Friday, March 04, 2005

$23 million is set aside to build Fairfield-Vacaville train station for a new a stop for Capitol Coris to be located near Peabody and Vanden roads

Thursday, Mar 03, 2005 - 11:45:32 pm PST

Train station may finally get built

By Barry Eberling

FAIRFIELD - This may finally be the year that Union Pacific approves a boarding platform design that will ultimately allow the Fairfield-Vacaville train station to be constructed.

Negotiations between local agencies and the railroad have gone on for several years. The railroad owns the tracks and wants to be sure passenger trains run harmoniously with its freight trains.

Local agencies involved in the negotiations expect an agreement to be reached this year, a Solano Transportation Authority report said.

"We're going to remain optimistic and say, 'That's our goal,' " Fairfield Transportation Manager Kevin Daughton said. "I don't see why we can't achieve that."

Union Pacific has the latest proposed track designs for review, he said. But the railroad also has a distraction. It lately has been spending much of its time dealing with damage to its system from the Southern California storms, he said.

Once a deal is reached, a train stop could be ready in three years, the STA report said.

The Fairfield-Vacaville train station is to be located near Peabody and Vanden roads. It is to be a stop for Capitol Corridor trains.

About $23 million is set aside to build the station. But $17 million of this is to come from last year's toll increase for state-owned Bay Area bridges. There is talk at the state level of using toll money to pay for Bay Bridge cost overruns, possibly putting this funding for the train station at risk.

The proposed station would probably have two sets of tracks with a passenger boarding island in the middle. Passengers could reach the island by going under the tracks.

"That's a fairly common design," Daughton said. "Santa Clara has that design. So do some of the more major passenger stations across the country."

The other option is to build a bridge leading to the passenger platform. But this bridge would have to pass more than 23 feet above the railroads tracks, Daughton said. It would have to have an elevator.

The first phase of the railroad station is to include 200 parking spaces, platforms, pedestrian shelters, landscaping and track improvements. A station building would come at a latter date.

Reach Barry Eberling at 425-4646 Ext. 232 or at

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