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July 25, 2006 > Dumbarton Rail update

Dumbarton Rail update

The Dumbarton Rail Corridor Project will extend commuter rail service across the South Bay between the Peninsula and the East Bay. When the service starts in 2010, the rail corridor will link Caltrain, the Altamont Express, Amtrak's Capitol Corridor and BART, as well as East Bay bus systems, at a multi-modal transit center in Union City.

As Union City Mayor Mark Green, a member of the Dumbarton Rail Policy Committee puts it, the Dumbarton Rail Corridor is still on target, although "maybe the target has moved farther away." Service is now anticipated to begin in 2012. At that time, the plan is for morning commute trains to transit from the Union City Intermodal Station with stops in Fremont and Newark before traveling over a resurrected Dumbarton Rail bridge to Peninsula Caltrain connections both north to San Francisco and south to San Jose. Movement would be reversed during evening commute hours.

The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) originally thought to be a six month process has been revised to an estimated at 18 months. Green notes that although Dumbarton Rail service may be delayed, this should have little if any impact on the first construction phase of Union City's Intermodal Station scheduled within the next 6 months. Environmental review has already been done for "Segment D" which includes the Intermodal Station. Questions of train propulsion - diesel, electric or combination - and grade separations will be decided at a later date. Green says, "We need to get something up and running rather than waiting for perfection to arrive."

At the last meeting of the Policy Committee, a formal request was made to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) for funds to begin the EIR process and design work. Dumbarton Rail will begin tapping into Regional Measure 2 monies from increased bridge tolls upon approval. An MTC funding requirement includes a transit oriented housing element that should be in compliance when Redwood City finalizes plans for a downtown development near their train station. Approval of that project is expected in September or October of this year.

In this time of rapidly escalating construction costs and delays, Mayor Green was upbeat about the success of the Dumbarton Rail Corridor project noting that "the momentum would be hard to reverse."

The next meeting of the Policy Committee is tentatively scheduled for October. More information on the Dumbarton Rail Corridor project at

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