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San Joaquin

San Joaquin at Bakersfield
Type Inter-city rail
System Amtrak
Termini Bakersfield, CA
Oakland, CA
Sacramento, CA
Train number(s) 701-718
Opened 1974
Owner UP and BNSF (track)
Operator(s) Amtrak
Line length 318 miles (512 km) to Oakland
280 miles (451 km) to Sacramento.
Track gauge 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)

The San Joaquin (sometimes referred to as San Joaquins) is a passenger train operated by Amtrak in California's Central Valley. The train's southern terminus is at Bakersfield and is operated twelve times each day with a destination/origin of either Oakland or Sacramento. At Bakersfield, Thruway Motorcoach bus service connects to Los Angeles Union Station and points in Southern California, the High Desert and the Central Coast. The San Joaquin does not continue south of Bakersfield because the only line between Bakersfield and points south, via Tehachapi Pass, is the world's busiest single-track freight rail line.



Amtrak San Joaquins route[1]
Distance Station
Abbreviated in this map
Tehachapi Pass to Los Angeles
Station on track
0 Bakersfield
Stop on track
26 mi (42 km) Wasco
Stop on track
63 mi (101 km) Corcoran
Stop on track
80 mi (129 km) Hanford
Station on track
111 mi (179 km) Fresno
Stop on track
132 mi (212 km) Madera
Station on track
168 mi (270 km) Merced
Stop on track
192 mi (309 km) Denair
Stop on track
204 mi (328 km) Modesto
Unknown route-map component "BS2rf" Unknown route-map component "BS2lf"
Station on track Straight track
234 mi (377 km) Stockton (Cabral station)
Straight track Station on track
237 mi (381 km) Stockton (San Joaquin St. station)
Stop on track Elevated start
246 mi (396 km) Lodi
Transverse abbreviated in this map Junction both to and from right Elevated over water
Delta Coast Starlight/California Zephyr
Unknown route-map component "KBHFxe" Elevated end
282 mi (454 km) Sacramento
Unknown route-map component "exSTR" Stop on track
264 mi (425 km) Antioch-Pittsburg
Unknown route-map component "exWBRÜCKE" Stop on track
282 mi (454 km) Martinez Martinez Bridge/Capitol Corridor
Unknown route-map component "exSTRlf" Unknown route-map component "eABZgr+r"
Capitol Corridor to Sacramento
Stop on track
303 mi (488 km) Richmond
Stop on track
310 mi (499 km) Emeryville
Station on track
315 mi (507 km) Oakland
Abbreviated in this map
to San Jose Diridon towards Los Angeles

The San Joaquin originates at Bakersfield's Truxtun Avenue Station and operates northward on BNSF Railway's Mojave Subdivision within Bakersfield, the Bakersfield Subdivision from Bakersfield to Calwa (Fresno), then on the Stockton Subdivision from Calwa to Stockton.

At Stockton, the train travels on one of two routes depending on its final destination of either Sacramento or Oakland:

  • Trains headed to the Sacramento Valley Rail Station diverge in Stockton and operate north to Sacramento on Union Pacific's Fresno Subdivision and on the Martinez Subdivision within Sacramento.

Rolling stock

The San Joaquin is equipped with Amtrak California-fleet (bi-level, high-capacity) passenger cars of several types: coach-baggage car, cafe (dining) car, coach car, cab car, and cab-baggage car. A cab car is a typical coach with an engineer's operating cab and headlights on one end, allowing the train to be operated in push-pull mode, which eliminates the need to turn the train at each end-point. A cab-baggage is similar, but with space dedicated on the car's lower level for checked-luggage storage.

Two types of locomotives are used on the San Joaquin. The EMD F59PHI, road numbers CDTX 2001-2015, and the GE P32-8WH ('Dash 8'), road numbers CDTX 2051-2052. These locomotives are owned by the California Department of Transportation and carry its CDTX reporting marks. However, other locomotives can occasionally be seen on the San Joaquin, including Amtrak-owned Dash 8s and P42DCs. Amtrak California locomotives and cars have a paint scheme unique to California, so they are easily recognizable.

A typical San Joaquin train consists of a locomotive and four cars, as follows:

  • Locomotive (end pointed towards Oakland/Sacramento)
  • Coach-Baggage Car
  • Coach Car
  • Cafe Car
  • Cab Car (end pointed towards Bakersfield)


  • Locomotive (end pointed towards Oakland/Sacramento)
  • Coach Car
  • Coach Car
  • Cafe Car
  • Cab-Baggage Car (end pointed towards Bakersfield)

During some holiday seasons additional coaches may be added, resulting in five- and six-car trains.


The San Joaquin has existed since 1974. Its service has increased from one round trip per day to four round trips to Oakland, plus two round trips to Sacramento.

The San Joaquin operates over rail lines that once hosted several competing trains each day. The two primary trains originating in the Central Valley were the Golden Gate, originally operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (predecessor to BNSF), and the San Joaquin Daylight operated by Southern Pacific Transportation Company (later acquired by Union Pacific).

In April 1965, as car travel increased and ridership on passenger trains began their precipitous decline, the Santa Fe Railway got permission from the the Interstate Commerce Commission to severely curtail Golden Gate operations, with service finally abandoned three years later. The San Joaquin Daylight was discontinued with the start-up of Amtrak in May 1971.

Other passenger trains that previously ran through the Central Valley included Southern Pacific's Owl and Santa Fe's San Francisco Chief and Valley Flyer.

Proposed high-speed rail line

Studies are underway and a $9 billion ballot initiative was approved by the voters of the State of California in November 2008 to approve a high speed rail link between Northern and Southern California. The route would run through the San Joaquin Valley.


  1. ^ "San Joaquins timetable" (PDF). Amtrak. 2007-04-02. Retrieved 2007-08-20.  

External links



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