflower Trains":
April and May run more trains per day - "Wildflower Trains" exact arrivals/departures still being fleshed out by the railroad.

Note about "Train of Lights":
After Thanksgiving comes the "Train of Lights" - night rides on a special holiday schedule; several days a week.

Be a Golden Spike Docent!
Contact The Niles Silent Film Museum:
Phone: (510) 494-1411

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