Friday, December 09, 2005

Officials Talk Trains with Solano Residents

Officials Talk Trains with Solano Residents
By Barry Eberling

SUISUN CITY - Ideas for Bay Area train service over the next 50 years took center stage Thursday at Suisun City Hall.

More Capitol Corridor trains passing through Solano County. High speed trains topping 200 mph linking the East Bay with Los Angeles and Central Valley. Trains linking Solano and Napa counties.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, BART, Caltrain and the California High Speed Rail Authority are putting together the Bay Area Regional Rail Plan. Officials came to Suisun City to gather local comments.

"We want to know from you what your visions for rail are," said Tom Matoff of the consulting firm LTK Engineering Services. "There are no bad ideas at this stage."

A couple dozen people attended the afternoon session, with an evening session to follow. They looked at exhibits and talked transit.

Pat Matteson of Suisun City rides the Capitol Corridor trains to her job in Sacramento.

"I'm a big fan of the Capitol Corridors and I want to see it improved," she said.

She'd like a Capitols service that no longer gets occasionally delayed in favor of the freight trains that share the Union Pacific tracks. Delays can range from five to 10 minutes.

Matteson would also like to see a YOLOBUS stop at the Sacramento train station. The buses link the train service with the Sacramento airport. But the bus stop is a few blocks from the train station and Matteson doesn't want to make that walk after nightfall.

Russ Jackson of Vacaville is a member of the Rail Passenger Association of California. The group works to expand and improve passenger rail service.

He's looking forward to the opening of the planned Fairfield-Vacaville train stop at Peabody and Vanden roads, near Travis Air Force Base. The stop could be ready for Capitol Corridor trains in 2010.

"It will be very convenient for people who live on the southern side of Vacaville," Jackson said.

American Canyon City Councilman Leon Garcia spoke during the presentation in favor of train service linking Napa and Solano counties. Trains could go along existing tracks to such places as the Suisun-Fairfield train station, American Canyon, Napa and the Vallejo ferry.

Such service may be something for the long-term, Garcia said during the afternoon's formal presentation. But it's important to preserve the right-of-way for the future, he said.

The Bay Area Regional Rail Plan should be finished in about two years, Matoff said. For more information, visit

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

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